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Shoulder Tendinitis: Expert Treatment Options

Shoulder Tendinitis

Physiotherapy at Woodbridge is located in Vaughan providing expert treatment for the surrounding areas.
One of the most common forms of tendinitis occurs in the shoulder rotator cuff tendons. There are four rotator cuff muscles that originate on the shoulder-blade and insert onto the front of your shoulder (rotator cuff insertion). These tendons naturally sustain a considerable amount of force and stress because of the shoulder’s agility and range of motion. For this reason, the shoulder is one of the more common anatomical areas to develop tendinitis.

What is Tendinitis?

A tendon is a ropey, incredibly strong piece of tissue that connects muscle to bone. For every piece of muscle, you have two tendons connecting the top and the bottom parts to different bones. Tendinitis means there is an inflammatory process inside the tendon sheath which can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. The most common causes of tendinitis are repetitive strain injuries and/or poor postural alignment. Tendinitis can occur anywhere in the body but is more common in the shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle. Tendinitis in the elbow is commonly known as ‘Tennis Elbow’, in the knee ‘Jumpers Knee’, and in the ankle ‘Achilles Tendinitis’.

Calcific tendinitis occurs when the body naturally deposits calcium in the tendons. This is a common feature of tendinitis which can further increase pain and inflammation. Calcific tendinitis is quite common in the shoulder rotator cuff tendons.

 
 

What Causes Tendinitis?

  1. Repetitive Strain: Tendinitis is also known as a repetitive strain injury meaning that activity in sport or your occupation can cause symptoms. Over time the repetitive activity or poor technique can cause micro tears, which in turn causes an inflammatory response. This chronic cycle of micro tearing coupled with the inflammatory process causes the pain associated with tendinitis. Certain occupations that include repetitive activity like plumbing, construction or even office jobs are at a higher risk of causing tendinitis. Most sports like golf, swimming, tennis, or running all have a repetitive component that can put stress on the tendons leading to pain and inflammation.
  2. Biomechanical Deficit: If an individual has a poor technique or a biomechanical deficit, they are more likely to develop tendinitis. For example, a weightlifter who uses their forearms more than their biceps when doing a bicep curl will put pressure on the elbow tendons. A runner who has a fallen arch (flat foot) when running will put more pressure on the Achilles or patella tendon. These types of issues are correctable if that person gets the right information from their therapist.
  3. Poor Posture: you might not think that sitting for eight hours a day working on a computer can cause tendinitis, but you are wrong! The poor postural alignment will put pressure on your neck, spine, and shoulders. Over time the tendons in the shoulder, known as the rotator cuff, will break down causing micro tears and inflammation. This type of tendinitis is common and generally leads to pain in the shoulder which may or may not radiate down the arm to the elbow. For this type of postural strain it is common to have neck symptoms as well as shoulder pain.

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