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Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

February 5, 2024

The rotator cuff refers to a group of four muscles that provide strength and stability to the shoulder. The four rotator cuff muscles include; subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor. Rotator cuff tendinopathy is regarded as the most common injury to the shoulder in the general population. One main cause of this is overloading to any of the four muscles mentioned above.

The main symptoms are pain and tenderness located within one of the four tendons with or without swelling. It is also common to have difficulty performing overhead activities and reaching behind the back. There is an association with increasing weakness of the shoulder and pain.

Treatment in the beginning stages focuses on decreasing the pain by rest and ice. Initially, it is crucial to avoid any activities/movements that aggravate the symptoms. Massage and dry needling are also effective techniques in reducing pain and repairing the damaged tissue.

In acute stages, if there are deficits in shoulder range of movement then mobility and stretching exercises will be prescribed. Evidence has shown strengthening exercises are an effective mechanism for the improvement of rotator cuff tendinopathy.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain and you are not sure if it is rotator cuff tendinopathy, please contact one of our physiotherapists at 01 441 0100.