Rotator cuff tendinitis is the inflammation and irritation of the tendon that connects the rotator cuff muscles to the bones in the shoulder. This is the mildest form of rotator cuff injury.

Rotator cuff tendinitis can be caused by injury, poor posture, or overuse related to repetitive overhead activities, such as those performed by swimmers, weightlifters, baseball pitchers, painters and window washers.

Individuals with this condition often experience gradual or sudden pain, particularly on the outside of the shoulder, that may radiate down the arm to the elbow. Certain shoulder movements may cause more severe pain, such as overhead motions, such as swimming, throwing a ball, getting dressed, or combing hair. Pain can worsen at night and cause difficulty sleeping.

A shoulder specialist at Lancaster Orthopedic Group will evaluate your pain and symptoms, perform strength and motion tests on the shoulder and, in some cases, recommend an MRI to help determine if the rotator cuff is inflamed, injured or torn.

If the symptoms continue for weeks or months, treatment options include rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and cortisone injections to provide relief. When conservative treatment fails to relieve the pain, rotator cuff surgery may be recommended.