Shoulder Tendonitis

Shoulder Tendonitis

You will feel pain with difficulty moving the arm and shoulder when you have shoulder tendonitis. Tendonitis usually occurs due to strenuous activities that place a heavy load on the tendons of the shoulder joint.

The inflammation of the shoulder tendons is not a rare condition, as athletes often suffer from shoulder Tendonitis , But it is not limited to athletes, as anyone can suffer a sudden injury that causes inflammation in a shoulder tendon.

The tendon's function is to connect the muscles with the bones to ensure coordinated movement and protect the joint from injuries, but the tendons are at risk of inflammation. You can follow us to learn more about shoulder tendonitis, its symptoms, and how long it takes to heal.

Overview of shoulder Tendonitis

The shoulder joint consists of muscles and tendons that stabilize the joint and ensure its stability during movement through the tight connection between the shoulder and the upper arm.

There are mainly two groups of tendons in the shoulder, the tendon of the anterior arm muscle, which is known as the biceps muscle, in addition to the tendons of the muscles in the shoulder known as the rotator cuff muscles. Inflammation may affect any of these tendons.

Shoulder tendinitis is one of the most common injuries affecting the body's tendons. The reason for this is that the joint is responsible for a wide range of movements, as it participates in most of the activities of the upper limb.

If shoulder Tendonitis is not treated well, it may lead to a rupture of the tendon, which requires surgery to repair it. Therefore, it is preferable to consult a specialist early as soon as symptoms of shoulder tendonitis appear.

comparing shoulder tendinitis with normal tendons
A comparison between the case of shoulder tendonitis and the normal case

Symptoms of shoulder Tendonitis

Symptoms tend to get worse with time. The patient may notice that his symptoms appear with movement and ease with rest, but with the development of the injury, the symptoms become apparent even in rest. The signs and symptoms of tendinitis may differ from one person to another, but one of these symptoms often appears, which are:

  • Pain that gets worse when moving the shoulder and arm
  • Stiffness in the shoulder joint
  • Mild swelling of the joint
  • Hearing a cracking sound in the shoulder when moving it
  • Difficulty keeping the arm raised

Often, the first symptom that makes a patient see a joint doctor is severe pain when raising the shoulder or arm.

 Symptoms of shoulder Tendonitis
The most common symptoms of shoulder tendinitis

Causes of shoulder Tendonitis

Shoulder Tendonitis happens due to overloading the tendon, leading to inflammation over time. In other cases, severe injuries may occur that affect one of the tendons, causing a rupture or sudden inflammation of the tendon.

Overload occurs due to excessive use of the shoulder and its tendons, especially when practicing hobbies that require that, such as tennis, golf, and other practices, and you do not have to be an athlete to get inflammation on your shoulder; it may cause shoulder tendinitis.

Diagnosis of shoulder Tendonitis

The specialist will ask about your symptoms in detail and perform a physical examination, such as raising the arms above the head, which usually triggers joint pain in tendonitis patients.

Most of the time, the doctor can only make the diagnosis based on a physical examination. Still, he may conduct other tests to rule out the presence of causes that cause the appearance of similar signs of shoulder tendonitis, and these tests include the following:

X-ray image

This image shows the internal structures and tissues, such as bones, where any problems or abnormalities, such as bone fractures or other conditions and causes that cause symptoms, are searched and investigated.

MRI

This technology helps obtain a clear view of the body's internal tissues through magnetic waves that penetrate the tissues and organs to produce clear images on the computer screen.

How to treat shoulder Tendonitis

The treatment mainly aims to relieve pain and reduce the intensity of inflammation while improving the range and movement of the patient's shoulder joint and preventing complications from tendinitis.

Choosing the appropriate method for treating tendinitis depends on the severity of the inflammation and the degree of damage to the tendon, in addition to the patient's age and general health condition.

Medication for shoulder tendinitis

Using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) helps treat and relieve tendinitis pain. Examples of this group are ibuprofen and aspirin, with attention to the possibility of some side effects from taking these drugs, such as kidney poisoning or the formation of peptic ulcers, such as duodenal ulcer.

Corticosteroids are among the drugs that are also useful in the treatment of tendonitis, and they are given either orally or by injecting directly into the shoulder joint. They are considered one of the best anti-inflammatory drugs available, but their long-term use may cause weakness in the tendons, which predisposes to a tendon rupture.

Treatment of shoulder tendonitis by plasma injection

A new method has recently been used to treat joint diseases and their stiffness by obtaining a human plasma sample extracted from the blood of the same person who will undergo treatment to be injected into the affected joint later; this method is one of the promising treatments that have proven helpful in treating various problems in the knee and joints in general, read more about the benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma for the Knee.

A picture of the plasma injection process in the shoulder
A picture showing the injection of a plasma needle into the shoulder

Exercises for shoulder tendonitis treatment

Thephysical therapy It can help strengthen the muscles and tendons in the shoulder area to speed up the recovery of inflammation and prevent its recurrence; the physiotherapist teaches you some exercises that contribute to lengthening and strengthening your tendons, such as contracting the muscle while it is taut, due to its benefit in supporting the tendons of your shoulder.

Shoulder tendonitis surgery

When one of the tendons of the shoulder joint is partially ruptured, and the patient's symptoms do not improve after trying previous treatments, the need for surgery appears to repair the damage to the tendon and relieve its symptoms.

The surgery can be performed using shoulder Arthroscopy Which is a minimally invasive and relatively safe procedure. The surgeon makes small incisions through which tools are inserted to remove or repair the injured parts of the tendon.

Shoulder arthroscopy is the best option for the procedure most of the time, but in severe tendinitis injuries, the surgeon may recommend traditional surgery.

Prevention of shoulder tendonitis

Since the most common cause of shoulder tendinitis is due to excessive load and stress on the joint, inflammation can be avoided and prevented as much as possible by following these tips:

  • Avoid lifting weights that are too heavy over the head
  • Make sure you take the correct and proper posture when you exercise.
  • Warm up well before you start exercising
  • Don't strain the joint suddenly, and increase your physical activity gradually.
  • Strengthen and stretch your shoulder regularly by performing stretching exercises

In the end, shoulder tendinitis is one of the common conditions, as it is considered one of the most common types of tendinitis in the human body. The first thing the patient feels is pain in the joint that is intensified by movement, which soon becomes severe to prevents the patient from moving his shoulder freely. How to treat this condition varies according to the degree and severity of the inflammation. Resting may suffice, or surgery may be recommended in advanced stages to repair the tendons.


Sources:

  1. Johns Hopkins
  2. Massachusetts General Hospital
  3. Medical News Today

Frequently Asked Questions:

The time required for tendonitis to heal depends on the severity of the tendon injury and the age and general health of the patient. Still, it usually takes 4 to 6 weeks and may reach months for severe tendon injuries.

The primary role of herbs is to relieve pain and reduce the severity of inflammation, as it is impossible to rely on herbs as the only treatment for shoulder tendinitis. Some herbs that might help treat tendinitis are white willow, turmeric, licorice, and ginseng.

Cupping has many benefits for the body, excreting toxins and relieving joint pain while reducing the severity of inflammation and improving blood circulation. In the case of tendonitis, cupping has a role in relieving pain and fighting inflammation, as it is one of the means to help treat shoulder tendinitis.

When treated appropriately, the inflammation heals and goes away completely within a period that varies according to the severity of the inflammation. Still, it is estimated, on average, at six weeks.

The treatment for simple stages of tendinitis usually lasts from 2 to 4 weeks, and this period increases with the increase in the effectiveness and severity of the inflammation.

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