shoulder tendinosis

Shoulder tendonitis or shoulder tendinosis?

If you’ve been suffering from a burning, painful sensation in the shoulder, it could be down to a number of conditions. As the shoulder is one of the largest and most mobile joints in the body, it’s prone to injury and may generate the same types of symptoms.

Two of the most confusing causes of burning and pain in the shoulder include Tendonitis and Tendinosis. These conditions are often confused with one another, but they do have their differences. Here, we’ll look at how Tendonitis and Tendinosis differ and the treatment options available.

What is shoulder tendonitis?

Tendonitis is a short-term condition, caused by a direct injury of the tendon. This causes inflammation, pain, warmth, redness and swelling. There are different types of the condition, with the most common affecting the rotator cuff of the shoulder.

Most commonly, it occurs due to overuse of the tendon. It’s especially common in athletes and labourers who frequently use the shoulder. Injuries can range from mild to severe and patients may find they have trouble moving the arm into specific positions.

What is shoulder tendinosis?

Tendinosis presents the same type of symptoms of Tendinitis, although it’s a completely different condition. It’s considered a chronic condition, which means it is either recurring or persistent. It is usually caused by repetitive trauma and unlike Tendinitis, it doesn’t lead to inflammation.

As inflammation isn’t present, you won’t experience symptoms such as warmth or redness in the area. It can occur anywhere in the body, but it is particularly common in the shoulder.

New study provides insight into why shoulder tendinosis occurs

A recent study has provided valuable insight into why Tendinosis may occur. The study carried out by the Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University, discovered how tendon injuries in humans develop and the processes that occur.

The researchers analysed tendon tissue taken from patients, which would typically be discarded after surgery. After seeing the different processes at work, they then began experimenting, manipulating the oxygen levels within the tendon. They also discovered that if they could raise Rac1 production, they could potentially prevent Tendinosis from occurring, helping the cells of the tendon retain their shape.

Understanding how the tendon cells change their shape, allows the researchers to potentially manipulate them. However, further research is required to better understand how the pathways work and how they could be manipulated.

What treatment options are available?

In both Tendonitis and Tendinosis, the first point of treatment is typically rest and physiotherapy. With Tendonitis, ice packs and cortisol injections can also prove useful to treat the inflammation. However, these treatments aren’t useful with Tendinosis.

In mild cases of Tendinosis, physical therapy and rest are the best treatment options. However, if the injury is more severe, surgery may be required. This does mean the recovery period will be quite lengthy.

If you’re concerned you may be suffering from Tendonitis or Tendinosis of the shoulder, it’s important to seek an accurate diagnosis. From there, you’ll be provided with a suitable treatment plan based upon the type and severity of the condition.