The term – itis means inflammation, so tendonitis (also called tendinitis or tendinopathy) refers to inflammation of a tendon. Supraspinatus tendonitis is therefore inflammation of the tendon of the supraspinatus muscle, which is located at the top of the shoulder and is often a reason for consultation in the clinic.
Due to the anatomy and biomechanics of the shoulder, the injury of this tendon is very frequent, since, in its course, it crosses a narrow channel between the acromion and the head of the humerus. This narrowing added to an overuse or repeated movements of the arm above the shoulder, cause the tendon to suffer a lot of friction and can become inflamed.
It usually appears in people who perform sporting or professional gestures in which they raise the arm above 90º (golf players, tennis players, hairdressers, painters, etc.).
Diagnosis of supraspinatus tendinitis:
The diagnostic method is by orthopedic tests in clinic, accompanied by imaging tests such as an ultrasound or MRI that objectively evidence inflammation of the supraspinatus tendon.
Symptoms of this injury:
- The associated symptoms are:
- Pain on movement
- Inflammation of the injured area.
- Pain at night, especially when lying on the injured shoulder.
- Inability to bring the hand behind the back.
Treatment of supraspinatus tendinitis:
The treatment will aim firstly to know the original reason for the injury for a correction of the injurious gesture. Then we will work to reduce the inflammation, eliminate the pain and balance the existing muscular imbalances.
The techniques used are:
- Massage therapy
- Percutaneous Intratisular Electrolysis (PIE)
- Dry needling
- Shock waves
- Therapeutic exercise
Recovery from supraspinatus tendinitis
It will depend on the degree of injury, the causes that provoked it and the time that the patient has had it, as well as the regenerative capacity that the patient has in front of the lesional processes. All this can cause the recovery to take place in 2-3 weeks or 2-3 months. Although the most frequent statistically speaking is 6 weeks.
SUPRASPINATUS TENDINITIS. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What does the body’s regenerative capacity depend on?
The healing of an injury or physical pathology is the responsibility of our body, in which there are automatic mechanisms that are activated when we lose the normal physical or organic balance. These mechanisms are complex and depend largely on metabolism (biochemical, hormonal and neuronal processes).
If these mechanisms work at 100%, we will be protected from a large number of impacts that our body may suffer at different levels (physical, emotional, biochemical and energetic) but if these mechanisms are diminished in their function, the ability of recovery and regeneration of our cells will be compromised, and may block the healing processes to an illness or injury temporarily or permanently. This will be very important to take into account when treating any injury or pathology, otherwise the patient will be able to perform multiple physical treatments on an injury without obtaining results.
How is the treatment planning?
The planning of this type of therapy is always personalized, giving priority in the early stages of treatment to reduce pain, inflammation and improve the mechanical and metabolic factors that have caused the injury. If we have to focus especially on the latter (because there is evidence of a deficit of function in the patient’s tissue regeneration mechanisms) then we will first set a guideline for the patient to perform at home for 3-6 weeks consistently:
- Improved dietary hygiene
- Natural supplementation: Detoxifying-anti-inflammatory-regenerating.
Should I suspend my professional or sporting activity?
It will depend on each case, if the professional or sporting gesture has not intervened in the appearance of the injury, there will be no reason to suspend it, but if this is not the case, the efforts will have to be graduated. The majority of injuries of this type allow to continue carrying out a moderate activity controlling the efforts, all this will be coordinated by the physiotherapist.
How many sessions do I need to start noticing improvement?
In those cases in which the regenerative capacity of the body (metabolism) works correctly, the patient will notice the improvement from the first session since the Advanced Physiotherapy techniques that we use have shown us so. Only in those cases in which the regenerative capacities already mentioned are limited, the evolution will be slower, since we will first have to improve this point using Kinesiology – Osteopathy – Nutrition, and then Advanced Physiotherapy.
How much time should pass between sessions?
It will depend on each case, the most common is to perform one to two sessions per week.
Can emotional stress cause this injury?
Yes, sometimes there are no physical or metabolic factors important enough to justify the appearance of this injury, however there are psychic factors. To help the body to stop generating this irritation / inflammation of nerve fibers causing pain, it is very important that the patient becomes aware of the relationship between stress-injury and try to establish strategies to reduce the impact of stress on the body. For this purpose, tools such as Coaching and Clinical Psychology are of great help.
This post is also available in: Spanish
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