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Shoulder Tendonitis

Shoulder Tendonitis

Shoulder Tendonitis

It is the inflammation of rotator cuff tendons. Neglected cases of shoulder tendonitis/ tendinitis may present with injured tendons without any significant inflammation, these group of injuries are known as a rotator cuff tendinopathy or tendinopathies.


The most common cause is repeated micro-trauma to the rotator cuff tendons rather than a specific/ sudden trauma.

The rotator cuff tendons may get inflamed and give rise to shoulder tendonitis in condition like Rotator Cuff Impingement, where the rotator cuff tendons impact against the acromion bone. Shoulder bursitis commonly occurs with rotator cuff tendonitis.


The Common Symptoms are :

  • Shoulder pain that may radiate to elbow.
  • Shoulder clicking and/or a painful arc when the arm is about shoulder height.
  • Pain while lying on the affected shoulder or while getting off the bed/ sofa with the affected arm.
  • Shoulder pain or clicking while reaching behind the back or head.
  • In severe cases pain may be present at rest.


The condition can be easily diagnosed by an expert physiotherapist on the basis of history of illness, signs and symptoms and some clinical tests.

An X-ray may be helpful to find any bony anomaly contributing to the cause like bone spurs, altered acromion angulations etc.

An ultrasound scan is the preferred method of investigating in cases of shoulder tendonitis.


The treatment progresses through the following stages to achieve the desired result –

  • Early Injury Protection
  • Regain Full Range of Motion
  • Restoring Scapular Control
  • Restoring proper neck and shoulder alignment
  • Restoring Rotator Cuff Strength
  • Restoring speed, Power and Proprioception
  • Return to Sport/ Work

Get in touch with our expert at PAIN FREE PHYSIOTHERAPY CLINIC to understand your shoulder problem better.


It is a progressive disorder that often co-exists with shoulder bursitis or bicipital tendonitis and can deteriorate into calcific tendonitis or rotator cuff tears, which may require surgery, with neglect or poor treatment.

Shoulder impingement being the primary cause, it is vital to thoroughly assess and correct the shoulder biomechanics to prevent future shoulder impingement episodes and subsequent rotator cuff tendonitis.