Tendonitis (Rotator Cuff)

Introduction

The rotator cuff is comprised of four muscles which have tendons that cover the head of the upper arm bone (humerus). It is responsible for movement and strength of the shoulder joint, as well as stabilizing the arm in the joint socket. The rotator cuff functions in the rotation of the shoulder and lifting of the arm. When the tendon becomes irritated or inflamed this is commonly known as rotator cuff tendonitis. 

A common cause of rotator cuff tendonitis is repetitive use, causing the cuff to become irritated. Inflammation of the tendon can sometimes lead to the tendon tearing. This condition is common in athletes where the focus of the sport is overhead use of the arm, such as tennis, swimming, or baseball. However, it is also common with overuse in daily activities, including work. 

Symptoms of rotator cuff tendonitis include pain, stiffness and/or weakness of the shoulder. Pain will often be felt in the front or side of the shoulder and may radiate down the arm or up towards the neck. Losing strength or motion in the arm can create difficulty in basic daily activities.

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