Rotator Cuff Tendonitis


Rotator cuff tendonitis is also known as swimmers shoulder or tennis shoulder in the common parlance. This problem occurs when the tendons of the shoulder become inflamed.

There are many causes for the onset of rotator cuff tendonitis. Possible reasons include repeated trauma to the tendons of the rotator cuff, accidents, injuries, excessive playing, excessive and heavy weight lifting. Though anyone can be afflicted by this problem, generally people above the age of forty are most affected due to the decrease elasticity of their tendons. Many times, the lack of proper treatment and excessive use of the muscles despite the pain may even cause tearing of the rotator cuff.

There are various ways to find out if you have rotator cuff tendonitis. Possible signs to watch out for include a movement induced pain in your arm. Some people also complain of a persistent pain in the night particularly when they change sides or happen to lie on the affected shoulder. There are many others who may not be able to brush their hair, pick up things from an overhead shelf or do mundane chores which could earlier be done with finesse.

Generally there are many methods to detect rotator cuff tendonitis. Possible ways include an X-ray which may reveal a bone spur. There may also be an inflammation or a tear detected in the rotator cuff when an MRI is performed. The doctor may also conduct a physical assessment of the shoulder. He may look for signs of trauma or pain when the shoulder is raised along with an associated weakness in the shoulder.

There are many kinds of cures and treatments of rotator cuff tendonitis. The conventional treatments include giving anti-inflammatory medication which causes the inflammation to decrease and relieve pain. Ice packs are also used to relieve the inflammation. The main cure in such cases is to steer clear of any activity which can increase the inflammation and the pain. You need to take adequate rest which will allow the body's healing processes to alleviate the pain and inflammation faster.

Many a times, physical therapy and other exercises are also required to make the muscles of the rotator cuff stronger. Many times, it's not possible to do physical therapy due to the excessive pain. In such cases, the pain and inflammation may be reduced with the help of a steroid injection and to avail the benefits of a physical therapy.

In some cases the pain persists despite the medications and the therapy. This may be due to the complete tearing of the rotator cuff. In such cases, surgery is the only option left to heal the pain and inflammation. These days inflamed tissue and bone spur may be removed by arthroscopic surgery. This kind of surgery is quite good for small tears, however in case of major tears; sometimes the doctors have to completely open the shoulder to repair the tendon that has been affected.

Most people wonder if a complete recovery from rotator cuff tendonitis? The answer is yes. In most cases, the shoulder recovers completely and it's possible to lead a normal life after the treatment. Read more about exercises for rotator cuff here.