Acute Rotator Cuff Tendonitis from Repetitive Motions


Q: Last Wednesday, I strained my shoulder reaching for something that was too high for me, it had been painful up until today, when a friend asked me to climb a brick wall that was half a foot taller than me. I ended up hurting it once more. It hurts when i move it in any way shape or form, when i lay on it, and also when i pick up something that is more than 4 pounds. What exactly did i do?


A:   The pain that you described seems to correspond to one of the most common causes of shoulder pain which is the Rotator Cuff tendinitis. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons that support the shoulder. These tendons can be injured during weight lifting, extreme efforts, when playing sports with a lot of throwing, after repetitive use over a long time or suffer degenerative changes with the aging process. Typically, the pain worsens at night, a dull ache in the upper outer arm and shoulder, it results from mechanical impingement of the rotator cuff tendon beneath the anteroinferior portion of the acromion (one of the bones of the shoulder joint), causing changes in the distal part of the rotator cuff tendon, which is at risk due to poor blood supply. Conservative treatment of the Rotator Cuff tendonitis involves: physical therapy to control pain and keep range of motion of the shoulder, avoidance of painful movements and activities; anti-inflammatory medication (i.e.: “Advil”, “Aleve”). If there is poor or no improvement, then, local corticosteroid injection may be considered.

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