The Complete Guide to Understanding and Treating Shoulder Tendonitis: Say Goodbye to the Pain!


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Are you tired of dealing with the constant pain and discomfort of shoulder tendonitis?

Shoulder tendonitis, also known as rotator cuff tendonitis, is a common condition that occurs when the tendons in your shoulder become inflamed.

This can be caused by overuse, repetitive motions, or even aging. The symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, making everyday activities a challenge. But fear not!

Our guide will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to understand and effectively treat shoulder tendonitis. We will explore various treatment options, including exercises, stretches, and lifestyle changes that can help alleviate pain and promote healing.

Causes and risk factors

Shoulder tendonitis can be caused by overuse, repetitive motions, sudden injuries, or age-related degeneration. People who are most at risk for shoulder tendonitis include athletes, people who work in jobs that require repetitive overhead motions, and people over the age of 40.

Signs and symptoms of shoulder tendonitis

The most common symptom of shoulder tendonitis is pain in the shoulder joint. The pain may be worse with certain movements, such as reaching overhead, throwing, or lifting. Other symptoms of shoulder tendonitis include weakness, stiffness, and a crackling or grinding sensation in the shoulder joint.

Diagnosing shoulder tendonitis

If you think you may have shoulder tendonitis, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical examination. They may also order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment options

There are several treatment options for shoulder tendonitis. The best treatment for you will depend on the severity of your condition and your individual needs.

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Conservative approach

You could easily treat most cases of shoulder tendonitis with conservative measures, such as:

  • Rest: Avoiding activities that cause pain is important for allowing the tendons to heal.
  • Ice: Applying ice to the shoulder for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joint and improve your range of motion.

    Gentle Exercises

    Here are some exercises which can be beneficial to you.

    1. Pendulum Swings:

    • Stand or sit with your good arm resting on a chair or table for support.
    • Let your affected arm hang limply by your side.
    • Using your core muscles, gently swing your arm back and forth in small circles.
    • Gradually increase the range of motion as you feel comfortable.

    2. Neck Rolls:

    • Sit or stand with your shoulders relaxed and back straight.
    • Slowly roll your head in a circular motion, first clockwise, then counterclockwise.
    • Repeat 5-10 times in each direction.

    3. Shoulder Blade Squeezes:

    • Sit or stand with your arms at your sides and palms facing inward.
    • Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together, holding for 5 seconds.
    • Relax and repeat 10-15 times.

    4. Doorway Chest Stretch:

    • Stand in a doorway with your arms bent at 90 degrees and elbows resting on either side of the frame.
    • Slowly lean forward through the doorway, keeping your back straight.
    • You should feel a gentle stretch in your chest and shoulders. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.


    • Always listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain.
    • Start with small movements and gradually increase the range of motion and repetitions as you feel comfortable.
    • Warm up before and cool down after your exercises with gentle stretches.
    • If your pain persists or worsens, consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Surgical intervention

In some cases, you may require surgery to repair damaged tendons. Usually, doctors recommend surgery if conservative measures have not been successful or if the tendon is severely torn.

Rehabilitation and exercises for shoulder tendonitis

Once the pain and inflammation have subsided, it is important to begin a rehabilitation program to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joint and improve your range of motion. A physical therapist can help you design a safe and effective exercise program.

Preventing shoulder tendonitis

There are several things you can do to help prevent shoulder tendonitis, such as:

  • Warming up before activities that involve overhead motions.
  • Strengthening the muscles around the shoulder joint.
  • Maintaining good posture.
  • Avoiding repetitive overhead motions.

Alternative therapies for shoulder tendonitis

In addition to traditional treatment, several alternative therapies may be helpful for shoulder tendonitis, such as:

  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Chiropractic care

    Additional tips

    • Be patient. It takes time for tendons to heal.
    • Don’t try to push through the pain. If an activity causes pain, stop doing it.
    • Listen to your body. If you have any concerns about your treatment, be sure to talk to your doctor.


Shoulder tendonitis can cause pain and discomfort. However, with proper treatment and rehabilitation, most people can recover from shoulder tendonitis and return to their normal activities.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, it is important to see a doctor to get a diagnosis and discuss treatment options.