Request a Physiotherapy Appointment

Unsure which program is right for you? Meet with a physiotherapist to discuss your specific needs.




Unsure which program is right for you? Meet with a physiotherapist to discuss your specific needs.


< Back to Previous Step

Unsure which program is right for you? Meet with a physiotherapist to discuss your specific needs.

< Back to Previous Step

Unsure which program is right for you? Meet with a physiotherapist to discuss your specific needs.

Yes No

Please check your email for your booking request confirmation.

< Back to Previous Step

Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder

Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder

What is Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder?

Tendonitis (also spelled tendinitis) is the irritation or inflammation of the tendons (thick fibrous bands of tissues that attach muscles to bones).

Think of a tendon like an elastic band that stretches when you move. Tendons also help absorb some of the shocks from your muscles when you move.

Tendonitis can occur in many parts of the body, but typically happens in areas where there are more significant amounts of movement, like the arms and shoulders.

Calcific tendonitis of the shoulder occurs when small (1-2 cm) calcium deposits form within the tendons of the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons that connect your arm to your shoulder.

Your shoulder joint is the largest joint in your body. Calcium can build up suddenly or gradually, and can cause pain, discomfort, and limited movement.

Causes | Symptoms | Treatment | Prevention

What Causes Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder?

Calcific tendonitis of the shoulder is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. 

The exact cause is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by the delayed healing of shoulder tendonitis, increasing age, and is more common in people with diabetes.

Risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing calcific tendonitis of the shoulder include:

  • Sports that involve repeated overhead arm movements like basketball and tennis
  • Jobs that involve repeated overhead arm movements like heavy lifting
  • Past injuries such as a shoulder dislocation or impingement
  • Weak shoulder muscles
  • Overloading the shoulder joint
  • Trauma, like bumping or hitting your shoulder against something
  • Inflammatory diseases like gout and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gender – it is more common in women
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Abnormal cell growth
  • Abnormal thyroid gland activity

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder?

You may have calcium deposits in your shoulder for several years before experiencing any symptoms. 

Depending on the cause of your calcific tendonitis of the shoulder, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Tenderness, pain, or stiffness
  • A constant, dull ache
  • Pain that gets worse at night, especially if you sleep on the affected shoulder
  • Pain that gets worse when you move your shoulder, especially overhead motions, or pulling and lifting
  • Pain that moves down the arm or down into the fingers
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Redness and swelling

Concerned about symptoms of calcific tendonitis of the shoulder? Book an assessment with a physiotherapist today.

Find a clinic button that links to pt Health's find a clinic page

 

 

How is Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder Treated?

Treatments for calcific tendonitis of the shoulder can include:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), either prescribed, or over-the-counter, such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and inflammation, though these may impede the body’s natural calcium resorption process which helps get rid of remaining deposits
  • Excision of the calcium deposits by needle aspiration in your doctor’s office, if the tendonitis is caught early before the calcium becomes too hard
  • Surgery

Physiotherapy for Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder

Physiotherapy is a drug-free and non-surgical treatment that focuses on reducing pain and swelling, regaining strength, and increasing joint mobility and function. 

At pt Health, you’ll receive a thorough assessment which addresses the source of your problem.

Depending on your individual needs, physiotherapy for calcific tendonitis of the shoulder can include:

  • Cold therapy following the PRICE protocol
  • Stretching, strengthening, and range of motion exercises
  • Personalized exercise plan
  • Activity modifications and functional retraining
  • Patient education
  • Assistive devices such as bracing
  • Cross-disciplinary pain-relieving therapies such as: 

Are you seeking physiotherapy for biceps tendonitis treatment? Book an assessment today.

Find a clinic button that links to pt Health's find a clinic page

 

 

Can Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder Go Away on Its Own?

Yes, calcific tendonitis of the shoulder can get better on its own, eventually. 

However, it can severely impact your quality of life in the meantime, and if it’s not treated correctly, tendonitis can turn into tendonosis.

Tendonosis (also spelled tendinosis) is a chronic, recurring condition that happens as a result of overuse, repetitive strain, repeated injuries to the same area, or an injury that hasn’t healed properly. 

Without proper treatment or activity modification, tendonosis can degenerate the tendons, and calcific tendonitis of the shoulder that hasn’t healed properly can lead to rotator cuff tears and frozen shoulder

Physiotherapy can significantly speed up and improve the healing process.

Can You Prevent Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder?

If you have an increased risk of calcific tendonitis of the shoulder (for example, you play sports, or your job involves repetitive overhead or lifting movements), you may want to consult a physiotherapist for a custom treatment plan to address your unique concerns. 

However, there are steps you can take to prevent or reduce the chance of developing calcific tendonitis of the shoulder, including:

  • Exercising regularly, including stretching exercises such as yoga or tai chi (at least 30 minutes every day)
  • Easing into new exercise routines
  • Warming up before exercise
  • Stretching after exercise
  • Taking regular breaks from repetitive movements
  • Practicing good posture
  • Practicing proper technique in sport
  • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet (avoiding processed and refined foods and sugar)

Book a Physiotherapist Consult for Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder Today

Concerned about symptoms of calcific tendonitis of the shoulder? Book an assessment with a physiotherapist today.

Find a clinic button that links to pt Health's find a clinic page