12 exercises to overcome tendonitis in the shoulder

A tendonitis in the shoulder can be a painful experience for those who suffer it. It occurs due to a bad effort or a repetitive movement. No one is exempt from the possibility of suffering from it.

This injury limits the range of movements, thus affecting the normal development in daily life. However, some warm-up, stretching, and strengthening exercises may be helpful.

In this article we will tell you what tendonitis is, why it occurs, what is the treatment and the exercises you can do to help you recover.

Tendonitis in the shoulder: what it is and why it occurs

The term tendinitis is a word formed with the suffix -itis, which means 'inflammation'. Put simply: it is the inflammation of the tendon.

Thus, what we call tendonitis in the shoulder it is an inflammation that affects several areas of the joint, from the biceps brachii to the rotator cuff. Among the main factors associated with this injury are the following:

  • Age: in elderly patients, due to osteoarthritis, joint stiffness may be a predisposing factor.
  • Intense sports activity: in the case of athletes, the effort and repetition of certain movements, and even their range, triggers the injury. For example, in baseball pitchers it is common.
  • Repetitive or heavy work: like the one made by designers, programmers, bricklayers and blacksmiths.
  • Other causes: sudden movements or situations of poor blood supply to the tendons.

In addition to pain, tendonitis in the shoulder is associated with limited movement of the joint.

Keep reading: Tendonitis in the shoulder: symptoms, causes and treatment

Symptoms and diagnosis of tendinitis in the shoulder

The most obvious sign of tendonitis in the shoulder is inflammation. But it does not appear alone, it is accompanied by pain.

Tenderness is experienced when movements and stretches of the muscle are made or when the joint is pressed or palpated. Additionally, there may be a lack of strength. Due to the sum of these three elements (inflammation, pain and low strength), tendonitis in the shoulder limits the person in carrying out their daily activities.

On the other hand, various tests are performed in the diagnosis of this injury, which include radiography, ultrasound and resonances. Even computerized axial tomography (CT). In addition, a medical examination and detailed study of the patient's medical history is made.

Possible treatments

Regarding treatment, there is the possibility of performing an arthroscopy for tendonitis in the shoulder. But surgery is reserved only for the most severe cases. Instead, more conservative alternatives are chosen.

In addition to rest and application of cold to the area, physiotherapy is prescribed in order to improve mobility, stability and strength of the joint. This is accomplished through various exercises, stretching, and massage.

Other techniques are also used, such as electrotherapy and ultrasound. In the case of medication, analgesics and inflammatory drugs are recommended.

You may also be interested in: Tips to relieve tendonitis

Exercises to overcome tendonitis in the shoulder

Let's look at some exercises that can be done to overcome tendonitis in the shoulder. We will divide them into warm-up, stretching and strengthening movements., each with its most appropriate indications.

Warm up

The first exercise we will do is the pendulum. This consists of bending or, rather, flexing the body, trying to put the trunk as parallel to the floor as possible. The affected arm, hanging downward, should rotate, making short circles. The other can rest on the back of a chair or a railing.

The next warm-up is to stand on an open door, placing your hands on the frame, at shoulder height. Then take a short step forward; first one foot, then the other. You must always keep your back straight. Try not to force the joint movement too much.

Stretching exercises

Once we have warmed up, we move on to stretching exercises. We will start with the frontal stretch. It consists of bringing the hand of the affected arm to the opposite shoulder and trying to raise the elbow a little, helping with the free hand. This position is held for about five seconds.

The lift with support and elevation is performed standing up, placing the hand of the affected side on the wall, a little over the shoulder. The fingers are then stretched, drawing the palm away from the surface and moving or dragging the fingers up to raise the shoulder.

The next exercise is the band stretch. The ideal would be to use a rehabilitation elastic band, but in the absence of it a towel can be used. The back of the hand, on the affected side, is placed behind the back; the other goes over the head. Both hands hold the band. The top one pulls gently to raise the other. A variant of this exercise can be done without the towel or band, placing the hand of the affected arm behind the back and trying to get as high as possible.

We can complete the stretch with passive internal rotation. For this exercise we need a stick (a broomstick can work). We hold the stick behind our back. With the hand of the unaffected arm, we stretch to make the other reach the center of the waist.

Imaging studies provide important data to assess the severity of tendonitis in the shoulder.

Strengthening exercises

We now move on to the strengthening exercises, starting with rope strengthening.. We take a rope or band tied to a door or fence. Standing facing the wall at a distance of one meter, the rope or band is pulled back, using the hand of the affected shoulder, as if you were rowing.

Next is the 90 degree external rotation with arm abducted. It begins in the same position as the previous one, only that the movement will be carried out with the arm extended, lifting it until the hand is at the level of the head and then returning to the starting position.

Now let's move on to the band internal rotation exercise. This time we stand on our side, with the affected shoulder facing the wall. We take the band with that hand, keeping the elbow close to the side and stretch it until the wrist reaches the elbow on the opposite side.

The band external rotation exercise is similar to the previous one. The difference is that the unaffected shoulder is the one that is towards the wall and, therefore, the movement will be carried out.

We can finish our session with some push-ups against the wall. It is similar to calls Lizards or elbow push-ups. Only they are done standing up, dropping the weight towards the wall.

Always with medical recommendation before doing exercises for shoulder tendonitis

Remember that these exercises for tendonitis in the shoulder can only be done if your treating doctor agrees. In other words, if the professional has recommended absolute rest, you cannot do these or others.

On the other hand, they must be supervised by a traumatologist or physiotherapist, having attended the consultation with them. Lastly, if you are in pain or there are no signs of improvement, further evaluations or surgical approaches may be required. The best thing, in this case, is to suspend them immediately.

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