Shoulder tendonitis is an inflammation of the biceps tendon or the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff consists of tendons and muscles in the shoulder, which are responsible for connecting the upper arm bone with the shoulder blade. An injury may range from mild to severe inflammation of the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff tenonitis is when the rotator cuff becomes thickened and inflamed.
The rotator cuff tendon may get trapped under the highest point or the roof of the shoulder, called the acromion. It is formed by a part of the scapula. Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.
Symptoms of Shoulder Tendonitis
These are a few common symptoms of shoulder tendonitis. However, you should know that symptoms are unique to different patients.
- Inability to hold the arm at certain angles or positions
- Tenderness or pain in the shoulder
Shoulder tendonitis symptoms may resemble other medical problems or conditions. You should always speak with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis.
Diagnosing Shoulder Tendinopathy
Your doctor will ask your medical history and symptoms. They will also perform a physical exam and get detailed images of the shoulder. Images may be taken with:
- Arthroscopy —a surgery that is done with a scope
- MRI scan
- CT arthrography—specialized x-ray
Treating Shoulder Tendinopathy
It may take months to resolve tendinopathy and associated pain. It is important that you follow through with your treatment. This can include:
- Rest, Ice, Heat
You should avoid any activities that can cause pain in the shoulder. Your doctor may recommend using an ice pack for helping control swelling and pain. Ice packs are of particular help during the first 24 – 48 hours following exercise or injury. You should protect your skin by keeping a towel between the skin and ice.
Stiffness may decrease in a few days. You should ask your therapist or doctor before using heat for the first time. Make sure you use a towel to protect your skin from the heat source.
There are several medications that can help reduce pain and swelling. This includes:
- Topical pain medicines can be applied to the skin
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin for managing pain
- Steroid injections in the bursa for decreasing inflammation
Severe or persistent pain may require further treatment. Your doctor may use steroids in the area to temporarily relive pain. Frequent steroid injections can damage the tendons.
You would be able to regain a range of motion and strength with rehabilitation. It will also prevent future injuries. Rehabilitation may include:
- Exercises for maintaining normal range of motion
- Physical therapy for strengthening the muscles controlling the shoulder
- Gradual return to work and sports
- Exercises for specific muscles that are used in job activities and sports
- Learning ways to modify activities for preventing re-injury
Surgery may be required in case of severe injuries. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for safe and proven orthopedic surgery procedures.
Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:
If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.
Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada