Rotator Cuff Tendinitis Treatment
Initial treatment for rotator cuff tendinitis may include rest, cold compresses, physical therapy, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Additional treatment for severe rotator cuff tendinitis may include corticosteroid medication injections and surgery.
Treatment options for rotator cuff tendinitis include:
- Sleep with a pillow between the trunk and arm to decrease tension on the rotator cuff tendons.
- Avoid painful motions and activities
- Continued use of a shoulder sling can lead to frozen shoulder, a serious complication
- If you wear a shoulder sling for longer than a week make sure you perform shoulder range of motion exercises twice a day to avoid frozen shoulder.
- Acetaminophen for pain:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain
- Ibuprofen (Ibuprin, Advil, Motrin)
- Naproxen (Naprosyn, Naprelan, Anaprox)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- Short term use only
- Corticosteroid injections for rotator cuff tendinitis
- Physical therapy for rotator cuff tendinitis:
- Passive range of motion shoulder exercises
- Stretching of the shoulder joint and muscles
- Exercises to strengthen the shoulder muscles
- The goal is pain free complete range of motion in the shoulder
- Ultrasound therapy
- Occupational therapy for rotator cuff tendinitis
- Surgery for rotator cuff tear:
- Arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Will I need surgery?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- Will I need occupational therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having rotator cuff tendinitis again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis Specialist
Continue to Rotator Cuff Tendinitis Home Care
- Hurt G, Baker CL Jr. Calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. Orthop Clin North Am. 2003 Oct;34(4):567-75. 
- Ishii H, Brunet JA, Welsh RP, Uhthoff HK. Bursal reactions in rotator cuff tearing, the impingement syndrome, and calcifying tendinitis. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 1997 Mar-Apr;6(2):131-6. 
- Razavi M, Jansen GB. Effects of acupuncture and placebo TENS in addition to exercise in treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis. Clin Rehabil. 2004 Dec;18(8):872-8.