The etiology of rotator cuff tendinitis is still under debate. The intrinsic, extrinsic, and overuse mechanisms have been proposed as etiological factors.
The degeneration in rotator cuff tendinitis occurs in response to chronic overuse of the tendon without giving it time to rest and heal, disrupting the balance between protective and regenerative mechanisms and overuse pathologic changes. The end result is weakness, pain, and loss of shoulder motion  .
The symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis can be acute, occur after an injury to the shoulder, or be associated with overuse. Symptoms are often insidious in elderly patients. The pain is usually felt as a dull ache on the anterolateral part of the shoulder and is aggravated by overhead activities. It is worse on shoulder abduction or flexion between 60° and 120° and is frequently minimal or absent outside of this range. Passive abduction causes less pain, however, abduction against resistance may aggravate the pain. Feeling pain during the night is common, especially if the patient lies on the affected side.
Entire Body System
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings showed associations of abdominal obesity, some other metabolic factors and carotid intima-media thickness with shoulder pain. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Conclusions Metabolic factors, especially abdominal obesity, and carotid intima-media thickness were associated with shoulder pain. Type 1 diabetes mellitus and abdominal obesity were associated with chronic rotator cuff tendinitis in men. [bmcmusculoskeletdisord.biomedcentral.com]
Differences in skin temperature distribution were found in 82% of subjects with frozen shoulder, nearly three-quarters of whom had reduced skin temperature. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Frozen Shoulder (a true frozen shoulder is not that common. Rotator cuff tendinitis is often misdiagnosed as frozen shoulder.) [physiovive.com]
The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics. [nielasher.com]
During that time, a physical or occupational therapist will provide passive range of motion exercises to decrease likelihood of developing frozen shoulder while using the sling. [orthocenter-si.com]
Stiffness of the Shoulder
Patients may note some stiffness in the shoulder especially reaching behind their back. X-rays are typically normal and if an MRI is obtained it may show some mild fraying of the rotator cuff but no complete tear. [ortho.wustl.edu]
Once your pain starts to go away, you can use a heating pad to lessen any stiffness in your shoulder. Stretching. Your doctor can give you daily exercises to do at home to get your shoulder more flexible. Doing these in a hot shower may help. [webmd.com]
Some of these factors include: joint stiffness (particularly the shoulder, neck or upper back) shoulder instability bony anomalies of the acromion or AC joint muscle tightness (particularly the rotator cuff, pectorals and deltoid) poor posture inappropriate [physioadvisor.com.au]
Left Shoulder Pain
CASE: A 42-year-old professional woman experiencing emotional pain from a recent divorce presented with severe left shoulder pain, decreased range of motion, and paresthesias in the back of the neck and left arm. [anthromed.org]
When to Contact a Medical Professional Sudden left shoulder pain can sometimes be a sign of a heart attack. [mountsinai.org]
Myofascial Trigger Point
More About Us NAMTPT AWARD 2017 We are honored to have received the 2017 " Excellence in Education " Award from the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists. [nielasher.com]
Treatment of myofascial trigger points in common shoulder disorders by physical therapy: a randomized controlled trial [ISRCTN75722066]. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 2007;8:107. 14. Goutallier D, Postel JM, Bernageau J, et al. [mafiadoc.com]
stiffness / restriction cervical spine nerve pinching or adverse neural tension (lack of mobility / flexibility of nerve tissue supplying the shoulder area) weak shoulder blade area muscles (remember, the rotator cuff muscles come from here before going [phyzio.biz]
Obtaining a detailed history is essential for ruling out other diagnoses such as referred pain from cervical spine or serious symptoms of cardiac origin. Shoulder examination should be systematical. The shoulder must be exposed entirely. Inspection, palpation, motor strength, the range of movement (ROM), and special tests should be performed.
Tenderness is often localized to the greater tuberosity and subacromial bursa. Active and passive ROM in all planes has to be evaluated as part of the physical examination. Strength assessment can help isolating the relevant muscles.
Two techniques have been described in the literature to test the supraspinatus muscle:
- Thumbs down position: elbow extended, shoulder in full internal rotation, the arm in the scapular plane .
- Thumbs up position: test in the prone position, elbow extended, shoulder abduction to 100° with external rotation while the patient lifts in abduction .
Although both of these techniques activate the supraspinatus muscle, neither of them can truly isolate it since other muscles are also active during the evaluation . Subtle weakness during either position can represent early degeneration in the rotator cuff.
- Neer impingement test: In this special examination, the shoulder is forcibly flexed forward and rotated internally, therefore the greater tuberosity will jam against the anterior inferior surface of the acromion. Pain during this test indicates a positive result which reveals an overuse injury to supraspinatus or biceps tendon.
- Hawkins-Kennedy impingement test: Another special type of assessment, in which the shoulder and elbow are flexed forward to 90° and the shoulder is forcibly rotated internally. Pain reflects a positive test and identifies greater tuberosity and supraspinatus tendon impingement under the coracoacromial ligament and the coracoid process.
Plain radiography of the shoulder in a true anteroposterior (AP) view, an axillary view, and supraspinatus outlet view is very helpful in the diagnosis of rotator cuff tendinitis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is extremely sensitive and specific while being non-invasive. It has the ability to detect the characteristics, size, and location of the pathology. Ultrasonography can also be employed to evaluate the rotator cuff muscles. it is less costly but as it is operator-dependent, the sensitivity and specificity of the results obtained may vary    .
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