Shoulder Tendinopathy

(Shoulder Tendonitis; Shoulder Tendinosis; Bicipital Tendinopathy; Bicipital Tendonitis; Bicipital Tendinosis; Supraspinatus Tendinopathy; Supraspinatus Tendonitis;Supraspinatus Tendinosis; Pitcher's Shoulder; Swimmer's Shoulder; Tennis Shoulder)


The tendons connect muscle to bone and often connect near a joint. Tendinopathy is an injury to the tendon, causing pain, inflammation, and limited movement. Tendinopathy may be:
  • Tendinosis—tiny tears in the tendon with no significant inflammation (more common)
  • Tendonitis—inflammation of the tendon (less common)
There are several tendons in the shoulder. They are attached to muscles of the rotator cuff and the biceps muscle of the arm.
Shoulder Tendons
factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Tendinopathy is generally caused by overuse of a muscle and tendon. Over time, the strain on the tendon causes the structure of the tendon to change.Shoulder tendons are overused most often with:
  • Repeated reaching overhead
  • Repeated throwing
Shoulder tendinopathy may also be caused by:
  • Inflammatory disease in the shoulder, such as arthritis
  • Trauma to the shoulder
  • Fall on outstretched arms
  • Normal wear and tear associated with age

Risk Factors

Shoulder tendinopathy is more common in people 30 years and older. Other factors that may increase your chance of shoulder tendinopathy include:
  • Always using the arm in an overhead position or throwing motion, as in:
    • Tennis or other racquet sports
    • Swimming
    • Baseball
    • Certain jobs, such as overhead assembly work, butchering, or using an overhead pressing machine


Symptoms develop gradually over time. Pain usually slowly increases with use.Tendinopathy may cause:
  • Pain (a dull ache) in the shoulder and upper arm
  • Pain at night, especially when sleeping on the injured side
  • Pain when trying to reach for a back zipper or pocket
  • Pain with overhead use of the arm
  • Shoulder weakness, usually due to pain with effort
  • Shoulder stiffness with some loss of motion

leave comments
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals

Music May Improve Sleep Quality in Adults with Insomnia
October 2015

Insomnia can make your days miserable and a cure can be hard to find. There are some medications but there is some worry with side effects and the potential for addiction. Music is side effect free and according to this study may help you find sleep.

dot separator
previous editions

CPAP May Help Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
September 2015

Water Before Meals May Promote Weight Loss
August 2015

Fecal Transplants Induce Ulcerative Colitis Remission
July 2015

dashed separator


Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »