Tendinopathy is an injury to the tendon. It can cause pain, swelling, and limit movement. The injuries can include:
There are several shoulder tendons including the rotator cuff and biceps tendons. These tendons keep the head of the humerus (the upper arm bone) in the shoulder socket. Tendinopathy and the associated pain may take months to resolve.
Tendinopathy is generally caused by overuse of a muscle-tendon unit. Over time, the strain on the tendon causes structural changes within the tendon itself.
Shoulder tendons are overused most often with:
Bicipital tendinopathy is linked to rotator cuff conditions. Rotator cuff tendinopathy may result from wear and tear with age.
Factors that increase your chance of developing shoulder tendinopathy include:
Symptoms develop gradually over time and pain slowly increases with use.
If you have any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to shoulder tendinopathy. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor will check tender areas, range of motion, and muscle strength.
For severe symptoms or to rule out other problems your doctor may order:
Treatments include :
Avoid activities that cause shoulder pain.
To control pain and swelling:
Heat may relieve pain and is often used before exercises to help with motion:
Different procedures can be used depending on the injury:
To protect the shoulder from injury:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
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Impingement of the shoulder. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00032 . Accessed June 22, 2008.
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Last reviewed September 2009 by Robert E. Leach, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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