The tendons connect muscle to bone and often connect near a joint. Tendinopathy is an injury to the tendon. It can cause pain and swelling and makes it difficult to move. Tendinopathy may be:

  • Tendonitis—inflammation of the tendon. (less common)
  • Tendinosis—tiny tears in the tendon with no significant inflammation. (more 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
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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:

  • Inflammation disease in the shoulder such as arthritis
  • Trauma to the shoulder or fall on outstretched arms.
  • Normal wear and tear associated with age.