Shoulder Pain – Part One

I this series we will be looking at different shoulder injuries and conditions that we as osteopaths see every day. Our first condition is Supraspinatus Tendinopathy (also known as Supraspinatus Tendinitis, Supraspinatus Tendonitis, Supraspinatus Tendinosis, Rotator Cuff Tendinitis etc!)

Despite having many different names, the condition is the same!

The supraspinatus muscle is located in the rotator cuff of your shoulder, and its job is to help lift your arm out from the side of your body. The tendon of the supraspinatus muscle travels over the shoulder and down the side of your arm. The problem with this is that it has to travel through a pretty small tunnel when it runs over the shoulder. When you lift your arms over your head, this tunnel gets smaller and squashes the tendon. If this happens too much, the supraspinatus tendon can get damaged. So supraspinatus tendinopathy is essentially a wear and tear of the supraspinatus tendon. Sometimes the tendon becomes inflamed, but this is not always the case.

Supraspinatus tendinopathy can commonly occur in athletes whose sports involve throwing or overhead motions (swimming, cricket, tennis). It can also occur in people whose jobs/hobbies/activities involve a lot of overhead motions.

Management of supraspinatus tendinopathy can include:

  • Limiting any aggravating activities
  • Ice/heat therapy
  • Osteopathic treatment
  • Stretches
  • Exercises to strengthen the surrounding rotator cuff muscles

Osteopathic treatment for supraspinatus tendinopathy may include:

  • Soft tissue techniques to relax tightened muscles
  • Gentle joint articulation or manipulation to help correct any posture issues that may be affecting the shoulder mechanics
  • Ultrasound therapy to reduce inflammation (if the area is inflamed)
  • Advice on stretches and exercises to improve the rehabilitation process

As osteopaths, we have had great success with treating supraspinatus tendinopathy. So if shoulder pain is bothering you, call us today for a thorough evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.

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