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What issupraspinatus tendonitis?

Supraspinatustendonitis is the Latin for inflammation of the tendons of the rotatorcuff, and it is the form of tendonitis that is most commonly treated.The rotator cuff has several tendons. Among these, the supraspinatustendon, which connects the shoulder blade to the arm bone, is mostlikely to become inflamed. The typical cause of supraspinatustendonitis is repetitive movement. this includes movements associatedwith playing tennis and a number of other sports which rely on theintensive work of the shoulder muscles and shoulder joint. The painand discomfort associated with supraspinatus tendonitis can be veryintense and even debilitating.

Who is at risk from supraspinatus tendonitis?

Highest risk group includes tennisplayers and baseball players, with swimmers and golf players at closesecond. Certain occupations are also associate with commonoccurrences of supraspinatus tendonitis. These include carpentry,painting, decorating, and others. The shoulder of the arm that getsused more is more likely to develop supraspinatus tendonitis.

What are the symptoms of supraspinatus tendonitis?

Typical symptom in the early phase is pain, a dullache in the affected shoulder. Some people will even experiencespreading of the pain down the arm or even across the chest. Anymovement of the injured arm can cause pain. Putting any kind of loadon the shoulder will cause pain, to the extent that sleeping on theinjured shoulder becomes impossible due to pain. If the condition isnot treated, the pain will gradually increase to the level that anymovement of the arm cause unbearable pain. Most people then avoid tomove the arm completely, which leads to stiffness of shoulder joint(joints that are not regularly used do not lube themselves and becomehard to move and painful when moved). Bruising and swelling aroundthe injured shoulder are also common. So if you use your hands a lotand begin to feel a dull pain in one or both shoulders, do not ignoreit, hoping that it will just go away.


Whenever possible, treatment is conservative, whichmeans that surgery is avoided if it is not necessary, and treatmentis based on physiotherapy and medication by painkillers if necessary.In cases that were either neglected and the treatment began (too)late, or where conservative treatment does not provide relief,surgery is used as a solution. The type of surgery depends on the causeof inflammation. For example, impingement surgery is used to chip offa small portion of bone from the underside of the outer edge of theshoulder blade, which gives the irritated tendons more space to move.If the rotator cuff has become torn, then the torn tendons need to bereattached to the upper arm bone. This is done by sewing the tendonto the upper arm bone through the small holes drilled through thebone at the site of tendon attachment. The healing of the tendon is slowas its low blood supply does not provide for quick recovery.

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