The rotator cuff is a grouping of four muscles and tendons attached to the inside of your shoulder joint. Together these muscles and tendons allow your shoulder to remain stable and to move inside of the shoulder joint.
So what is rotator cuff tendinitis?
Rotator cuff tendinitis is something that happens when the tendons inside of your rotator cuff become irritated. This irritation causes the lining of the tendon to become inflamed. Normally this lining is very smooth and if it becomes inflamed it can lead to a significant torn tendon or muscle. When your tendon has been used too much or it becomes injured it can increase the chances of a torn tendon.
What usually happens is the soft tissues start to rub up against the bone of the shoulder. This leads to significant inflammation, swelling and pain.
What causes rotator cuff tendinitis?
Your shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. This means that you have a socket and a ball inside of which your bones sit. The top part of the arm bone joins together with the shoulder blade. And the rotator cuff is what holds the top of your arm bone inside of your shoulder blade and is responsible for controlling your movement.
Tendinitis happens when the tendons inside of this area move underneath the bone while they are still attached to the top part of your arm. This can take place if your tendon becomes inflamed and it can also happen when they regularly move and fray over the bone. Each time this happens it causes significantly more fraying to the shoulder. If this happens enough you can lead to a bone spur developing inside of the small area. Regular bone spurs can lead to rotator cuff tendinitis.
Most often rotator cuff tendinitis is caused by playing sports where you have to move your arm regularly over your head. This can include movements such as pitching during baseball or tennis. But it can also because by work, if you have to regularly move your arms over your head for your job. Painting and carpentry or to such examples of jobs where this can take place. Even gardening can lead to tendinitis.
The common symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis include mild pain when the arm is lifted above the head. When you try to reach for something over your head or you brush your hair you might experience mild pain at the front part of your shoulder which travels to the side of your arm. This pain should stop before it reaches your elbow. But if the mild pain does not go away it can be an indication of something much more serious.
It is in cases like this that you should meet with our Gilbert orthopedic surgeon and discuss your options. In some cases you will have to work with a licensed physical therapist to help strengthen and naturally improve the muscles around your shoulder.
OSPI accepts most insurance plans, and offers several Board Certified sports medicine doctors who are experts in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis and tears. Call 480-899-4333 for more information and scheduling today with orthopedic surgeons Gilbert and Chandler trust!