Rotator cuff tendinitis, also known as shoulder impingement syndrome, is a common condition that affects the shoulder joint. It is characterized by inflammation of the tendons and muscles that attach the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone. This inflammation can cause pain and discomfort, and can make it difficult to perform daily activities.
The most common symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis are pain and weakness in the shoulder joint. Pain is typically felt in the front of the shoulder and can radiate down the arm. Weakness may make it difficult to lift objects or perform other tasks that require the use of the shoulder. Other symptoms may include stiffness in the shoulder, a popping or clicking sound when moving the shoulder, and difficulty sleeping due to pain.
Rotator cuff tendinitis is often caused by repetitive overhead movements, such as those performed by athletes, painters, or carpenters. It can also be caused by a sudden injury, such as a fall or collision. Other risk factors for developing rotator cuff tendinitis include age, as the tendons become less flexible and more prone to injury as we get older, and certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or thyroid disorders.
Diagnosis of rotator cuff tendinitis usually begins with a physical examination, during which the doctor will assess the range of motion and strength of the affected shoulder. Imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, may also be ordered to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions, such as a shoulder fracture.
Treatment for rotator cuff tendinitis typically involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, and pain management. Resting the shoulder and avoiding repetitive overhead movements can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Physical therapy can help improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the shoulder. Pain management may include over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, or prescription pain medication, depending on the severity of the pain.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair a severely damaged rotator cuff tendon. This may involve arthroscopic surgery, during which small incisions are made in the shoulder and a tiny camera is used to guide the surgeon, or open surgery, during which a larger incision is made.
Rotator cuff tendinitis is a common condition that can cause pain and discomfort in the shoulder joint. It is often caused by repetitive overhead movements or a sudden injury, and is more common in older individuals or those with certain medical conditions. Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination and imaging tests, and treatment may involve rest, physical therapy, pain management, or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.