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Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy What is it? The rotator cuff refers to a group of four muscles which run from the shoulder blade to the top of the arm and bone. They support and move the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff muscles attach to the arm bone by tendons. Rotator cuff tendinopathy refers to inflammation and swelling within one or more of these tendons. The most commonly involved tendon is that of the supraspinatus muscle. Its tendon passes through a small space between the top of the arm bone and the point of the shoulder. In this space the tendon is subsceptible to ‘wear and tear’. How does it happen? Rotator cuff tendinopathy results from overuse or injury to a rotator cuff tendon . Repetitive use of the the supraspinatus muscle and, therefore the supraspinatus tendon can rub the tendon against the edges of the bony space resulting in microscopic tears within the substance of the tendon. This is usually caused by daily activities using the arm such as manual work, sport or sometimes it can occur with no foreseen cause. How does it feel? Rotator cuff tendinopathy results in pain felt in the top of the upper arm. This is usually felt when you try to lift your arm into the air and typically develops gradually. What should you do? Rotator cuff tendinopathy generally does not get better on its own. If you have or suspect you have rotator cuff tendinopathy you should consult a physiotherapist Management The assistance of a physiotherapist is important in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinopathy. Treatment for rotator cuff tendinopathy involves activity modification, soft tissue treatment such as massage, stretching, and the progression through a series of specific strengthening exercises. These exercises are important as they will strengthen the other muscles in the rotator cuff and the surrounding area which will prevent reoccurence when you return to full activity.

Physio Professionals (07) 5438 9111

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How long will it take for my shoulder to get better? Depending on the severity of your injury recovery can take between 6-8 weeks and up to 3 months. If after this period of time you have not improved consulation with a shoulder specialist/surgeon may be required. Physiotherapist will guide you through this process. What can I do now that I’m receiving treatment? Avoid overhead activites and movements that make your arm sore. Perfom the stretches and strengthening exercises your physiotherapist has given you.

Physio Professionals (07) 5438 9111

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