Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

Situation: The rotator cuff refers to a group of muscles that provide stability to the shoulder joint and assist with elevation and rotation movements of the shoulder. The muscles extend from the shoulder blade and are attached to the upper arm bone by the rotator cuff tendons. During contraction of the rotator cuff muscles, tension is placed through the rotator cuff muscles and tendons. Rotator cuff tendonitis is a condition that occurs with damage, inflammation, and degeneration of one or more of the rotator cuff tendons.

Causes: Rotator cuff tendonitis most commonly occurs due to repetitive or prolonged activities placing strain on the rotator cuff. This typically occurs as a result of excessive lifting, overhead activities, lying on the affected side, pushing, pulling, or prolonged use of the arm in front of the body. Occasionally, the condition may occur traumatically when excessively high force stresses the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff tendonitis may also occur following a rotator cuff tear. In athletes, rotator cuff tendonitis is frequently seen in throwing sports, swimming, racquet sports, weight lifting, and paddling sports.

Symptoms: The symptoms of rotator cuff tendonitis usually develop gradually over a period of time. Often, the pain associated with this condition is experienced as an ache in the shoulder that increases to a sharper pain with certain activities. Occasionally, pain may also be experienced in the upper arm, shoulder blade, upper back or neck. Patients with rotator cuff tendonitis will usually experience pain or difficulty when lifting heavy objects.

Treatment: Treatment options can include chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage therapy. The chiropractor will diagnose your condition and determine what type of treatments and modalities are appropriate for you.

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