Supraspinatus is one of the rotator cuff's major muscles that helps provide stability to the shoulder joint and helps in moving the arm during Shoulder Abduction. The tendon is a structure located at the terminal ends of the muscle and connects the muscle to the bone.
Supraspinatus tendinopathy is usually a degenerative disease that is often mistaken as tendonitis. Though both tendonitis and tendinopathy produce almost the same symptoms, they are different conditions. The supraspinatus tendonitis is nothing but the tendon's inflammation caused due to overload stress on the tendon. In contrast, tendinopathy can result from tendinitis that develops over time upon repetitive stress on the tendon, which leads to depletion of a muscle protein called collagen.
Causes for Supraspinatus Tendinopathy
Tendinopathy is caused mainly due to loss of collagen and occurs when there is repetitive overloading or stress on the supraspinatus tendon and muscle imbalance, which may be a result of the following conditions:
1. Primary impingement
2. Trauma to the supraspinatus
3. Repeated overhead activity
4. Reduced blood flow to the rotator cuff
5. Age-related changes in the connecting tissues
6. Tear in the rotator cuff muscles
7. Abnormal calcium deposits in the underlying structure
8. Bony changes on the humeral head
Symptoms of Supraspinatus Tendinopathy
People with supraspinatus tendinopathy usually experience one or a group of these symptoms:
1. Pain in the shoulder when lifting the hand up or sideways
2. Pain during overhead activities
3. A weakness of the muscles of the shoulder
4. Tenderness over the anterior shoulder.
5. Difficulty in reaching for things, putting on clothes, and household activities
6. Reduced range of motion
Treatment for Supraspinatus Tendinopathy
Supraspinatus tendinopathy can be managed or treated by physiotherapy if you seek medical or physiotherapy attention at the right time.
Initially, the physiotherapist will aim at reducing your pain by reducing inflammation to maintain shoulder joint congruency. Rest to the affected shoulder is something that cannot be neglected during the initial phase. Electrotherapeutic modalities and taping of the overactive muscles will be needed to reduce pain and inflammation. Basic strengthening exercises will be started and gradually progressed to resisted exercise after a follow-up assessment by the physiotherapist.
Therefore, physiotherapy can address your concerns regarding supraspinatus tendinopathy. If left unattended, it may cause a lot of harm to the shoulder and can be life-hindering.
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