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Shoulder Tendonitis and Ultrasound

Shoulder Tendonitis

Tendonitis of the shoulder occurs when the tendons, which attach the muscles to the bone, become inflamed.

This inflammation can be the result of overuse as in the case of many athletes, degenerative disease, ageing or an acute injury resulting in a tear of the tendon.

Shoulder Tendonitis is an extremely painful condition that, if left untreated

Shoulder Tendonitis, can cause decreased mobility and Frozen Shoulder due to the lack of movement resulting from the pain and inflammation of the area.


When hearing the word “ultrasound” most people immediately think of a device that takes pictures of foetuses inside the womb.

Ultrasound, however, is also used in many other applications with great success. The application in this case is the shoulder.

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in our bodies making it more susceptible to injury.

Baseball players, tennis players and golfers routinely have problems with shoulder pain due to excessive use of the shoulder joint as well as weekend athletes and men and women who do repetitive movements in their jobs or daily routines.

Ultrasound for shoulder tendonitis is used daily around the world as a first line treatment.

Ultrasound works by producing a high frequency sound wave, undetectable to the human ear, which is sent to the targeted tissues using a wand-type device called a transducer.

Usually ultrasound gel is applied to the skin to reduce friction and allow for better transmission of the ultrasound waves. When the transducer is applied, the sound waves cause vibration of the tissues which produces heat.

This heating effect is not usually felt by the patient.

The desired effect of the ultrasound treatment is controlled by how the sound waves are transmitted, either continuously or intermittently and by the intensity of the sound waves.

Benefits Ultrasound

The benefits of treating shoulder tendonitis with ultrasound are numerous.

Because ultrasound waves produce heat, blood flow to the damaged tissues increases as the heat causes the blood vessels to dilate or enlarge.

This increase in blood flow brings oxygen to the injured area and raises the tissue metabolism. Increased metabolism helps the cells within the tissues to regenerate thus the healing process is increased.

Chronic inflammation and pain are decreased as the increased blood flow helps to remove tissue waste.

The tissues begin to heal and joint mobility is increased as a result.

Ultrasound treatment

Ultrasound treatments take only 3-5 minutes to perform and there is usually no discomfort to the patient, a definite benefit in today’s busy world.

The length of treatment will depend upon the extent of the damage as assessed by the physician and physical therapist. Treatment of shoulder tendonitis with ultrasound is a viable, highly successful alternative to more invasive therapies.

Armed with this knowledge you can feel confident discussing the use of ultrasound to treat your shoulder tendonitis with your physician.

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