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March 29, 2015  
EDUCATION CENTER: Clinical Overview

Clinical Overview
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  • Supraspinatus Tendonitis (Rotator Cuff Tendonitis)

    Clinical Overview
    Reviewed by Dr. Joshua Siegel

    Supraspinatus tendonitis (also called rotator cuff tendonitis or painful arc syndrome) is the inflammation of one of the main muscles that form the rotator cuff – the supraspinatus – and is one of the more common causes of shoulder pain. It often occurs with shoulder impingement. You will feel pain at the shoulder, and it sometimes radiates down the side of your arm.

    The pain is caused by irritation and inflammation of the supraspinatus rubbing under the acromion process, or outside tip of the shoulder blade, when you raise your arm. The pain is brought on by:

    • Repetitive overarm motions
    • Sudden increase in the frequency, intensity or duration of physical activity

    Risk Factors

    • A congenital “spur” shaped acromion (type III)
    • Shoulder instability
    • Repetitive use of arms above head, or elbows away from the body
    • Previous history of tendonitis

    Last updated: Jan-01-00


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