Knowing All About Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

Rotator cuff tendonitis, also known as rotator cuff tendinopathy, is a degenerative condition that affects one or more of the rotator cuff tendons located on the shoulder. A previous injury such as a rotator cuff partial dislocation or strain can lead to rotator cuff tendonitis. Knowing All About Rotator Cuff Tendonitis, TPL Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

The condition is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. A patient can feel it coming on gradually over time or after straining the rotator cuff because it has not healed properly.

Terrific and board certified orthopedic surgeons at the Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute provide treatments for rotator cuff tendonitis to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding locations across the horizon.


Shoulder tendonitis is associated with shoulder pain while resting or due to certain movements. The pain may occur even while sleeping at night. A patient also feels pain when performing overhead activities such as playing racket sports or swimming.

However, pain caused by arm movements below shoulder height is less common in rotator cuff tendinopathy. A patient may also feel a creaking, referred to as crepitus, while performing shoulder movements.


The condition can be diagnosed and any tearing of the tendon can be identified with the help of a MRI scan. The rotator cuff tendinopathy treatment includes two stages. The first part consists of treating the symptoms to reduce the inflammation and pain, so that the patient can make normal movement. The second stage includes addressing the underlying causes of the condition and correcting them.

As a first part of the treatment, the patient should perform RICE therapy as follows:


  • Rest: The patient should refrain from activities that cause pain. Rest is advised.


  • Ice or cold therapy: Pain and inflammation can be reduced with the help of ice or cold therapy. The patient can apply ice for 10 minutes every hour. The frequency can be gradually reduced to applying ice for 15 minutes every three to four hours, based on the state of the condition.


  • Exercises: It is imperative for patients to exercise once the pain and inflammation has subsided enough to allow it.

Other Treatments


The surgeon may prescribe ibuprofen or other anti inflammatory medication that brings about pain relief in the early stages of the injury.


Treatments such as magnetic field, laser, interferential stimulation, or ultrasound may be helpful in mitigating pain and inflammation.


A sports massage may bring about relaxation and loosen the tightness of the shoulder muscles. A cross friction massage on the tendon can be helpful if cold therapy or other initial conservative treatment cannot address the chronic injury.

Corticosteroid Injections

Injecting corticosteroid into the subacromial space of the shoulder can help reduce the pain and inflammation as well as facilitate the initiation to an exercise rehabilitation program.

Treatment may be difficult if there is tendon calcification or bone growth. In such cases, the surgeon may suggest keyhole surgery. Fantastic and board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada, and other suburbs and neighborhoods in The Silver State for the poignant treatment of shoulder tendonitis.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9393.

Spread the love

Comments are closed.