Acute Calcific Tendinopathy of the Shoulder

 In Upper Limb

Shoulder Tendinopathy

You wake up, and you are unable to even lift your arm to put your shirt on. You feel as though you could chop your arm off if it was possible! What could have caused this pain?

Acute calcific tendinopathy of the shoulder is pain and limitation of shoulder range of motion caused by calcium deposits into one or more of the rotator cuff tendons. The condition has an insidious onset – meaning that it can happen out of the blue and at this stage it is uncertain what the cause of this injury is.

Acute Calcific Tendinopathy of the Shoulder


Some signs or symptoms that point towards this disorder include:

·         Extremely limited range of motion of the shoulder in all directions

·         Insidious onset

·         Constant pain  particularly at night when trying to sleep/get in position to sleep

The good news? Your shoulder pain settle within one – two weeks as the body resorbs the calcium and your range of motion improves.

Physiotherapy treatment involves de-loading the shoulder. This includes:

·         Manual therapy to relax the muscles of the neck and shoulder and maintain movement of the shoulder joint

·         Taping to support the shoulder

·         Home exercise program focused on

o   stretches for the neck and arm and

o   strengthening of the scapula postural muscles.

Check out this great hand out by renowned Gold Coast shoulder surgeon Dr Terry Hammond

Click to access gp_calcium_in_the_shoulder.pdf

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