Understanding Tendonitis in Shoulder: Symptoms and Treatment

Shoulder tendonitis is a common condition that affects many people, but it’s often misunderstood. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including repetitive motions and overuse. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, it’s important to understand the symptoms and explore your treatment options. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about tendonitis in shoulder, including its causes, symptoms, stages, diagnosis, treatment options, home care tips, and prevention methods. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about shoulder tendonitis and introduce you to our team of London physiotherapy experts who can help you get back on track.

What is Shoulder Tendonitis?

Maintaining an active lifestyle is vital, but overuse and repetitive motions can cause shoulder tendonitis. This condition is characterised by inflammation of the tendons, leading to pain, weakness, and stiffness in the affected area. Tendonitis in shoulder is common among athletes and those who regularly use their arms for work or other activities. Fortunately, several treatment options are available to alleviate pain and promote healing, including rest, ice therapy, physical therapy, medication, and surgery in severe cases. Additionally, stretching before engaging in physical activities and using proper techniques can help prevent tendonitis.

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The Cause of Tendonitis in Shoulder

For many people, shoulder tendonitis can be a frustrating and painful condition to deal with. There are several causes that can lead to this including repetitive motions, ageing, poor posture, and inadequate warm-up or cool-down before physical activity. Repetitive motions from sports or work activities increase the risk of developing tendonitis. As we age, tendons become less elastic and more susceptible to injury. Incorrect posture during activities can also cause unnecessary strain on the shoulder joint leading to inflammation of tendons. An insufficient warm-up or cool-down before physical activity can increase the risk of developing tendonitis in shoulder.

Symptoms of Tendonitis in Arm and Shoulder

Pain and stiffness in the shoulder are common symptoms of shoulder tendonitis. In addition, swelling, tenderness around the joint, difficulty moving the arm, and weakness in the affected area are also observed. These symptoms may worsen at night or with repetitive movements such as reaching or lifting objects overhead. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms to prevent further damage to your shoulder.

Stages of Shoulder Tendonitis

Shoulder tendonitis progresses through four stages, each with its own characteristic symptoms. In the first stage, inflammation of the tendon results in pain and tenderness in the shoulder, particularly when lifting or reaching. If left untreated, the condition may progress to tendinosis, where pain continues even at rest and there is weakness in the shoulder. In stage three, a partial tear causes significant pain and difficulty lifting the arm. Stage four involves a complete tear of the tendon, resulting in a loss of function and severe pain. Treatment options vary depending on the stage of tendonitis and can range from physical therapy to surgery.

Diagnosis of Shoulder Tendonitis

Diagnosis of tendonitis in shoulder is essential for early intervention and treatment. A physical exam is the first step in diagnosis, where a healthcare professional checks for pain, swelling, and limited range of motion. They may also ask about the patient’s medical history and inquire about any previous injuries or conditions that may contribute to their symptoms. Imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans may be used to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions causing similar symptoms. Early diagnosis can prevent further damage to the tendons and promote faster healing with appropriate treatment options.

Shoulder Tendonitis Treatment Options

When it comes to treating shoulder tendonitis, there are several options available depending on the severity of the condition. Rest and ice can be helpful in reducing pain and swelling in the affected area. Physical therapy is also an effective treatment option that can help strengthen the upper body muscles while promoting mobility and flexibility. Additionally, medications such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to manage pain and inflammation. In more severe cases, corticosteroid injections or surgery may be necessary to repair or remove damaged tendons in the shoulder. It is essential to work with a medical professional to determine the best treatment plan based on individual needs and circumstances.

Physiotherapy for Tendonitis in Shoulder

Maintaining an active lifestyle is crucial for keeping your body healthy, but sometimes it can lead to issues such as shoulder tendonitis. If you’re dealing with this condition, physical therapy can be a great treatment option. Physiotherapists can develop a customized plan to reduce pain and inflammation while improving range of motion and strength in the affected joiny. Through stretches, strengthening exercises, and range-of-motion exercises, patients can achieve successful rehabilitation with consistency and adherence to the treatment plan. With proper care and attention, you can get back to your normal daily activities without any pain or discomfort.

tendonitis in shoulder London

Steroid Injection for Shoulder Tendonitis

Steroid injections are a common treatment option for tendonitis in shoulder that can provide significant relief. The injection is administered directly into the affected area to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. It may take a few days for the full effects of the injection to be felt, but it can provide long-lasting pain relief. However, it’s important to note that steroid injections should not be used as a standalone treatment and should be combined with other therapies such as physical therapy and rest to effectively manage shoulder tendonitis. Consult with your doctor to see if steroid injections are an appropriate treatment option for you.

Surgery for Shoulder Tendonitis

When other treatment options fail to provide relief from shoulder tendonitis, surgery may be recommended by a healthcare professional. This is typically the last resort and is only considered when the tendon is completely torn or conservative treatments have not been effective in managing symptoms. Surgery for tendonitis in shoulder can involve various procedures such as arthroscopic surgery or rotator cuff repair, depending on the severity and location of the injury. The recovery time and rehabilitation process will vary based on the type of surgery performed.

Home Care for Shoulder Tendonitis

Maintaining an active lifestyle is important, but it’s also essential to prioritize recovery and rest when treating tendonitis in shoulder. Home care is a critical component of the healing process and can help reduce pain and inflammation. Resting the affected joint, applying ice packs, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers are all useful methods for managing symptoms. Additionally, gentle exercises and stretches can promote healing and prevent stiffness while avoiding activities that aggravate the shoulder can accelerate recovery. With proper home care practices, individuals with tendonitis in shoulder can experience significant relief from their symptoms.

