Shoulder tendinitis is the irritation or thickening of the tendons in the rotator cuff, which can make lifting your shoulder or moving your arm difficult. This type of injury can be treated with simple, conservative, and non-surgical methods, provided there is no tear in the tendon.
An orthopedic doctor specializing in upper extremity conditions can provide expert treatment for shoulder tendinitis. Below, we give you a guide to treating shoulder tendinitis.
Rest Your Arm and Shoulder
Activity modification is an important part of shoulder tendonitis treatment. Give your shoulder time to rest and allow inflamed tissues to heal. Avoid activities that put a strain on the shoulder, such as heavy lifting or overhead motions, so as not to worsen the irritation.
Use Cold Therapy
An ice pack can do wonders for a painful shoulder. The cold temperature has a numbing effect, which eases pain. It also lowers inflammation, which is important to healing. Just don’t go overboard with it – 20 minutes at a time is enough to assist tissue healing. There are shoulder ice packs you can buy to make it easier to apply to your shoulder.
Apply Heat Therapy
There are wearable devices that apply heat and massage the shoulder area, both of which can improve circulation and relax muscles, preventing spasms that worsen the pain. However, the use of such a device should be approved by a doctor or physical therapist. Taking a warm shower can be a form of heat therapy, as is using a heating pad or warm compress. Typically, heat therapy is started after inflammation has gone down.
Take Pain Relief Medications
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation from shoulder tendinitis. If you are currently on prescription medication, check with your doctor first before taking any OTC medication for your shoulder injury.
Physical therapy plays a crucial role in treating shoulder tendinitis. A physical therapist can prescribe targeted exercises that strengthen shoulder muscles and improve flexibility, such as pendulum swings, external rotations, and scapular stabilization exercises. Your problem could be a result of overuse, fatigue, poor form or technique, or bad posture. The physical therapist will guide you throughout the rehabilitation process and educate you on how to prevent shoulder tendinitis.
Make a Gradual Return to Activity
As your symptoms improve, gradually reintroduce activities and exercises that involve the shoulder. Start with low-impact movements and gradually increase the intensity and duration. Listen to your body and avoid pushing through pain or overexerting yourself. Follow your physical therapist’s recommendations.
Make Lifestyle Modifications
Making certain lifestyle modifications can support your recovery. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet to support tissue healing, manage your weight to reduce stress on the shoulder joint, and ensure you get enough rest and sleep for optimal recovery.
Continue with Preventive Techniques
After completing physical therapy, it’s essential to continue following the exercise program and recommendations provided by your therapist. Engaging in regular strength and flexibility exercises can help maintain shoulder health and prevent future flare-ups. Continue to stay mindful of your posture and ergonomics, too.
Shoulder Tendinitis Treatment in Miami Lakes, FL
For the expert treatment of shoulder tendinitis, choose Dr. Tosca Kinchelow at The Orthopedic Hand and Arm Center in Miami Lakes. Dr. Kinchelow has advanced training in the treatment of hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder conditions and uses regenerative medicine to help boost recovery. For a proper diagnosis and treatment, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kinchelow. Call our office today at (888) 908-9036 or use our convenient online request form.