Rotator cuff tendonitis treatment really doesn't vary that much from clinician to clinician. There is a treatment protocol that is considered generally accepted standard of care. Although individual protocols may vary slightly from each other the basic components are the same. This article will discuss the basics of a rotator cuff tendonitis treatment protocol.
It is important to know what rotator cuff tendonitis is. The rotator cuff are a group of 4 muscles in the shoulder. They are responsible for rotating our shoulder and for helping to elevate our arm/shoulder over our head. What they truly do is much more complex than this but for the purposes of this article that is what you need to know. Tendonitis means that the tendon part of the muscle has become inflamed and irritated. When this happens you will experience shoulder or upper arm pain, usually with movement of the shoulder, especially overhead motion. Lifting can cause pain as well and you may begin to lose range of motion if the problem persists for too long.
Treatment for rotator cuff tendonitis typically begins with a trip to your doctor. Your MD will diagnose the problem and may suggest anti-inflammatory medication or a cortisone injection. If the symptoms are relatively new they may tell you to simply rest the shoulder and come back in two weeks for a check up. If it's not better then they may suggest an injection at that time. Physical therapy is often recommended to treat shoulder pain. Physical therapy will consist of therapeutic exercises, modalities, and manual therapy.
The rotator cuff repair exercises that are prescribed for a tendonitis are typically the same no matter where you go. They are specifically designed to strengthen the rotator cuff and to improve flexibility if stiffness has set in. It is important to remember that you shouldn't just perform any exercises. You need specific instruction in how to perform the correct exercises and what to watch out for. Modalities may vary depending on the clinician that is working with you. Some people experience relief with modalities while others don't. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to it. The physical therapist may also include manual therapy (hands on therapy) to help speed the healing process along.
These are the basics of a rotator cuff tendonitis treatment protocol. If you have shoulder pain and you haven't been offered the type of intervention I have described then you should consult with your physician and discuss the options available to you. If you are already receiving treatment but not improving then you may need to take matters into your own hands.
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