Prevention of Shoulder Tendonitis

Maintaining good posture while sitting and standing is crucial in preventing tendonitis in shoulder. Poor posture places unnecessary stress on the muscles and tendons of the upper body, leading to overuse injuries. Gradually increasing the intensity and duration of physical activity can also prevent overuse injuries that may lead to tendonitis. Additionally, warming up before exercise prepares the muscles and tendons for activity, reducing the risk of injury. Strengthening exercises recommended by a physical therapist or doctor can also help prevent shoulder tendonitis by improving muscle support around the joint. Seeking medical attention at the first sign of discomfort is critical in preventing further damage to the shoulder.

FAQs on Shoulder Tendonitis

As tendonitis in shoulder is a common problem, many people have several questions about it. Understanding the cause and symptoms of tendonitis is crucial for its treatment. Some frequently asked questions include what causes tendonitis in shoulder, how it’s diagnosed by a doctor, and what non-surgical treatment options are available. Other important questions include when surgery is necessary to treat shoulder tendonitis, and what the recovery process entails after surgery. Our team of experts has answers to all these questions and can provide individualized advice based on your specific needs.

Meet Our Team of Experts

Our team of London physiotherapy experts comprises skilled professionals who specialize in providing comprehensive treatment for shoulder tendonitis. With years of experience and an extensive knowledge base, they are equipped to offer customized solutions that cater to the specific needs of each patient. By combining their expertise with state-of-the-art technology, they can accurately diagnose the condition and create a treatment plan that ensures optimal recovery. From physiotherapy and medication to advanced surgical procedures, our team is committed to providing effective and personalized care that helps patients regain their mobility and quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common symptoms of shoulder tendonitis?

The most common symptoms of shoulder tendonitis include pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. The pain may worsen with activity, particularly with overhead movements. There may also be swelling and tenderness in the affected area.

If left untreated, shoulder tendonitis can lead to chronic pain and weakness in the upper body. It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms to ensure proper treatment and prevent further damage.

What are the potential causes of shoulder tendonitis?

Getting tendonitis in shoulder joints can have several potential causes. Overuse or repetitive strain is one of the most common culprits, but it can also be caused by an injury like a fall or impact. Poor posture or mechanics during physical activity can contribute to shoulder tendonitis as well. Finally, ageing and degeneration of the tendons can also lead to this condition. If you are experiencing symptoms of tendonitis in shoulder joints, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

What are some non-surgical treatment options for shoulder tendonitis?

Non-surgical treatment options nclude rest and avoiding activities that aggravate the shoulder, applying ice or heat to reduce pain and inflammation, physiotherapy exercises to strengthen shoulder muscles and improve flexibility, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen for relief from pain and swelling.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any treatment plan to ensure proper diagnosis and management of symptoms.

When is surgery necessary for treating shoulder tendonitis?

Surgery is typically considered a last resort for treating tendonitis in shoulder joints. If conservative treatments like rest, physical therapy, and medication do not improve symptoms after several months, surgery may be recommended. Surgical options may include arthroscopic or open surgery to repair or remove damaged tissue.

It’s important to make the decision to undergo surgery in consultation with a healthcare professional who can help determine if it is necessary for your specific condition and situation.

What does tendonitis feel like in shoulder?

Tendonitis in the shoulder can cause pain, stiffness, and a limited range of motion. The pain is described as a dull ache that worsens with movement. You may also experience tenderness or swelling around the affected area. You may also feel a popping or cracking sensation when moving your shoulder.


Tendonitis in the shoulder, specifically rotator cuff tendonitis, is a common condition that affects the tendons and muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. This inflammation of the rotator cuff can cause pain and restrict everyday activities, especially in those who frequently participate in racket sports or other activities that strain the upper arm. The rotator cuff is composed of four muscles that help stabilize the shoulder blade (scapula) and the upper arm bone (humerus) in the shoulder socket.

Rotator cuff tendinitis often occurs in conjunction with other shoulder conditions, such as bursitis, impingement, arthritis, or a rotator cuff tear. These issues may be caused by repetitive stress, overuse, or injury to the soft tissue structures of the shoulder, including the biceps tendon and the bursa. An ultrasound or arthroscopy may be used to obtain images of internal tissues to identify the source of irritation and inform medical advice for long-term treatment.

To alleviate pain and inflammation, physicians may recommend conservative treatments such as rest, compression, and over-the-counter medications like aspirin. In some cases, a sling may be used to immobilize the injured arm temporarily. If conservative treatments are insufficient, cortisone injections or surgical interventions, such as removing bone spurs or addressing shoulder impingement, may be necessary. It is crucial to seek medical advice promptly for shoulder injuries to prevent long-term complications and ensure proper healing.

In conclusion, Shoulder Tendonitis is a painful condition that can significantly impact your daily activities. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. There are several treatment options available, ranging from physical therapy and steroid injections to surgery. Additionally, home care measures such as rest and ice packs can help alleviate the pain. Prevention is always better than cure, so it’s essential to take measures to avoid tendonitis in shoulder joints by maintaining good posture, stretching before exercise, and avoiding repetitive motions. If you’re looking for expert advice on shoulder tendonitis treatment or prevention, our team of experts is always here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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Contact us today to learn more!


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