Rotator Cuff Therapy Exercises

Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

Rotator cuff tendinopathy, what is it? This is another one of those general reference terms used for rotator cuff tendon conditions.

There is really no definitive agreement on exactly what constitutes rotator cuff tendinopathy or rotator cuff tendinosis.

As I pointed out with the tendonitis / tendinitis spelling debate it seems that just about anything goes. I aim to help you fathom out what it is you may be suffering from.

As I have said repeatedly if the experts can't agree on something as simple as a spelling; what chance do you, the patient, have in trying to discover exactly what is wrong.

Hopefully I can break down some of the barriers for you now. This is one of those things that drove me to distraction when treating my own rotator cuff.

I will give you the latest information on how the terms rotator cuff tendinopathy and rotator cuff tendinosis are applied. I also want to give you a little more information about some of the other terms and conditions you may come across.

You may well have heard of RSI, for example, it may be a term your doctor has used along with rotator cuff tendinopathy, but exactly what is it? Rotator cuff tendinosis however is a distinct condition and I have dedicated a page to explaining it.

Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

Rotator cuff tendinopathy different to rotator cuff tears

Before I go on to talk in more detail about tendinopathy I think it is important to state that again that I am not talking about rotator cuff tears.

Rotator cuff tears are a completely different condition. Some of the symptoms can be similar and a number of the treatments are also very similar but they remain very different and distinct conditions.

When we talk about rotator cuff tears we are almost always discussing the tendon and not the muscle. It is fairly uncommon for one of the rotator cuff muscles to tear. Rotator cuff tendinopathy however is something that purely affects the tendon.

No matter what your condition it is important to remember one very simple fact. You are the one person that can best influence your recovery. Rotator cuff muscle exercises and rotator cuff strengthening exercises play a vital role in your recovery.

Whether it is rotator cuff tendinopathy or you have suffered one of the common rotator cuff tears, the answer is often the same. Rotator cuff strengthening exercises will speed recovery and prevent a repeat. Please, for your sake, do the rehab.


Overuse Injuries, RSI and CTD

Overuse injuries is a term that covers a broad spectrum of repetitive motion injuries. It is a catch all that encompasses things such as RSI and CTD.

The major difference is that the terms RSI and CTD are most often associated with workplace injuries and the term overuse injuries is most often applied to sports injuries.

RSI or repetitive strain injury includes such things as tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome and trigger finger, there are more.

CTD or cumulative trauma disorder is effectively the same thing and the terms are pretty much interchangeable.

Tendonitis, tendinopathy, tendonosis and paratenonitis

Tendonitis, tendinopathy and tendonosis are terms that all refer to injuries affecting the tendons of the body. As we know they are often badly used or mixed up.

The term paratenonitis refers to an injury specifically of the outer layer of a tendon. Previously terms such as tenosynovitis and peritendinitis were used.

Let's have a look at each of these in a little more detail.


The suffix "itis" means inflammation. Rotator cuff tendonitis is covered in detail but is a term reserved larger scale acute tendon injuries that are accompanied by inflammation.


The suffix "osis" means a process, condition or state that is abnormal or diseased. Rotator cuff tendinosis is covered in detail but is a term used generally to describe chronic long term injuries. rotator cuff tendinosis is an accumulation of microscopic injuries that fail to heal properly.


The suffix "pathy" simply means illness or disease. Rotator cuff tendinopathy therefore is a more general term for a tendon injury. It is becoming a term more commonly used to describe tendonitis and tendinosis together as it is common for both conditions to occur collectively.


Paratenonitis refers to inflammation injuries affecting the outer layers of tendons. The tendons of the body are enclosed in a connective tissue covering called the epitenon that contains the vascular, nerve and lymphatic supply.

The paratenon is another layer of connective tissue that surrounds the epitenon. Together they are called the peritendon.

Tendinosis and paratenonitis can occur separately or together. In other words you can suffer an injury to the tendon, to the tendon sheath or to both at the same time.

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