Rotator Cuff Tendinitis refers to the inflammation of the tendons due to overuse and repetitive overhead activities. In the shoulder, there is a group of four muscles known as rotator cuff muscles. These muscles originate on the scapula (shoulder blade) and attach to the humerus (upper arm) by tendons, allowing the humerus to move away from the body and rotate in the shoulder joint. One of the rotator cuff muscles, known as the supraspinatus, is especially vulnerable, because of it location at the top of the shoulder. The tendon of the supraspinatus muscle runs through a narrow space under a joint formed by the collarbone and scapula. If left untreated, it may progress to shoulder impingement and, ultimately, injury to the rotator cuff.
- Pain with movements of the arm, most often with overhead reaching
- Pain that may radiate to the upper arm
- Weakness in the shoulder
- Repetitive shoulder movements, often done in sports or certain occupations
- Poor posture
TREATMENT WITH PHYSICAL THERAPY
An All Sports physical therapist will use modalities to manage pain and inflammation prior to starting you on an exercise program. Physical therapy will focus on correcting postural alignment to better position the scapula and strengthening the rotator cuff muscles. Because the rotator cuff generally works together in stabilizing your shoulder, strengthening these muscles will improve mechanics in the shoulder joint. This will allow you to do everyday activities and eventually return to sports without further irritating the tendons in your shoulder.