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Rotator Cuff Tendonitis Treatment at Bloor Jane Physiotherapy

man suffering from shoulder pain

The most common type of shoulder pain treated with physiotherapy is rotator cuff tendonitis. The shoulder complex is a combination of muscles and bony structures called the rotator cuff. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint, but in fact is more like a teacup on a saucer, with a very shallow oval socket allowing for greater mobility in arm movement. There are many muscles that move the shoulder in each direction and a diagnosis of tendonitis means the tendon of one or more of these muscles is injured and inflamed.

The tendons most affected are: 1. An inflamed biceps tendon, at the front of the shoulder, is called bicipital tendonitis. It is usually injured when carrying heavy items repeatedly or lifting one excessively heavy load. 2. An inflamed supraspinatus tendon is called supraspinatus tendonitis. It is usually painful at its attachment at the tip of the shoulder and is commonly injured when falling forward and landing on an outstretched arm. 3. Infraspinatus and teres minor tendons are located at the back of the shoulder. They are usually injured when twisting and rotating the arm such as tennis backhand swings or throwing overhand baseballs, but there are many everyday tasks involving twisting and rotating of the arm that can result in inflammation. A typical rotator cuff injury is not one traumatic event but the cumulative effect of several minor injuries over a short period of time. The tendon of the muscle may sustain a minor injury with some of its microscopic fibres torn but still be intact. This is called a grade 1 injury and is most common. Grade 2 injuries occur when the tendon has a partial tear and grade 3 is a complete tear. Both grade 2 and 3 tears are visible on a diagnostic ultrasound and often require a surgical repair, but grade 1 injuries are successfully treated with physiotherapy. Rotator cuff injuries do not heal readily on their own. At Bloor Jane Physiotherapy the therapists know how to treat your rotator cuff injury no matter which muscle and tendon is affected. They may use therapeutic modalities to reduce pain and enhance healing. They can mobilize and passively move the shoulder joint to regain movement and everyday function. The massage therapist can relieve muscle tension. Our experienced team helps you recover and get better faster. Call 416-766-2050 to schedule an appointment or email us at

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