What is Rotator Cuff Tendonitis?

Rotator cuff tendonitis (or rotator cuff tendinitis) develops when the tendons of the shoulder become inflamed with irritation and swelling. While the risk of suffering this painful condition increases once you reach the age of 40, individuals who participate in sports or exercises that use repetitive arm motions over the head, such as pitching softballs are also threatened. For this reason, rotator cuff tendonitis is often referred to as tennis shoulder, swimmer’s shoulder, or pitcher’s shoulder.

What Causes Rotator Cuff Tendonitis?

To understand the development of rotator cuff tendonitis, you should know that the shoulder displays a ball and socket type of joint. It is the humerus (top part of the arm bone) and the scapula (shoulder blade) that come together to form a joint. The rotator cuff is responsible for holding together the head of the humerus and the scapula. When the arm is constantly raised over the head, inflammation of the tendons regarding the shoulder muscles sometimes occurs. Over time, continual inflammation can lead to a tearing of the tendons of the rotator cuff.

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Rotator Cuff Symptoms of Tendonitis

The most glaring sign of tendonitis of the rotator cuff involves pain that comes when the arm is moved. At night, the shoulder is throbbing with discomfort, especially when one lies on the shoulder that is affected the most. Eventually, weakness in the arm is experienced when attempting to raise it over the head. The pain will continue to hinder everyday activities, such as combing hair or stretching to reach for an item on a high shelf.

A Trip to the Doctor

When shoulder pain lingers, a visit to your physician is suggested, as they can test for rotator cuff impairment rating pertaining to the shoulder. They will ask you to execute various positions that reveal the extent of your condition. They will note weaknesses, while you follow instructions for shoulder movement. An X-ray may highlight a bone spur, while an MRI is used to pinpoint inflammation and tears in the rotator cuff. If the MRI is positive, your doctor may suggest a few shoulder rotator cuff tear exercises to complete at home. Now if you want to know what a large rotator cuff tear is, you will also need to have a MRI performed.

Typical Rotator Cuff Tendinitis Treatments

Once diagnosed with rotator cuff tendonitis, a host of possible remedies are then suggested. Physical therapy is one of the most common approaches towards combating a rotator cuff injury. It is vital to strengthen the muscles of the rotator cuff in order to recapture normal function in the shoulder. A physical therapist will also give you shoulder rotator cuff tear exercises to follow when you are not receiving treatment at a clinic. These effective rotator cuff exercises will also avoid reemerging pain in the shoulder. The pain after you retear your rotator cuff can sometimes be more severe than when you first tear it. That is what the exercises are for so to prevent and strengthen so you won’t retear the rotator cuff.

Anti-inflammatory medications work well in managing the symptoms that come with a torn rotator cuff. Uncomplicated medications aimed at combating inflammation are sometimes prescribed for a short period of time, and used as regulation when rotator cuff tears start to flare. Additionally, cortisone injections are commonly used in treating rotator cuff tendonitis. The injections act as a way for a patient to successfully transition into therapy, as the shots fight acute inflammation. Following the injection, the shoulder should feel well enough to begin therapy and exercises that pinpoint the problem.

If the above remedies don’t help with the pain and inflammation, you may be required to have rotator cuff repair surgery. This would be the last resort, after all else fails. When you have rotator cuff surgery, emotional recovery time can be lengthy. The reason for this is you will not be able to do what you used to and that at times can be emotional draining.

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For more information, discover the Tendonitis symptoms, cures, treatments and remedies at Tendonitis Cures.

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