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Rotator cuff tendinitis and physical therapy

Rotator cuff tendinitis is a common condition that affects the shoulder joint. It occurs when the tendons that connect the rotator cuff muscles to bone become inflamed and irritated, usually due to overuse or repetitive stress. Symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis may include pain, weakness, and stiffness in the shoulder, as well as difficulty performing certain activities or movements.

Physical therapy is often used to treat rotator cuff tendinitis, as it can help reduce pain and restore range of motion in the shoulder. There are several key goals of physical therapy for rotator cuff tendinitis, including:

  1. Pain Relief: One of the primary goals of physical therapy for rotator cuff tendinitis is to reduce pain and inflammation in the shoulder. This may involve using heat or ice therapy, massage, or other techniques to ease discomfort and promote healing.

  2. Strengthening: Another important goal of physical therapy is to strengthen the muscles and tendons that support the shoulder joint. This may involve exercises that target the rotator cuff muscles, as well as other muscles in the shoulder and upper back.

  3. Range of Motion: Physical therapy can also help improve range of motion in the shoulder joint, which may be limited by inflammation or stiffness. This may include stretching exercises, as well as manual therapy techniques like mobilisation or manipulation.

  4. Posture and Body Mechanics: Physical therapy can also help improve posture and body mechanics, which can help reduce stress on the rotator cuff muscles and tendons. This may involve education on proper ergonomics at work or home, as well as exercises to strengthen the muscles that support good posture.

  5. Functional Activities: Finally, physical therapy can help patients regain the ability to perform everyday activities and tasks that may have been difficult or impossible due to shoulder pain and weakness. This may involve specific exercises or movements that mimic the tasks patients wish to resume, such as lifting shopping or playing sports.

Overall, the goals of physical therapy for rotator cuff tendinitis are to reduce pain, improve strength and range of motion, and enhance function and quality of life for patients. By working closely with a physical therapist, patients can develop a personalised treatment plan that addresses their specific needs and goals, and helps them recover from this common and often painful condition.


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