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Shoulder Rotator Cuff  Tendinitis

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

Rotator cuff tendonitis is an inflammation of a group of muscles in the shoulder, together with an inflammation of the lubricating mechanism known as the BURSA. Normal Bursa allows for smooth gliding of tendons or muscles over each other without causing friction and inflammation within the rotator cuff complex. Bursitis is often seen together with tendinitis of the rotator cuff. In selected cases, rotator cuff bursitis can exist on its own. In chronic cases of tendinitis, it may progress to develop rotator cuff tears and or frozen shoulder.

What Causes Rotator Cuff Tendinitis?

Unlike other shoulder injuries, rotator cuff tendinitis is caused directly by repetitive actions such as lifting, washing cars or windows, or overhead actions. It may also occur as a result of an injury. Rotator cuff injuries are the most common reason for shoulder pain in children, adolescents, and adults. In elderly patients, it is the lack of movement and/or exercises of the shoulder and repeated overhead movements that precipitate rotator cuff bursitis and tendinitis.

Symptoms of Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

Pain may occur at the front of the shoulder to the sides of the arm. The sensation of dull pain also lingers during activity and rest, it is likely to be aggravated by raising the arm or an overhead action.
Restricted movement
The symptoms are typically aggravated when the arms are raised overhead or when attempting to reach behind one’s body, such as scooting an object from the backseat of a car.
The affected area is tender to touch and may show symptoms such as swelling, redness, or warmth.

A Message On Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

A rotator cuff bursitis and tendinitis are associated with non-traumatic day-to-day activities. It may be associated with household chores such as cooking washing or wiping windows and floors. It is slow progressive development of shoulder pain.

Depending on the location of bursitis within the rotator cuff, the shoulder pain can be front or back of the shoulder, side of the arm, and even radiate down to the hand. Its presentation may be difficult to differentiate from rotator cuff sprain or tear.

If tendinitis and bursitis are treated early, they will not progress to rotator cuff tear or frozen shoulder. It should be treated before the restriction of movement or immobility sets in. This is highly reversible. If left alone, it will progress to a frozen shoulder.

Diagnosing Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

Here at Singapore Paincare, our team of experienced primary care physicians and pain care specialists together with an orthopedic surgeon will evaluate your condition. This includes a physical exam, questions about your symptoms and an evaluation of your medical history. An MRI scan may be needed to evaluate the condition. X-ray and CT scans can only evaluate bony problems and not bursitis or tendinitis.

What Treatments Are Available for Rotator Cuff Tendinitis?

In many instances, non-surgical treatments methods can provide excellent outcomes. At Singapore Paincare, we strive to treat your pain with the least invasive option possible after accurately identifying the cause. Our approach to pain resolution focuses on the removal of pain generators via specialised injection and minimally invasive procedures. Combined with pharmacological treatments and cognitive and physical rehabilitative therapies – we help patients improve functions and prevent pain from recurring.

Non-surgical Treatments for Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

Physiotherapy and exercises
The treatments and exercises formulated by our specialists help to improve the flexibility of your shoulders and increase your range of motion. Muscle exercise can also reduce pain and prevent damage from worsening.
Myospan Injections

Our doctors will use our proprietary Myofree injections to inject local anaesthetics and steroids into the respective inflamed tendons and bursa. Once the local anaesthetic bath the inflamed bursa and tendon, the pain will settle down quickly. Weak steroids are added for a sustained effect to provide a prolonged relief of pain. In selected cases, our doctors may also recommend an injection of platelet-rich plasma to increase the speed of recovery.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs may be prescribed to help minimize pain and swelling.

Surgical Treatments for Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

In most cases, rotator cuff tendinitis can be treated with non-surgical methods. Generally, tendinitis and bursitis are not treated surgically. Furthermore, surgery always comes with associated risks, complications, and downtime – it may not be suitable for everyone.

There are various forms of surgery available for rotator cuff tendinitis, such as subacromial decompression and acromioplasty. The surgery is performed by removing a spur on the acromion. Bursectomy and rotator cuff repair are also alternatives for the condition.

How Can I Prevent A Rotator Cuff Tendinitis?

Accidents can happen at any time and it’s possible to have this condition despite taking all the right precautions. Here are a few tips for preventing rotator cuff tendinitis:

  • Keep the shoulders supple and flexible
  • Strengthen the rotator cuff by doing exercises that target both small and large muscles of the shoulder
  • Avoid activities with repetitive overhead arm action
  • Treat rotator cuff tendinitis and bursitis early. Any shoulder pain that persists for more than 1 week should be evaluated and treated.

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