Rotator Cuff Tendonopathy

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INJURY TITLE

Rotator Cuff Tendonopathy

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

A very common cause of shoulder pain.  The tendons attaching the muscles to the arm bone can become swollen.  Can be a result of poor shoulder biomechanics (primary tendinopathy) or from excessive loads or impingement (secondary tendinopathy)

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

Any sport that requires a directional bias in technique can give rise to this injury.  Front crawl swimmers for example gain excessive strength in the muscles on the front of their shoulder.  This can lead to a change in the resting position of the shoulder joint.  This change is position can reduce the amount of room the shoulder joint needs to move pain free.  This can lead to whats called a shoulder impingement.

 

Tedinopathy is a drop in tendon quality.  This is not to say the tendon will rip or tear.  However, what were considered normal stresses and loads may become too much for the newly depleted tendon to cope with.  This is translated as pain and difficulty with movement (the shoulder in this case).  A shoulder impingement has a tendency to reduce the blood flow to the tendons in question and this will promote the right conditions for a tendinopathy to occur.

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Pain over the shoulder joint – can also go into the upper arm
  • Difficulty with overhead activities (throwing, swimming)
  • Can be either injury related or can come on by itself.

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

Usually diagnosed by a well-executed clinical assessment.  If further scans or tests are needed, they are likely to be either and MRI or an ultrasound scan.

 

Clinically, it is best found with muscle strength tests of the rotator cuff. (?? Show these)

 

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

Although every case would be treated in accordance to the individual findings from the assessment, normal treatment would include the following:

  • Strengthening exercises for the tendons (within the limits of pain)
  • Manual therapy to address any related muscle soreness or specific points of pain (trigger points)
  • If pain is a main limiting factor the more medical approaches like anti inflammatories and cortico steroid injections could be used to lessen the symptoms.
  • Address the associated and possibly causative abnormalities (restoration of normal movement in the shoulder, normal shoulder blade movement,
  • Manual therapy to ensure that the non muscular structures around the joint do not tighten up and perpetuate the poor biomechanics.

 

Exercise Videos: i.e.

  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Pec stretch
  • etc

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X

MEDIC     X

PODIATRY     

 

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