Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy Treatment

Rotator cuff tendinopathy is a painful condition caused by the overload of the tendons which connect the muscles to the shoulder.

At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our treatment of rotator cuff tendinopathy aims to:

What is rotator cuff tendinopathy?

The shoulder has what is known as a rotator cuff, which is a group of muscles that join together as tendons covering the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) to help keep it in the socket. A rotator cuff tendinopathy develops as a result of a failed healing process usually from overloading of the tendon – there is a breakdown of collagen in the tendon resulting in micro tears in the rotator cuff muscles and tendons. The degenerative fraying of these tendons can eventually contribute to a partial or complete rotator cuff tear.

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What are the causes?

Rotator cuff tendinopathy is mostly characterised as a degenerative condition and  there are usually common contributing factors which can affect diagnosis. These include:

  • General wear and tear – gradual wearing out of the tendon over time causing fraying and rubbing of the tendon against the bone
  • Overuse/strain – repetitive lifting/reaching movements
  • Sports – lifting/reaching movements in sports like swimming, tennis, baseball, etc.
  • Sedentary lifestyles – minimal/reduced movement of the shoulder
  • Sleeping positions – lying on one side/shoulder every night

Rotator cuff tendinopathy can be a milder form of a rotator cuff injury – the condition can heal and regain full range of movement. However, ignoring symptoms or continuously putting the rotator cuff at risk, can escalate this tendinopathy into a a rotator cuff tear, whether it be partial or a full rupture.

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain in the front of the shoulder/top of the arm
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Worsened pain with lifting/raising movements
  • Stiffness/inability to move the arm or shoulder
  • Tenderness of the rotator cuff muscles
  • Reduced range of movement – e.g. reaching behind the back/above head
  • Clicking sound with movement
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of muscle strength/weakness
Reducing Muscle Tension

Treatment for rotator cuff tendinopathy

If you suspect you have rotator cuff tendinopathy in your shoulder, it is important to see a medical professional. You will likely be referred for an Ultrasound or X-ray to determine the extent of the condition.


Physical therapy is highly beneficial in managing symptoms. At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we tailor a unique treatment plan to aid in your recovery through:

  • Stretching, strengthening and/or conditioning exercises
  • Restoring range of movement
  • Postural improvement
  • Soft tissue mobilisations (massage)
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • A unique home exercise program
  • Graded Exposure to load program

If the pain and reduced movement is severe, driving and strenuous activity should be avoided. Your physiotherapist may also advise heat or ice application, rest and if necessary, pain medication. Additionally, they might recommend for you to use neck support or a suitable pillow.

How to book an appointment?

If you have a rotator cuff injury, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our physios at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess your condition to tailor a unique rehabilitation plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.


Need Help?

Are you in pain caused by rotator cuff tendinopathy? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

Contact us for more information on treatment

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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