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What is Shoulder Tendonitis?

Shoulder tendonitis is a condition characterised by inflammation of the tendons which connect the muscles to the shoulder bones. Tendonitis of the rotator cuff tendons is known as rotator cuff tendonitis. If the biceps tendon is affected, the condition is known as bicipital tendonitis.

Causes of Shoulder Tendonitis

Causes include:

  • Repetitive overhead movements
  • Sports injury
  • Trauma
  • Heavy lifting activity

Symptoms of Shoulder Tendonitis

Symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty to move the arm
  • Swelling
  • Clicking sound while raising arms
  • Reduced strength of shoulder muscles

Diagnosis of Shoulder Tendonitis

Your doctor will carry out a physical examination and often the following tests:

  • X-ray: This study uses high electromagnetic energy beams that produce images of the bones.
  • MRI Scan: This study produces images that help in detecting damage to soft tissues using large magnetic fields and radio waves.
  • Ultrasonography: This study uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the internal parts of the shoulder.

Treatment for Shoulder Tendonitis

Treatment is mainly focused on reducing pain and increasing mobility. The treatment methods include:

Conservative methods

  • Medications: Your doctor will provide you with anti-inflammatory pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce shoulder pain.
  • Rest: You will be instructed to take proper rest to reduce the stress on your shoulder.
  • Ice: You need to apply ice for 15-20 mins every day to reduce the pain and inflammation.
  • Heat: A heating pad should be used to reduce stiffness once your pain subsides.
  • Physiotherapy: Your doctor will instruct you to carry out physical exercises to increase muscle strength.

Surgical methods

  • Dry needling: Your doctor will make small holes in the tendon using fine needles to improve healing by stimulating growth factors.
  • Ultrasonic treatment: This is a minimally invasive procedure in which a small incision is made, and a special instrument is inserted that uses ultrasonic sound waves to remove damaged tendon tissue and scars.
  • Surgery: Surgery is done when the rotator cuff or biceps tendons are severely damaged or torn. During the surgery, the damaged tendon is repaired and reattached to the bone.
  • NHS
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
British Elbow & Shoulder Society
  • Swor and D

Hospitals Attended

  • Stratford Hospital

    South Warwickshire
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Arden St, Stratford-upon-Avon,
    CV37 6NX
    Driving Directions
    NHS Secretary: Phae Maxwell

    Ext 4798
  • Nuffield Health
    Warwickshire Hospital

    The Chase, Old Milverton Lane
    Leamington Spa
    CV32 6RW
    Driving Directions

  • Warwick Hospital

    South Warwickshire
    NHS Foundation Trust
    Lakin Road, Warwick,
    CV34 5BW
    Driving Directions
    NHS Secretary: Phae Maxwell

    Ext 4798
  • The Grafton Suite,
    Building One

    Stratford Hospital, Arden Street
    CV37 6NX
    Driving Directions

  • The Cherwell Hospital

    Oxford Rd, Banbury
    OX16 9FG
    Driving Directions


  • Spire Parkway (Solihull)

    1 Damson Pkwy,
    Solihull B91 2PP,
    United Kingdom
    Driving Directions

  • South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nuffield Health
The Grafton Suite - South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • Swor and D
  • Swor and D