TREATMENT - Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
How do we treat rotator cuff tendonitis?
Just about all orthopedic surgeons agree that this problem should be initially treated conservatively (i.e., without surgery). What are the steps to healing?
Stop any activities that can aggravate your symptoms. For example, if you're painting the ceiling in your garage and it's making your shoulder feel worse, stop doing it!
Do not ignore your body. It is telling you (with pain) that something is wrong.
Take medications, if necessary, to make you comfortable and decrease your pain.
Consider using cryotherapy (cold therapy) to get your pain under control.
STRENGTHEN your rotator cuff!
Why does strengthening the rotator cuff muscles work?
When you have this tendonitis you get into a "vicious cycle":
First your rotator cuff is irritated for various reasons (e.g., overuse, injury, etc.).
Then it doesn't work as well, and that causes increased pressure under the acromion bone.
The only way the acromion can react to that is to make new bone (a bone spur!).
That bone spur then presses on the rotator cuff.
So the rotator cuff gets MORE irritated, and then more weak, and so on (go back to step 1).
Strengthening your rotator cuff is the scientifically proven way to break this vicious cycle. Virtually all orthopaedic shoulder surgeons agree that exercise for the rotator cuff muscles (e.g., stretching and strengthening) is the most important first step in treating impingement syndrome/rotator cuff tendonitis/bursitis.