Supraspinatus tendinitis/Tear


Supraspinatus (Rotator Cuff) Tendinitis/Tear

Torn supraspinatus tendon of the rotator cuff.

The rotator cuff is a term given to four main tendons that wrap around the shoulder joint, the supraspinatus tendon being the tendon coming off the shoulder blade in the top portion.

Rotator cuff tendonitis (also spelled tendinitis) and tears often occur gradually, though many are associated with sports injuries (especially baseball and swimming), falls on the shoulder, or an added injury due to shoulder dislocation in elderly folk. If you've ever been diagnosed with bursitis, it's possible the supraspinatus tendon is the true source of your pain, not the shoulder bursa. In this case, the pain does not resolve with typically prescribed anti-inflammatory medications.

Symptoms of Chronic Supraspinatus-Tear SITS

S upraspinatus 

I nfraspinatus

T erres minor

S ubscapularis 




If a tear or rupture in your rotator cuff tendon occurs over time you may experience the following symptoms.

  • Supraspinatus Tendon Tear Risk FactorsPain
     in the shoulder whendoing a repetitive shoulder activity that eventually becomes noticeable when the shoulder is at rest.
  • Atrophy or weakening of the tendons and muscles in the rotator cuff.
  • Pain that starts as a dull ache and progresses to a radiating pain from the shoulder, especially when sleeping.
  • Sudden pain when reaching above the heador bringing the arm out to the side.
  • Muscle spasm and weakness in the arm and shoulder area with limited range of motion.
  • crackling sensation may be felt as the condition worsens.

Repetitive overhead movements without properly warming up (lifting object overhead for work, chopping wood, swinging a hammer, participating in sports such as volleyball, baseball, tennis and rowing) can cause the supraspinatus tendon to weaken over time making it more prone to a tear, tear, and rupture.

Stretching to warm up properly before activity can help reduce the risk of a rotator cuff tear.

Because supraspinatus tendon injuries are often a result of overuse, people over 40 are at greater risk of degeneration and rotator cuff tears due to the body's natural weakening of the soft tissue over time.

Slouching your neck and shoulders forward can also cause excess stress on your supraspinatus tendon because the space for your tendon between the bones in your shoulder become smaller. This can lead to rotator cuff tendons becoming pinched by the bones in your shoulder.

Lack of strength to support the glenohumeral jointof your rotator cuff leads to a greater risk of incorrect movements. This can cause wear and tear on a tendon and weakening over time.

Tendon Treatments

When treating a strained supraspinatus tendon, rest the area (this can be difficult to do, as many common daily activities work this tendon), apply cold compression for 10-20 minutes at a time for at least 3 times a day. Do this to the injured area for the first day up to 3 days. Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy may be used after the acute swelling is improved. Cold compression therapy will reduce initial inflammation and swelling and Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy increases blood flow through the area to speed the healing process. This can be further helped by the use of ultrasound applications over the affected area, as it reduces swelling quickly and increases blood flow to the area, helping the tendon heal more quickly.Ultrasound therapy is indicated for chronic pain and scar tissue. As always to prevent these repetitive motion injuries an exercise program designed to strengthen the and ligaments is advised.Tennis health offers a specific workout called TennisFlex that targets shoilders knees and elbows.

*.The webstore has training gear for these exercises as well as FDA approved ultrasound for in home use , visit the webstore in the Navbar at the top of the page

 ** order a Blood flow stimulation wrap for quick healing and get back on the courts!