Shoulder Tendonitis

What is shoulder tendonitis?

Shoulder tendonitis is an inflammation of your rotator cuff or biceps tendon. Your rotator cuff consists of the muscles and tendons in your shoulder. They connect your upper arm bone to your shoulder blade.

Your injury may range from mild to severe inflammation of most of your rotator cuff. When your rotator cuff tendon gets inflamed and thickened, it is also called rotator cuff tendonitis. Your rotator cuff tendon may get trapped under the top bone of your shoulder (acromion). It is formed by a part of your shoulder blade (the scapula).

What causes shoulder tendonitis?

Shoulder tendonitis is often caused by a tendon being pinched by nearby structures. The condition often occurs in certain sports that require your arm to move over your head repeatedly. Such sports include baseball, weightlifting, volleyball, racket sports, and certain swimming strokes.

What are the symptoms of shoulder tendonitis?

Symptoms may be a bit different for each person. Symptoms may include:

  • Inability to hold your arm in certain positions
  • Shoulder pain or soreness

The symptoms of shoulder tendonitis may seem like other conditions or health problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is shoulder tendonitis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will take a full health history and do a physical exam. You may also need diagnostic tests such as:

MRI Scan

  • X-ray. Invisible electromagnetic energy beams produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
  • MRI. Large magnets and a computer make detailed images of organs and structure in your body.
  • Ultrasonography. High-frequency sound waves create an image of some part of the inside of your body.