How to Treat Tendonitis in Shoulder?

Shoulder tendonitis is one of the most common complaints of shoulder pain. The rotator cuff tendons get irritated and inflamed by repetitive activities that require lifting of the arm above your head. It affects range of motion. The tendon that mostly gets affected is supraspinatus tendon.

Shoulder tendonitis is generally a sport injury that is why it is also known as swimmer's shoulder, pitcher’s shoulder or tenis shoulder depending on the relevant sport. You can treat shoulder tendonitis with rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy.

You can regain full functioning of the shoulder with proper care and treatment.

Table of Contents

What is Shoulder Tendonitis?

Shoulder tendonitis or rotator cuff tendinitis is an inflammatory injury of the rotator cuff of your shoulder tendons. Another name given to such types of injury is rotator cuff tendinopathy or impingement syndrome.

It affects the tendons and muscles of the shoulder joint that help in rotation of the joint.

It happens over a period of time. Athletes and swimmers commonly develop this condition.


What Causes Tendonitis in Shoulder?

Repeated microtrauma to rotator cuff tendons is the main cause of shoulder tendonitis.

For example athletes and players who require to lift their arm over their heads normally get shoulder tendonitis over a period of time due to repeated impingement of bones in the shoulder.

When the rotator cuff tendon impacts against the acromion bone regularly, then over a period of long time rotator cuff gets inflamed and swollen or in other words it is shoulder tendonitis.

Symptoms of Shoulder Tendonitis

You will notice and feel following Symptoms in shoulder tendonitis

  • Shoulder clicking when arm lifted to shoulder height
  • Pain during lifting of arm
  • Clicking and pain when arm moved behind the back
  • Shoulder and arm pain upto elbow
  • More severe shoulder pain as the condition deteriorates
  • Pain when lying on the troubled shoulder

How to Treat Tendonitis in Shoulder?

Usually tendon bursitis occurs simultaneously, therefore doctors usually look for both conditions in their diagnostic procedure which involves some clinical tests and ultrasound scans.

Once the proper diagnosis is completed, treatment is given in stages.

  1. Pain Relief - Tea main goal here is injury protection, pain and inflammation reduction. So rest is recommended. Ice is periodically applied for 20 minutes or so to reduce pain every 3-4 hours. Anti-inflammatory medication is also given during the first 2-3 days. Physiotherapy is introduced.
  2. Range of Motion - Mainly physiotherapy to regain full range of motion. It might take from several weeks to months to get back full range of motion.
  3. Shoulder Blade Control - In this phase the emphasis of physiotherapy is to get back the control of Shoulder blade shoulder movement.
  4. Neck Shoulder Function - Your neck and upper back are a very important part of the rehabilitation process. Once again physiotherapy is given to restore normal neck-scapulothoracic shoulder function.
  5. Rotaltkr Cuff Strength - In this phase of physiotherapy Shoulder control and strength is regained
  6. Speed, Power and Agility - This phase of physiotherapy will help people involved in sporting activities to get back the speed power and agility if the rotator cuff function to ensure that similar instance of shoulder tendonitis is prevented.
  7. Back to Work - This us the time you are prepared by your physiotherapist to get back to your work or sport. The training is based on the complexities of the sport.

Home Remedies for Shoulder Tendonitis

  • Green Leafy Vegetables - It will help you to heal your shoulder tendonitis fast. These Vegetables with antioxidants will help to reduce oxidative stresses and increase immunity for fast healing. Include broccoli, kale and spinach etc which also gave high vitamin C.
  • Vitamin C rich Foods - citrus fruits, berries and green vegetables like bell pepper will increase your immunity.
  • High Protein Food - lean simple proteins are best. Omega 3 rich fishes like salmon, tuna and mackerel are your best bet against fighting inflammation of shoulder tendonitis.

Tips and Precautions

If you are not a sports person, then you can get shoulder tendonitis due to repeated movements of your hands going above your head or behind your shoulders.

The following precautions will help

  • Take breaks from repetitive activities
  • Avoid sleeping in the same position and same side everyday
  • Sit in a good posture always
  • Don't lift your arms repeatedly above your head frequently
  • Never carry heavy weight on one shoulder only

Shoulder tendonitis is a preventable condition. Take care.