Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

Does it hurt to move arm overhead, behind your back?
Rotator cuff tendonitis may be the cause of your shoulder pain.

What is the Rotator Cuff Tendonitis?

  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis is inflammation of 1 or more of the rotator cuff muscles.

What is the Rotator Cuff?

  • A group of 4 muscles in the shoulder that assist in lifting, rotating, and stabilizing the arm

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis Symptoms Include:

  • Pain when reaching overhead or lifting objects with a straight arm
  • Clicking or popping sensation with raising the arm above shoulder height
  • Pain at night from sleeping on the involved shoulder
  • Pain with reaching behind the back or behind the head
  • Shoulder stiffness and weakness while using shoulder

What typically causes rotator cuff tendonitis?

  • Most commonly, rotator cuff tendonitis is caused by repetitive micro-trauma to the tendons
  • Overuse through work or exercise is the most common cause.
  • Repetitive overhead activities may lead to strain or degeneration of the rotator cuff muscles.
  • Poor posture that occurs with prolonged sitting.

What can be done to treat rotator cuff tendonitis?

  • Controlling inflammation: This is especially important in the early stages. Reducing pain and inflammation early with decrease the chances of this becoming a more chronic condition that is more difficult to treat.
  • Avoiding painful movements or activities: Continuing to push through painful symptoms will only make the condition worse and could lead to a more serious situation such as a tear.
  • Get into Physical Therapy: a proper evaluation by a physical therapist will help you restore motion and function. Learning how to correct posture and strengthen the rotator cuff, along with the surrounding muscles, will minimize painful symptoms. Physical therapy will be able to provide treatments such as joint mobilization, myofascial release, and soft tissue mobility to allow for more rapid return to function. It is important to not wait. Request an appointment with a physical therapist early so that symptoms do not get out of control. The longer the symptoms last, the more difficult they are to heal. More and more people are getting benefits from physical therapy over medication and injections.

Follow these simple instructions now to get a jump-start on faster healing:

  1. Avoid slouching postures and any repetitive motions involving your arm
  2. Proper nutrition and natural supplementation.
  3. Avoiding foods that have high glucose levels can help control pain.
  4. Natural anti-inflammatory herbs and spices are preferred over prescribed NSAIDs. Turmeric is a great example of this
  5. Request an appointment with a physical therapist early so that symptoms do not get out of control.