The rotator cuff refers to a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint to perform its stabilising and motor function. However, for various reasons, these tendons can become inflamed and irritated leading to rotator cuff tendinitis of the shoulder.
If this injury is not treated in time, the patient may suffer a rupture of the shoulder tendon. For this reason, it is important to know what this type of shoulder tendinitis is, what its symptoms are and how it can be improved with the help of a compression shoulder brace, given the benefits offered by such accessories.
What are the symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis of the shoulder?
Also known as "shoulder impingement syndrome", rotator cuff tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons that connect the muscles and bones of the shoulder joint to each other.
The rotator cuff tendons pass under a bony area on their way to attach to the upper arm bone and thus, when inflamed, cause a sharp pain in the shoulder that is very characteristic of this condition. The rotator cuff is responsible for keeping the head of the humerus inside the glenoid socket to facilitate its mobility.
To stabilise the shoulder, it is made up of a group of four muscles, which are:
- Subscapularis muscle: It is the muscle that rotates the humerus internally.
- Supraspinatus muscle: Involved in the abduction movement of the arm and therefore performs the first 15 to 20 degrees.
- Infraspinatus muscle: Helps rotate the arm externally.
- Teres minor muscle: Participates in the external rotation of the arm.
Now, the rotator cuff tendons pass through a space between the shoulder joint and the acromion (a bone that sits on top of the joint). These tend to become inflamed when rotator cuff tendinitis occurs and can then become pinched against one of the other structures that make up the shoulder joint, causing a disruption in the area. It usually affects the tendons below the acromion.
The main causes and risk factors that trigger this type of shoulder injury include:
- Sleeping on the same arm every night.
- Suffering a major shoulder injury.
- Holding the arm in the same position for long periods of time.
- Lifting heavy objects for a prolonged period of time.
- Playing sports that require repetitive overhead arm movements (swimming, tennis, baseball, weightlifting, etc.).
- Having a job that requires constant arm movements (painter or carpentry).
- Age or ageing.
- Genetic component (family history).
People suffering from rotator cuff tendinitis develop a particular clinical picture shows the following signs and symptoms:
- Dull radiating pain in the shoulder: Sometimes it may radiate towards the elbow (without reaching the hand).
- Difficulty or limitation in raising the affected arm: Raising the arm to perform activities on high ground (combing hair, drying hair, lifting weights, touching the back, etc.) increases the pain.
- Insomnia or sleep disturbance: This is due to the fact that the pathology produces a type of nocturnal pain that disturbs sleep, especially when lying on top of the injured shoulder.
- Loss of strength: In the most severe cases of tendinitis, the patient shows weakness in the arm or loss of strength.
- If there are complications surrounding the disease, the following symptoms will occur: permanent impairment of the ability to move and gradual degeneration of the joint.
What are the benefits of using a compression shoulder brace to treat rotator cuff tendinitis?
In most cases, conservative treatment is sufficient for a patient with rotator cuff tendinitis to recover quickly from the injury. The medical specialist should prescribe certain therapies to help speed up the recovery process. One such procedure is compression therapy.
This type of non-invasive therapy uses an elastic element or device to regulate the function of the vascular wall, decrease venous pressure and optimise tissue metabolism, recovering the joints and muscles of the affected area. It is appropriate to use a compression shoulder brace to help this type of injury in the correct way.
This compression garment is responsible for limiting the movement of the shoulder, guaranteeing the following benefits:
- Mitigates pain in the shoulder joint.
- Reduces the inflammatory process developed by rotator cuff tendinitis.
- Provides firmness in the area, to keep the humeral head centred in the glenoid fossa and the coracoacromial arch.
- Supports the rehabilitation of patients to regain normal shoulder function.
- Protects the affected area, with the aim of preventing the patient from further injury or worsening of the pathology.
- Provides comfort to the affected shoulder during and after recovery.
- It guarantees safety so that its users can carry out various movements or actions without fear that the discomfort will reappear.
What type of shoulder brace is best suited to improve shoulder tendinitis?
Different models of compression shoulder support are distinguished, as these garments have defined specific functions in order to meet the requirements of their target audience. It is ideal for patients to take into account certain characteristics before purchasing an efficient shoulder brace that does not produce adverse effects.
We list the main features to highlight before choosing your shoulder brace:
- Material: It is important that the shoulder brace is made of a resistant and breathable material so that it facilitates day-to-day activities and does not cause discomfort. It is also important to avoid the rapid wear and tear of the garment (because the recovery process of the disease requires its continuous use).
- Sizing: Patients should choose the right size to obtain the benefits of compression therapy with the appropriate level of support. Otherwise, the accessory is likely to constrict blood flow and increase pain or swelling in the area. For this purpose, it is advisable to measure the shoulder and arm to determine the specific dimensions.
- Adequate compression: Just as it is essential to choose the right size, it is also advisable to choose a shoulder brace that provides adjustable compression to adequately stabilise the joint. In this way, the user will feel comfortable and secure.
- Comfortable design: It is worth considering the design, so that it provides comfort and does not cause discomfort to the shoulder or adjacent areas during treatment.
We recommend buying a sports compression shoulder support, as this type meets all the details mentioned above. Whereas, they are garments that are characterised by their ability to reinforce the shoulder joint and promote joint mobility during sports practices. They also ensure stability, relieve pain, provide comfort and thus accelerate the recovery of the injured shoulder.