Supraspinatus Tendinitis: This is a pathological condition of the shoulder in which there is inflammation of the tendons in the Supraspinatus Muscle resulting in pain and limitation of range of motion of the shoulders. This article informs in detail about

Supraspinatus Tendinitis

  • The causes of Supraspinatus Tendinitis
  • The symptoms of Supraspinatus Tendinitis
  • Treatments for Supraspinatus Tendinitis

How Do We Define Supraspinatus Tendinitis?

Supraspinatus Tendinitis as stated is a pathological condition of the shoulder in which the tendons of the Supraspinatus Muscles get inflamed. The Supraspinatus Muscles is a part of the Rotator Cuff Muscles. The function of the Supraspinatus Muscle is to facilitate abduction of the arm. The tendons of the Supraspinatus Muscles pass between the acromion and the humeral head and thus impinge on the acromion resulting in friction. This friction is usually reduced by the subacromial bursa but there are times, usually as a result of increased workload of the muscle and wear and tear, the tendon starts to get inflamed resulting in the condition called Supraspinatus Tendinitis causing pain with abduction of the arm.

Causes of Supraspinatus Tendinitis

The main cause of Supraspinatus Tendinitis is impingement which as stated is due to increased workload of the muscles. This condition is more common in diabetics. This condition is also commonly found in athletes who are involved with sports which require frequent throwing and overhead motion of the arms like baseball, discuss throw, tennis etc.

Risk Factors For Supraspinatus Tendinitis

Some Of The Risk Factors Which Can Predispose An Individual To Supraspinatus Tendinitis Are:

  • Repetitive activities involving abduction of the arms
  • Anatomical factors like shape of acromion or decreased subacromial space due to thickened ligaments
  • A direct blow to the shoulder such as with a fall on the shoulder
  • Gradual degeneration of the muscles

Symptoms Of Supraspinatus Tendinitis

Affected individuals usually present with progressive aching of the sub-deltoid muscles which tends to worsen with prolonged abduction or overhead motion of the arms. There may be radiation of pain to the lateral portion of the arm. Other symptoms may be difficulties with activities of daily living like dressing.

Diagnosis of Supraspinatus Tendinitis

A detailed physical examination by the physician to look for pain with motions, especially abduction, of the arms can confirm the diagnosis. Apart from this, radiological studies like x-ray, CT scan and MRI of the shoulders can confirm the diagnosis of Supraspinatus Tendinitis.

Treatment For Supraspinatus Tendinitis

The main treatment for Supraspinatus Tendinitis is allowing the Inflammation to settle down and heal itself.

Apart from adequate rest from activities, NSAIDs can also be used like ibuprofen.

If the above fail to relieve the symptoms, then a steroid injection may also be helpful.

An arthroscopy can also be done to look at the damaged structure and repair them to relieve the symptoms.

Prognosis Of Supraspinatus Tendinitis

Majority of people affected with Supraspinatus Tendinitis tend to recover fully within approximately a fortnight by themselves but physical therapy and steroid injections may be of added help. If there is a tear of the tendon then surgery may be required to treat them.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: July 8, 2014

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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