Shoulder Tendonitis
Shoulder Tendonitis (or Rotator Cuff Tendonitis) is a painful inflammation of the shoulder where movements of abduction (raising the arm from the body) causes pain.
The four rotator cuff muscles (supra spinatus, infraspinatus, teres major, and teres minor) help stabilize the head of the humerus into the glenoid fossa (ball and socket).
Over-use or injury may cause inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons causing pain and weakness particularly with overhead activities ("impingement")

Predisposing factors include:
1) overuse or direct trauma
2) Weak muscles the rotator cuff muscles may be neglected (by even body builders) so specific program to work them may be necessary.
3) improper activities (improper chest presses or ballistic movements of the shoulder)
4) repetitive throwing
5) previous injuries that have not properly healed.


Early treatment includes; rest from aggravating activities, ice, and anti-inflammatories. An x-ray will not diagnose this condition but may be ordered to rule out other conditions. Strict rest is not good for the shoulder.

Cadman's Exercises can be done to allow some range of movement during the acute pain. This prevents muscle atrophy from occurring. While leaning forward the arm is gently swung in a circle like a pendulum in an arc.

Note: Early assessment by and athletic or physiotherapist is helpful in gradually restoring normal shoulder range of motion and strength.


The anti-inflammatory drugs are useful in controlling both pain and inflammation. Corticosteroids may be injected with local freezing to give relief and resolution, although a rehab exercise program is still important.

Surgery is rarely done but may help in severe cases. Return to sports may occur after the strength has returned but throwing activities should carefully be resumed.


Doing many of the same 'rotar cuff strengthening exercises' as part of a regular resistance training workout, will make the shoulder stronger and prevent overuse injury.

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