Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care pain and inflammation warning signs Prevention Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Types Anatomy

Shoulder Tendinitis Home Care

Home care for shoulder tendinitis includes:

  • Apply cold compresses:
    • Wrap ice in a moist hand towel. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
    • Apply cold compresses for 20 minutes, 5 times a day.
  • Apply warm compresses for stiffness:
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes, 4 times a day
  • Rest the shoulder:
    • Use a shoulder sling as directed:
    • Long term immobilization in a sling can lead to frozen shoulder.
    • If you wear a shoulder sling for longer than two weeks make sure you perform shoulder range of motion exercises twice a day to avoid frozen shoulder.
    • Physical therapy will play a major role in avoiding frozen shoulder.
  • Perform shoulder stretching exercises twice a day.
  • Perform exercises for shoulder tendinitis:
    • Perform the exercises after the pain resolves.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:

Shoulder Tendinitis Pain and Inflammation

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with shoulder tendinitis include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Shoulder Tendinitis Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have shoulder tendinitis and any of the following:

Continue to Shoulder Tendinitis Prevention

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Shoulder Tendinitis References
  1. Cobiella CE. Shoulder pain in sports. Hosp Med. 2004 Nov;65(11):652-6. [15566056]
  2. Ebenbichler GR, Erdogmus CB, Resch KL, et al. Ultrasound therapy for calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. N Engl J Med. 1999 May 20;340(20):1533-8. [10332014]
  3. Hanchard NC, Howe TE, Gilbert MM. Diagnosis of shoulder pain by history and selective tissue tension: agreement between assessors. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2005 Mar;35(3):147-53. [15839308]
  4. Hurt G, Baker CL Jr. Calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. Orthop Clin North Am. 2003 Oct;34(4):567-75. [14984196]
  5. Rochwerger A, Franceschi JP, Viton JM, Roux H, Mattei JP. Surgical management of calcific tendinitis of the shoulder: an analysis of 26 cases. Clin Rheumatol. 1999;18(4):313-6. [10468172]
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