(Shoulder Tendonitis; Shoulder Tendinosis; Bicipital Tendinopathy; Bicipital Tendonitis; Bicipital Tendinosis; Supraspinatus Tendinopathy; Supraspinatus Tendonitis; Supraspinatus Tendinosis; Pitcher's Shoulder; Swimmer's Shoulder; Tennis Shoulder)
- Tendonitis—inflammation of the tendon (less common)
- Tendinosis—tiny tears in the tendon with no significant inflammation (more common)
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- Repeated reaching overhead
- Repeated throwing
- Inflammatory disease in the shoulder, such as arthritis
- Trauma to the shoulder
- Fall on outstretched arms
- Normal wear and tear associated with age
Always using the arm in an overhead position or throwing motion, as in:
- Tennis or other racquet sports
- Certain jobs, such as overhead assembly work, butchering, or using an overhead pressing machine
- Pain (a dull ache) in the shoulder and upper arm
- Pain at night, especially when sleeping on the injured side
- Pain when trying to reach for a back zipper or pocket
- Pain with overhead use of the arm
- Shoulder weakness, usually due to pain with effort
- Shoulder stiffness with some loss of motion
Rest, Ice, Heat
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Topical pain medications that are applied to the skin
- Physical therapy to strengthen muscles that control the shoulder
- Exercises to maintain normal range of motion
- Exercises for specific muscles that are used in sports or job activities
- Gradual return to sports and work
- Learning how to modify activities to prevent re-injury
- Do regular resistance exercises to strengthen the muscles.
- Use proper athletic training methods.
- Do not increase exercise duration or intensity more than 10% per week.
- Avoid overusing your arm in an overhead position.
- Alter job duties to avoid overhead activity.
- Do not ignore or try to work through shoulder pain.
Arthroscopy Association of North America http://www.aana.org
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Biceps tendonitis and biceps rupture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 18, 2014. Accessed September 29, 2014.
Bursitis and tendonitis. National Institue of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Bursitis/default.asp. Updated June 2013. Accessed September 29, 2014.
Swimmer's shoulder. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/orthopaedics-rheumatology/diseases-conditions/hic-shoulder-tendonitis. Accessed September 29, 2014.
Shoulder impingement/rotator cuff tendinitis. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00032. Updated February 2011. Accessed September 29, 2014.
10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 11/30/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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