Get answers to your Shoulder and Elbow questions.
Swimmer's shoulder; Pitcher's shoulder; Shoulder impingement syndrome; Tennis shoulder; Tendinitis - rotator cuff; Rotator cuff tendinitis; Shoulder overuse syndrome
TENDINITIS OR IMPINGEMENT SYNDROME
Treatment involves resting the shoulder and avoiding activities that cause pain. It may involve:
For more information about managing your symptoms at home and returning to sports or other activities, see Rotator cuff - self-care.
You should start physical therapy to learn exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your rotator cuff.
If the pain persists or if therapy is not possible because of severe pain, a steroid injection may reduce pain and swelling in the injured tendons, to allow effective therapy.
With rest and exercise, symptoms often improve or go away. However, this may take weeks or months to occur.
Arthroscopic surgery can remove inflamed tissue and part of the bone that lies over the rotator cuff. Removing the bone may relieve the pressure on the tendons.
ROTATOR CUFF TEARS
Someone with a partial rotator cuff tear who does not normally place a lot of demand on the shoulder can try rest and exercise.
If the rotator cuff has had a complete tear, or if the symptoms persist despite conservative therapy, surgery to repair the tendon may be needed. Most of the time, arthroscopic surgery can be used. Some large tears require open surgery to repair the torn tendon.
Many people recover full function after a combination of medications, physical therapy, and steroid injections after an episode of rotator cuff tendinitis. Some may need to change or reduce the amount of time they play certain sports to remain pain-free.
People with tears of their rotator cuff tend to do well, although their outcome is strongly dependent upon the size of the tear and how long the tear has been present, as well as their age and pre-injury level of function.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if persistent shoulder pain occurs. Also call if symptoms do not improve with treatment.
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