Tendonitis is typically caused by overusing a joint. It is a condition that can result in pain and tenderness, and most commonly affects the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and heel. Shoulder tendonitis often develops from participating in sports or other activities that involve repeated overhead motions, such as swimming, throwing, pitching, and racket sports.
The rotator cuff in the shoulder is made up of muscles and tendons that connect the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade. Shoulder tendonitis occurs when there is inflammation and thickening of the rotator cuff or biceps tendon. It can range from mild swelling to severe inflammation that affects the majority of the rotator cuff. The risk of tendonitis can increase with age, because tendons become less flexible and more prone to injury and inflammation.
Symptoms of Tendonitis
Shoulder tendonitis usually occurs with repeated use of the rotator cuff, which can cause the tendons in the shoulder to become irritated and swollen. This can lead to a variety of symptoms that may include:
- Pain, tenderness, and a dull, ache deep in the shoulder
- Pain that gets worse when moving the affected area
- Stiffness or an inability to move or hold the arm in certain positions, such as overhead or behind
- A grating or crackling sensation when moving the affected area
- Swelling in the affected area, sometimes along with heat or redness
- Difficulty sleeping, particularly on the affected side
When To Seek Medical Care
Shoulder tendonitis can get worse with repeated use. If pain continues for longer than three weeks or continues to get worse, you should seek medical attention. However, you should seek medical treatment immediately if you are unable to raise your arm following an injury or if you are experiencing severe pain. Symptoms of shoulder tendonitis can resemble other injuries and medical conditions and may require further investigation to diagnose it correctly.
How Shoulder Tendonitis is Diagnosed
Shoulder tendonitis is diagnosed by reviewing a patient’s medical history, assessing symptoms and circumstances that may have contributed to the condition, and by conducting a physical examination. During the examination, your doctor will assess your range of movement by asking you to perform certain movements, examine the muscles and tendons, and look for any obvious abnormalities. Further tests such as X-ray, MRI or ultrasound may be requested to make a diagnosis and rule out other conditions.
Treatment for Shoulder Tendonitis
In severe cases, if left untreated, shoulder tendonitis can lead to permanent loss of motion or strength and can cause the joint to progressively wear out. Surrounding tissues can also get scarred or thickened if the shoulder is not moved for a long time, resulting in a frozen shoulder and very limited motion.
There are several different treatment options available to help reduce pain and inflammation associated with tendonitis. Treatment will vary depending on the location and severity of the tendonitis and other factors, such as age, overall health, and personal preferences.
Treatment usually involves resting the affected area to reduce inflammation and to allow the injury to heal. Your doctor may recommend using an ice pack and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Cortisone injections may be recommended to relieve significant pain. Physical or occupational therapy can also help to restore function and flexibility, strengthen shoulder muscles, and prevent future injury.
In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged or ruptured tendons or to remove any spurs that could be impinging on the rotator cuff. For acute tears, immediate surgery is usually necessary.
Regenerative Medicine for Faster Healing
Regenerative medicine can offer a safe, natural approach to treat many different injuries, including tendonitis. These treatments aim to stimulate the body’s natural healing response rather than turning to invasive procedures and surgeries in order to repair tissue. They can also be a great alternative to prescription medications, which often fail to treat the source of the problem and can cause negative side effects. Therapies may include:
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy works to promote repair and effectively decrease pain associated with many injuries, including tendonitis, strains, and sprains. It works by utilizing important growth factors and other components found in your body’s own blood cells to stimulate repair and accelerate the natural healing process. The therapy involves taking a small sample of blood, which is then processed to concentrate the platelets and growth factors. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the affected area to promote natural healing.
- Platelet-poor plasma (PPP) is similar to PRP in that it contains plasma. However, it contains almost no platelets, but very high levels of fibrinogen, an agent that can speed up the healing of wounds.
- HTCP (human cellular tissue products) consist of human cells or tissues that are injected into the body to target and eliminate inflammation and reduce chronic forms of pain.
These types of regenerative medicine are an effective way to enhance wound healing and reduce inflammation and pain while also repairing and strengthening damaged tissue within the body.
Shoulder Tendonitis Treatment Near Me in Miami Lakes and Plantation, FL
If you are experiencing pain or limited function in your shoulder, visit The Orthopaedic Hand and Arm Center for expert orthopaedic care. We are highly experienced in diagnosing and treating all types of hand, wrist, and shoulder problems and endeavor to provide you with exceptional, state-of-the-art care.
To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation with our orthopaedic specialist Dr. Kinchelow, call us today at (888) 908-9036. Alternatively, you can use our convenient Request an Appointment form to arrange your visit.