Shoulder Tendinitis Treatment
Initial treatment for shoulder tendinitis includes rest, cold compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Additional treatment for severe shoulder tendinitis may include corticosteroid medication injections and physical therapy. Surgery is reserved for cases that fail to respond to more conservative measures.
Treatment options for shoulder tendinitis include:
- Avoid activities that cause pain
- Long term immobilization in a sling can lead to frozen shoulder.
- 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.
- Physical therapy will play a major role in avoiding frozen shoulder.
- Cold compresses
- Apply for 20 minutes at a time, 2 to 3 times per day
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
- Corticosteroid injections for shoulder tendinitis
- Physical therapy for shoulder tendinitis:
- Occupational therapy for shoulder tendinitis
- Surgery for shoulder tendinitis:
- Arthroscopic repair of shoulder tendons
Shoulder Tendinitis Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of shoulder tendinitis.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- 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 shoulder tendinitis again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Shoulder Tendinitis Specialist
Continue to Shoulder Tendinitis Home Care
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- 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. 
- 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. 
- Hurt G, Baker CL Jr. Calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. Orthop Clin North Am. 2003 Oct;34(4):567-75. 
- 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.