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Shoulder Tendinitis

Shoulder tendonitis, or bursitis, often refers to the same thing: an inflammation of a particular region within the shoulder joint that is causing physical discomfort. The most common areas that are affected are collectively known as the rotator cuff tendons. Depending on its severity, such conditions can greatly hamper movements and cause incessant aches during sleep.

More specifically, the joint comprises of various muscles, bones and ligaments. Inflammation occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff and the bursa, which lie between the arm bone and the tip of the shoulder, are “pinched”. Under normal healthy situations, the tendons have no problems extending and sliding within its space to allow for arm rotations. However, for some individuals, this space becomes too confined for even normal motion, and this is usually due to the given shape of their bones. This “pinching” is medically termed as the “impingement syndrome”.

Often, it takes an initial injury to set off the process of inflammation. Baseball, for example, is one of the most predominant causes of such pains. And once inflammation is incited, the joint’s inner structures swell and thicken, thus further aggravating the “pinching”, which in turn ensues a vicious cycle.

It is important to take note of the symptoms experienced and assess the condition accordingly as there are plenty of other possible causations for such similar pains. For instance, a “frozen shoulder” refers to a disorder whereby the ball-and-socket joint of the upper arm bone is inflamed, resulting in soreness and adhesion. Another common problem includes a dislocation. The shoulder structure is the most frequently dislocated major joint of the human body. It is usually a result of a great impact separating the joint’s ball and socket. Therefore, here are some of the tell-tale signs one could look out for with regards to shoulder tendonitis. Usually, patients would experience acute sensations of pain in the upper arm regions while trying to perform overhead activities, such as raising up your arms or lifting heavy loads above your head. During sleep, the patient might also suffer from periodic or continuous episodes of nagging aches.

The first treatment for many such common conditions is to rest the joint, and allow the acute inflammation to subside. One such remedy would be cooling wraps to ease the swelling. There is a wide variety of such wraps from COLDONE or ELITE-KOLD that are easily commercially available. It is important, however, to practice caution when resting the joint, because prolonged immobilization may cause a frozen shoulder. Try to avoid activities such as reaching for high objects should one experience pain. Do not over-strain your arms as it may jeopardize the condition. Anti-inflammation medications, such as Motrin or Celebrex, are widely available to relieve the soreness. Such measures should be adequate in dealing with the symptoms of the problems with due rest of perhaps a few weeks.

Subsequently, patients may consider simple exercises or physical therapy to aid a gradual regain of muscle dexterity though it might be advisable for injured athletes to consult doctors and therapists if and when they might return for training. In extreme situations where these courses of treatment prove ineffective, doctors might suggest a cortisone injection or even surgery. Although pain relief might be achieved with lesser time, the drawback is that such injections would normally weaken the tendons. Therefore, if you decide to seek medical attention for such conditions, do remember to give a detailed and accurate description of the pain history and your job requirements or daily routine, in order for the doctors to plan a better course of treatment.
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