Rotator Cuff tendonitis is a condition that many people suffer through and although it is very treatable, numerous people fail to treat it correctly resulting in recurring pain and inflammation. Good rotator cuff tendonitis programs recognize a multi-discipline view and these programs ensure a better rate of long term success.
Rotator cuff tendinitis is usually where one of the rotator cuff tendons becomes inflamed from constant overuse, impingement, or from a chronic instability. Either way, a multi-disciplined approach to treating this condition is the best answer for each of these scenarios.
Rotator Cuff Tendonitis Treatment Option 1: Get Rid of Inflammation
To ‘rehab’ a tendonitis condition of the rotator cuff properly, the person will need to tame the inflammation of the tendon that is causing the pain and lack of function in the first place. Inflammation is the cause of the pain and dysfunction, so this needs to be handled immediately.
The best way to do this is through rest. By resting the cuff, the person is limiting the irritation and will help allow the tendon to heal. Besides rest, the use of ice and then heat at the right times will also help to curb inflammation greatly. It is always wise to use ice or cold treatment for the first three days after the injury. It is safe to move to a heating modality, such as a hot pack, after the first three days.
Rotator Cuff Tendonitis Treatment Option 2: Restore ‘Balance’
One of the biggest reasons rotator cuff tendonitis occurs is because of imbalances in the shoulder joint. This could be because of an overly weak muscle or muscle group, or because of an overly activated or tight muscle or muscle group. Either way, proper balance needs to be restored to the entire joint to help reverse the problem. Carefully selected exercises can help to strengthen the entire rotator cuff muscle group as well as the supporting muscles around the shoulder joint.
The shoulder is made up of movers and also stabilizers. In sound rotator cuff tendonitis programs, strengthening of the stabilizers is essential, especially since it is a frequently neglected group of muscles.
It is just as important to ‘loosen up’ the tight and overly active muscles and muscle groups. This can be accomplished through good stretching and targeted soft-tissue work around the entire shoulder.
Combining strengthening, stretching, and quality targeted soft tissue work, is a great way to restore proper balance to the entire shoulder joint and finally eliminate pain and allow the rotator cuff to properly heal.
Rotator Cuff Tendonitis Treatment Option 3: Traditional Physical Therapy
Many people have suffered from a rotator cuff problem in their lives, and have gone the traditional route of physical therapy. While not all physical therapy is equal, some programs tend to focus on one-dimensional treatment options without treating the entire shoulder and all of the potential issues. For example, performing simple internal and external rotation exercises with a resistance band will not combat a rotator cuff problem. However, this is exactly what people get when they go to a traditional physical therapist as their primary treatment. While these are not necessarily bad exercises, they represent a very small piece of the treatment pie. In addition, if these more traditional “band” exercises are not combined with other, more progressive exercises and treatment plans, the patient may not see any real long-term results.
Once the shoulder and more specifically, the rotator cuff have had time to properly rest, the inflammation should be gone. However, it is very necessary to get on a program that will ensure good strengthening, stretching, range of motion and targeted soft-tissue work. By doing this, the person has a great chance to not only eliminate the tendonitis, but ensure that it will not come back again. Only when proper balance is restore within the shoulder joint can this be possible.