Shoulder Tendonitis

Shoulder Tendonitis

Shoulder tendonosis, also known as shoulder tendinosis or tendinopathy, refers to a condition characterized by the degeneration or chronic damage to the tendons in the shoulder. Tendons are thick, fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones, and in the shoulder, they play a crucial role in facilitating movement and providing stability to the joint. Tendonosis is often considered a more chronic and degenerative condition compared to tendonitis, which typically involves acute inflammation of the tendons. Pain and inflammation can cause bursitis.

Causes: The development of shoulder tendonosis is often associated with repetitive stress, overuse, or age-related changes. Common causes include:

  • Repetitive Overhead Movements: Activities such as throwing, lifting, or reaching overhead, common in sports like baseball or swimming.
  • Poor Shoulder Mechanics: Improper biomechanics during activities can contribute to increased stress on the shoulder tendons.
  • Aging: Tendons naturally degenerate with age, making them more susceptible to injury.
  • Previous Injuries: Past shoulder injuries or trauma can contribute to ongoing tendon degeneration.

Symptoms: The symptoms of shoulder tendonosis may include:

  • Pain: Persistent, often a deep ache in the shoulder that worsens with movement.
  • Stiffness: Limited range of motion in the shoulder.
  • Weakness: Weakening of the affected arm due to pain and impaired function.
  • Tenderness: Tenderness around the affected tendon, often near the top of the shoulder.

Diagnosis: Diagnosing shoulder tendonosis involves a combination of a thorough medical history, physical examination, and imaging studies. Common imaging techniques such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to visualize the condition of the tendons and identify any structural changes.

Treatment: The management of shoulder tendonosis typically involves a combination of conservative measures to alleviate symptoms and promote healing. Treatment options include:

  1. Rest and Activity Modification:
    • Giving the shoulder adequate rest and avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms.
    • Modifying activities to reduce stress on the affected tendons.
  2. Physical Therapy:
    • Specific exercises to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder and improve biomechanics.
    • Stretching exercises to enhance flexibility and range of motion.
  3. Pain Management:
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain relievers to manage pain and inflammation.
  4. Heat and Cold Therapy:
    • Applying heat or cold to the affected area to help reduce pain and inflammation.
  5. Corticosteroid Injections:
    • In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be administered to provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.
  6. Regenerative Therapies:
    • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or stem cell injections may be considered to promote tissue healing and regeneration.
  7. Lifestyle Modification:
    • Assessing and modifying daily activities or sports techniques to prevent recurrence.
    • Ergonomic adjustments to reduce strain on the shoulder during work or daily tasks.
  8. Bracing:
    • Supportive braces or slings may be used to stabilize the shoulder and limit movement during the healing process.

Surgical Intervention: In cases where conservative measures do not provide sufficient relief or when there is significant tendon damage, surgical intervention may be considered. Surgical procedures may involve debridement (removal of damaged tissue), tendon repair, or, in some cases, tendon transfer.

It is essential for individuals experiencing shoulder tendonosis to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and to develop a tailored treatment plan based on the specific characteristics of their condition. Early intervention and adherence to the prescribed treatment plan are crucial for optimal recovery.