Shoulder Tendinitis


Inflammation of the muscle tendon is called tendonitis and may result in pain paired with restriction of movement. Tendonitis of the shoulder typically occurs in the subacromial space and is common due to the anatomy of the shoulder coupled with stressful activity assigned to the joint. The subacromial space is an area on the top of the shoulder formed by the coracoacromial arch. This arch is formed by the acromio-clavicular joint, coraco-acromial ligament and acromion (outer edge of the scapula, or shoulder blade). The chief tendons of the shoulder, the rotator cuff and long head of the biceps, pass under this arch. Reduction of this space exposes the tendons to a high risk for friction, rubbing and irritation, setting the stage for a case of tendonitis. Tendon problems usually emerge in individuals 40 to 60 years old, but are increasingly seen in young athletes as a byproduct of repetitive overuse.


Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain when performing motions.
  • Pain radiating throughout body.
  • Tenderness or tightness.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Reduced ability to perform everyday tasks.
  • Increased weakness or swelling.


Treatment Options

  • Avoiding activities that cause pain.
  • Cold pack application.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Steroid injection.
  • Surgery.
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