Do you suffer from pain in your shoulder? Not sure what the problem is? Then check out the shoulder tendonitis symptoms below.

Tendonitis (inflammation) of the shoulder is a common complaint. It can be both painful and restrict your ability to carry out certain activities. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. At the top of your upper arm (humerus) is a ball of bone which fits into a shallow socket, part of your shoulder blade. The shoulder joint is kept stable by a group of muscles and tendons known as the rotator cuff.  This cuff is vulnerable to damage and wear and tear.


What Is Shoulder Tendonitis?

Tendonitis of your shoulder occurs if your rotator cuff or biceps tendon become inflamed. It usually happens as a result of a tendon being pinched by surrounding structures. Inflammation can be mild to severe, where most of your rotator cuff is inflamed. Rotator cuff tendinitis is also called impingement syndrome.


 Causes of Shoulder Tendonitis

  • Tendinitis often occurs as a result of sports injuries. People who play sports such as baseball, tennis, volleyball, squash, and people who do a lot of swimming, are prone to the condition. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as ‘tennis shoulder’, ‘swimmer’s shoulder’ of ‘pitcher’s shoulder’.  These activities involve repeatedly extending the arm over the head which puts strain on the shoulder muscles and tendons.
  • People who do jobs that involve heavy lifting or overhead work such as assembly work or overhead machinery are at risk of tendinitis.
  • Tendonitis can result if you receive a direct blow to your shoulder area, or if you fall on your outstretched arm.
  • If you lift an object that is too heavy or lift something awkwardly, this can cause inflammation or a tear in the tendon.
  • You can develop the condition over time if you always sleep in the one position on the same shoulder every night.
  • As you age, you may become prone to the condition.
  • Sometimes, tendinitis can occur without any known cause.


Symptoms of Shoulder Tendinitis

If the tendonitis is minor, you may not experience any symptoms. If the tendon is mildly to severely inflamed, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Pain at the front of your shoulder and side of your arm. Pain may even extend into your neck area.
  • An arc of pain when you raise or lower your arm and your arm is about shoulder height.
  • Pain when reaching behind the back such as when you reach for your seat belt.
  • Shoulder pain that keeps you awake at night if you lie on the affected side.
  • A clicking sound when you raise your arm.
  • Swelling in the shoulder region. The area may be tender to touch. It may also feel hot.
  • Stiffness in your shoulder.
  • Restricted movement in your shoulder. Loss of strength in your affected arm.
  • If the inflammation of the tendon gets worse, your shoulder pain may be present at rest.
  • In severe cases, there may be wasting of the muscles.


How Is Shoulder Tendonitis Diagnosed?

If you’re having symptoms of shoulder tendinitis, your doctor will take a complete medical history from you, and physically examine your shoulder. She/he may order tests to confirm the diagnosis of shoulder tendonitis and rule out any other causes of your symptoms. Diagnostic procedures for shoulder tendonitis include an X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and/or ultrasound.

Do you have any of these symptoms and think you may be suffering from shoulder tendonitis? Tendonitis symptoms can resemble other conditions so always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

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