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Tendonitis in the shoulder: learn how to identify it and what treatments you can take

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Have you ever felt a nagging pain in your shoulder that prevents you from going about your daily activities normally? This could be a sign of shoulder tendonitis, a common but all too often neglected condition in its early stages.  Shoulder tendonitis is a common condition that can affect people of all ages and lifestyles. It is characterised by inflammation of the tendons, which can lead to pain and limited movement in the shoulder. Understanding what it is, how it manifests itself and how it impacts our daily lives is the first step to managing this condition effectively.

 What is tendonitis in the shoulder?

The first thing to be clear about is what shoulder tendinitis is how it differs from other shoulder injuries, what its symptoms are and how it impacts the daily lives of those who suffer from it.

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Tendonitis of the shoulder is inflammation or irritation of the tendons that connect the shoulder muscles to the bone. This injury can be caused by overuse or overuse of the shoulder joint, as well as traumatic injury.

Unlike bursitis, which affects the small bursae that help muscles glide smoothly, or rotator cuff injuries, which involve damage to the group of muscles and tendons that stabilise the shoulder, tendonitis focuses specifically on the tendons. 

Common symptoms of tendonitis in the shoulder include:

  1. Pain and stiffness: a sharp pain that may be worse when moving the arm or doing certain activities.
  2. Limitation of movement: difficulty in executing previously simple movements, such as raising the arm.
  3. Swelling and tenderness: The area around the shoulder may be swollen and tender to the touch.

Because of these symptoms, shoulder tendinitis can have a noticeable effect on daily routine, from everyday tasks, such as getting dressed or picking something up from a high cupboard to problems sleeping because of the pain.

In addition, depending on the severity, work activities may need to be adapted, especially if they involve repetitive movements of the shoulder.

Causes and risk factors of shoulder tendinitis

  • Common causes:
    • Trauma.
    • Overuse and repetitive movements.
    • Underlying medical conditions.
  • Risk factors:
    • Advanced age.
    • Certain sports or professions.
    • Previous medical history.
  • Prevention:
    • Lifestyle changes and ergonomics.

Tendonitis in the shoulder can have several causes. In addition, there are risk factors that can make it easier to develop. However, the good news is that there are ways to prevent this common injury, or at least to reduce the symptoms and stop it from getting worse.

Common causes

 Tendonitis in the shoulder can be caused by a variety of factors, such as trauma, overuse and repetitive motion, as well as underlying medical conditions.

Trauma, such as falls or sports injuries, can lead to inflammation of the shoulder tendons.   In addition, certain underlying medical conditions, such as arthritis or rotator cuff syndrome, can increase the risk of developing shoulder tendonitis.

However, it is very common to suffer from this injury due to overuse and repetitive movements, which are common in certain work or sporting activities.

Risk factors

One of the risk factors that increases the likelihood of men’s tendonitis is old age, as tendons tend to lose elasticity over time, increasing the likelihood of injury.

In addition, certain sports or professions that involve repetitive shoulder movements may also increase the risk of developing tendinitis.

On the other hand, people with a previous medical history of tendonitis or shoulder injury are also at increased risk of re-injury.

Prevention

However, shoulder tendinitis is largely preventable through strengthening exercises, stretching techniques and changes in lifestyle and ergonomics.

That is, keeping your shoulder muscles strong and flexible can help prevent tendonitis, as can adjusting your posture and the way you perform certain activities to reduce pressure on your shoulder tendons.

  Preventing shoulder tendinitis: the importance of sleeping posture

Sleeping posture can have a major impact on shoulder tendonitis. Nights can be a horror for those with this injury. This is why the need for proper posture and the use of pillows or supports to relieve pressure on the shoulders and joints is so strongly emphasised.

To begin with, it is important to avoid sleeping on the affected shoulder and finding alternatives to sleeping on the side, such as adopting a fetal position, can be beneficial in reducing discomfort and promoting recovery from tendonitis. Alternatively, placing a pillow or support under the affected arm helps to balance posture and avoid straining the joint.

To prevent tendinitis, it is important to take additional preventive measures. One of them is to warm up properly before any physical activity.

It also helps to take breaks and change activities regularly, which can help reduce the risk of tendinitis. In addition, an ergonomic assessment of the workplace is essential to identify and correct possible risk factors that may be contributing to tendonitis. In this regard, adjusting chair height, keyboard and monitor position, as well as using ergonomic products such as wrist rest pads, can also help prevent shoulder tendonitis.

 Treatment options for shoulder tendinitis

Several treatment options are available to address this condition. Conventional treatments include physiotherapy to improve strength and flexibility. Anti-inflammatory drugs and, in some cases, corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation are also commonly prescribed.

In addition, exercises and rehabilitation play a key role in the recovery from shoulder tendinitis. This may include stretching routines to improve flexibility and rotator cuff strengthening to stabilise the shoulder joint. Movement therapy can also be beneficial in restoring function and reducing pain.

 In more severe or chronic cases of shoulder tendinitis, surgical treatment may be necessary. Indications for surgery include lack of improvement with other treatments and risk of irreversible structural damage. The types of surgical procedures may vary but generally involve repair of the affected tendon. Postoperative recovery may require intensive physiotherapy and several to fully heal.

 Management strategies and long-term care

Long-term care and management strategies are essential to ensure the health and well-being of people facing long-term injuries such as shoulder tendinitis.

To begin with, treatment of pain and inflammation is essential. This can be achieved through the application of heat and cold, as well as through relaxation and stress reduction techniques.

In addition, relapse prevention is vital. To achieve this, it is important to recognise the warning signs and make adjustments to high-risk activities.

Long-term care also involves regular medical follow-up. This ensures that any changes in the health condition are detected early. In addition, lifestyle adaptations are necessary. Thanks to these, it is possible to maintain an optimal level of well-being. 

Conclusion: the importance of prevention and early treatment

Shoulder tendinitis is a painful and limiting condition that can significantly affect people’s quality of life. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to emphasise prevention and early treatment of this condition. Adopting correct posture and performing specific exercises can significantly decrease the risk of developing shoulder tendinitis, so it is crucial to incorporate preventive measures into daily routines.

In addition, early diagnosis and treatment of tendinitis can prevent long-term complications and speed up the recovery process, allowing people to return to their daily activities more quickly.

On the treatment side, in addition to conventional therapies, some products can complement the recovery process. For example, Orgono Recovery Supplement and Orgono G7 Sport Gel with Magnesium are options to consider. These products, which can be used in combination, contain organic silica, a component known for its beneficial properties for joint and tendon health.

Organic silica works by promoting the regeneration of connective tissue and improving the flexibility and strength of tendons, which can be particularly helpful in cases of tendonitis. It is important, however, to remember that these supplements should be considered as part of a holistic approach that also includes physiotherapy, adequate rest and, if necessary, medical intervention.

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