Most people have never even heard of Shoulder Tendonitis until they are diagnosed with it.
What is Shoulder Tendonitis?
Shoulder Tendonitis is usually caused by the overuse of the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint itself is the most mobile joint in the body and is a ball and socket type.
Ball and Socket shoulder structure
This is a bit technical, but you need to know this if you suffer tendonitis and the “Ball and Socket” analogy generally helps patients understand what is happening with their shoulder. The head of the humerus bone is the “ball” and glenoid of the scapula is “socket”. The size of the glenoid is smaller compared to the head of humerus, hence the contact between these two bones is rather limited.
Because of size variation in ball and socket the bony articulation provides little stability to the shoulder joint and the bulk stability is provided by soft tissues of the joint such as ligaments and tendons. Therefore the effects of overuse of joint are mainly on soft tissues. The rotator cuff muscle provide dynamic stability to the joint which is comprised of four tendons namely supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres major and subscapularis.
Overuse of joint leads to wear and tear of these tendons causing tendonitis. The tendon of bicep muscle is located in the front of shoulder joint and provides anterior stability. When rotator cuff tendons are overworked the strain will be more on bicep tendon to stabilize the joint. This extra strain on bicep tendon due to rotator cuff tendonitis causes inflammation of bicep tendon.
Shoulder tendonitis is usually caused by one or more of the following things:
- – Frequent use of shoulder joint in throwing motion or frequent of use of the arm in an overhead position as in tennis or racquet sports, swimming and baseball.
- – Age factor- Usually occurs after the age of 40 years
- – Falling on a stretched arm.
- – Direct blow to the shoulder joint.
- – Frequent heavy weight lifting especially weight lifters.
- – Work nature such as overhead assembly work, butchering.
- – Job where worker uses an overhead pressing machine
- – Other diseases which weaken shoulder muscles such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, arthritis, psoriasis.
- – Rarely infection and unusual drug reaction.
Anybody can develop shoulder tendonitis but it is more common in adults over 40 years of age. As age advances the tendons become less elastic and less tolerant to the stress. Shoulder tendonitis is the most common sports injury due to repetitive minor impact on the shoulder joint and sudden serious injuries in the sports. Professional baseball players, swimmers, tennis players and golf players are especially susceptible to shoulder tendonitis. In any sportsperson who has shoulder tendonitis, the primary cause is improper technique, which causes overload on the tissues including tendons leading to tendonitis.
Shoulder tendonitis treatment
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Since the main cause for the shoulder tendonitis is overuse of the joint, the best treatment is prevention. The person needs to avoid or modify the activity that causes the problem. Improper posture, poor technique in sports and work related issues need to be addressed. In general, and especially in sports, shoulder activity should be started slow and then built up gradually. Warm up and stretch shoulder joint before any activity or sports. Stop the activity if any unusual pain occurs in shoulder joint. As with any medical condition, do seek proper medical advice for your sepcific condition. My general advice for shoulder tendonitis treatment it that you should strengthen the shoulder joint tendons with shoulder exercises. I have created a complete exercise program to help your recovery that you can order by clicking the link below:
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