Shoulder Tendonitis

Shoulder Tendonitis, Knee and Shoulder InstituteShoulder tendonitis is a degenerative affliction that impacts any of the tendons surrounding the shoulder joint. In general, the condition affects the rotator cuff tendons, but it can also impact the triceps and biceps tendons.

The tendonitis of the shoulder is generally a repetitive or an overuse injury, occurring due to poor posture and shoulder muscle imbalance, which leads to more pressure on a single muscle or tendon than it can bear.

The condition occurs more commonly in people who use the shoulder joint excessively to work their arms overhead, such as manual workers like electricians and carpenters or throwers who participate in field events like javelin or games like baseball.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons at the Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute provide treatments for shoulder tendonitis to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding locations.


Tendonitis is also known as tenosynovitis, tendinitis, and tendinopathy. Tenosynovitis is a problem associated with the outer sheath that lines the tendon and not with the tendon fibers themselves. However, it is not possible to differentiate between tendonitis and tenosynovitis with an ultrasound scan investigation. The treatment for both the conditions is the same; therefore, in most cases, surgeons do not distinguish between the two afflictions which can also occur together.

Symptoms of Shoulder Tendonitis

The symptoms of shoulder tenosynovitis include pain, which comes gradually with shoulder movement. The exact movement that brings about pain indicates which tendon or tendons are inflamed.

For instance, the occurrence of pain while rotating the shoulders indicate rotator cuff injuries, and pain related to the flexing or upward movement of shoulder shows a problem with the bicep tendonitis. The pain usually becomes worse after rest and starts diminishing when activity warms up the area.

A painful tendon may feel thickened, when the patient presses in to feel the tendon, in comparison with the other side. Furthermore, a patient could also have a creaking feeling, which is referred to as crepitus in the tendon as it moves.


Patients who have shoulder tendonitis should take ample rest because the condition can become aggravated by movements and activities. The pain and swelling can be eased by applying ice or other cold therapy treatments for 15 minutes, every three to four hours. An individual who has shoulder tendonitis should also consult a sports injury professional.

An orthopedic surgeon will assess the condition before confirming the diagnosis with the help of ultrasound scans or MRI. They may use electrotherapy treatments such as laser or ultrasound, or sports massage techniques to bring relief to the affected muscles.

A surgeon will also determine the cause of shoulder tendonitis in the patient and address any postural or muscle imbalance issues. Subsequently, they will create a rehabilitation program for improving the shoulder posture and strength of the impacted muscles.

In most cases, the condition can be treated without any invasive procedure, but major degeneration of the tendons may require surgery. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada, and nearby areas for the treatment of shoulder tendonitis.

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. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9393.

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