Diagnosis: Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy… What does it mean?
What is the rotator cuff?
The rotator cuff consists of a set of muscles lining the scapula with tendons attached to the shoulder. These muscles allow certain movements of the shoulder in rotation and in elevation, but above all they have a role of stabilizing the joint.
The shoulder joint is made up of the spherical end of the arm bone, the humerus, which sits on the narrow-rounded surface of the scapula, the glenoid. This nesting would be very unstable without the action of the rotator cuff, which allows the coaptation of these two structures. In other words, the muscles of the rotator cuff are responsible for keeping the head of the humerus centered in the shoulder joint.
What is tendinopathy?
Tendinopathy, commonly called "tendonitis", is a degeneration of the tendon of a muscle, in other words, the structure that attaches muscle to bone. When the tendon is repeatedly subjected to excessive force, it eventually becomes irritated, inflamed, and then damaged. This causes pain, decreased mobility of the joint as well as reduced strength.
In this case, rotator cuff tendinopathy is often caused by repeated movements of the arm, with or without heavy loads, performed in poor posture. Indeed, if the humeral head is misaligned in the glenoid, the tendons of the cuff are called upon to work at an odd angle that results in diminished force. This makes them more easily exhausted, the bone structures of the shoulder collide with each other, and the tendons gradually deteriorate.
Physiotherapy treatmentThis condition is reversible if caught on time. Physiotherapy treatment will primarily focus on relieving pain and correcting posture towards more optimal alignment in order to promote healing of the tendons and prevent recurrence.