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Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy Treatment

Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy Treatment

Perth Shoulder Physio are experts in rotator cuff tendinopathy treatment in Perth. We are the only clinic in Perth to focus specifically on shoulder pain and we consider rotator cuff tendinopathy treatment to be the cornerstone of our practice. Effective rotator cuff treatment may prevent long term damage like rotator cuff tears.

General physiotherapists are seldom required to treat shoulders so they often find rotator cuff tendinopathy treatment challenging. Perth Shoulder Physio focuses specifically on shoulder pain so book an appointment now if you would like expert rotator cuff treatment to give you the best chance of avoiding chronic shoulder pain.

Note: This page contains general information on rotator cuff tendinopathy treatment in Perth. More specific advice and management can be provided in person at Perth Shoulder Physio.

Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy or Tendonitis Treatment?

Rotator cuff tendinopathy is the currently accepted term for a painful or dysfunctional rotator cuff tendon. The term rotator cuff tendonitis treatment is still commonly used however ‘itis’ infers inflammation, which is not always present in rotator cuff tendon pathology. For the purpose of this page, we will discuss rotator cuff tendinopathy treatment rather than rotator cuff tendonitis treatment.

To understand rotator cuff tendinopathy, you must first understand the anatomy and function of the rotator cuff muscles and tendons. Click here to read about the rotator cuff muscles on our rotator cuff tear page.

There are three stages of rotator cuff tendinopathy:

  • Reactive Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy: acutely swollen (think inflamed) and often painful tendon
  • Rotator Cuff Tendon Dysrepair: Failed healing of a reactive rotator cuff tendinopathy
  • Degenerative Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy: Chronically degenerative rotator cuff tendon that may extend into a rotator cuff tear

Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

The symptoms and treatment of rotator cuff tendinopathy are dictated by the stage of tendinopathy.

Reactive Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy Symptoms:

  • Shoulder pain and weakness when raising the arm over head
  • Increased shoulder pain and weakness with resisted movements
  • There is commonly pain when lying on the affected shoulder at night
  • Note that these symptoms are almost identical to a rotator cuff tear

Rotator Cuff Tendon Dysrepair and Degenerative Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy symptoms:

  • Symptoms are similar to a reactive tendinopathy however weakness and dysfunction may be more of an issue than pain

Causes of Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

Causes of a Reactive Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

A reactive rotator cuff tendinopathy can develop when the shoulder is subjected to an unaccustomed load. It is important to note that the load must be greater than the tolerance of the individual’s rotator cuff tendon. The load that the tendon can tolerate will be very different for an overhead athlete versus a sedentary middle-aged person. For example, a reactive rotator cuff tendinopathy may develop if an athlete increases their training sessions dramatically or if a sedentary person simply performs more housework than usual or starts throwing the ball to their dog.

Causes of Rotator Cuff Tendon Dyrepair

Rotator cuff tendon disrepair may develop if there is incorrect rotator cuff tendinopathy management.

Causes of Degenerative Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

Incorrect shoulder tendinopathy treatment may eventually progress into a degenerative rotator cuff tendinopathy. It is also common for tendon to degenerate if it’s insufficiently loaded over an extended period of time.

Rotator Cuff Treatment Perth

This section includes general advice on shoulder tendinopathy treatment in Perth that may benefit you. Four rotator cuff tendons and three stages of tendinopathy make it impossible to provide generic rotator cuff tendinopathy treatment that will benefit everyone. Fortunately, Perth Shoulder Physio can assess your shoulder injury and implement the plan that’s correct for your individual circumstances.

Physiotherapy Treatment for Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

Reactive Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy Treatment:

  • Rest from activities that cause shoulder pain
  • Massage, dry needling and other manual therapy to ease pain and muscle tension
  • Specific rotator cuff strengthening exercises to ease pain and maintain muscle strength

Tendon Dysrepair and Degenerative Rotator Cuff Treatment:

  • Specific and progressive rotator cuff strengthening exercises

Medical Management of Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy:

  • Anti inflammatory medication for reactive rotator cuff tendinopathy
  • Cortisone injection for reactive rotator cuff tendinopathy if required
  • Blood injections for degenerative tendinopathy if required

Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy Exercises

All stages of rotator cuff tendinopathy require specific rotator cuff strengthening exercises of varying intensity. Read more about rotator cuff strengthening exercises for tendinopathy here.

Ready to recover and get pain free?

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