An inflammation of the shoulder’s tendons is known as shoulder tendonitis.
Tendons play a major role in the formation of the shoulder joint and help in the shoulder’s movement.
This frequent motion means that the tendons are prone to inflammation, pain and injury.
Certain kinds of sports, where the arm has to move frequently over the head such as baseball, tennis, weight-lifting and swimming tend to increase the chances of such injury.
If this type of injury carries on for a prolonged period of time, then it can even lead to the rotator cuff tearing.
Shoulder Tendonitis Symptoms
The most common symptom of this problem is pain in the shoulder. This pain can either be gradual or sudden.
In some cases, especially for those engaged in sports, the pain can occur suddenly at the moment when the injury occurs.
The side and front of the shoulder is where the pain is generally concentrated, and tends to increase as the shoulder goes further and further away from the body.
This pain can increase at night when the person’s sleeping posture puts additional pressure on the injured shoulder.
However, if the rotator cuff tears off completely then the pain is not likely to be a constant one. In such severe cases the injured person might not even be able to lift his or her arm from his or her side.
There might also be cases where a popping or a clicking sound is heard every time the shoulder is moved, or the shoulder might seem to get jammed momentarily.
Diagnosis of Shoulder Tendonitis
The most effective method of diagnosing shoulder tendonitis is magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI.
A thorough physical examination is likely to highlight the fact that the shoulder is tender every time it is forced to move, especially when the arm moves over the head.
The MRI scan helps distinguish between shoulder tendonitis and bone spur, and even detect a tear in the rotator cuff muscle.
Shoulder Tendonitis Treatment
To help heal shoulder tendonitis, it is important that the shoulder is not made to perform those very actions that caused the problem in the first place.
Along with rest, it is also a good idea to apply ice packs and anti-inflammatory injections that are non-steroidal. Steroid injections may be used if the pain is too severe to allow physical therapy.
You should follow some simple exercises, like those highlighted in my book Exercise Your Shoulder Pain Free.
In case of a total tear in the rotator cuff muscle, surgery might also be necessary. Small and large tears and inflamed tissues can be treated using anthroscopic keyhole surgery.
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