Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

Rotator cuff tendonitis is defined as the inflammation and irritation or the shoulder tendons.


Rotator cuff tendonitis occurs in 5-10% of the general population, and is more common in men.  However, it is uncommon in people under the age of 20 years of age.


The causes of rotator cuff tendonitis include:

  • Microtrauma from repetitive use
  • Abnormally shaped acromion
  • Shoulder instability
  • Worsening of process by overhead throwing motion
  • Microcirculatory changes at musculotendinous junction


The signs and symptoms associated with rotator cuff tendonitis may include:

  • Pain that is often experienced at night and especially worse when lying on the affected side
  • Rotator cuff tenderness
  • Referred pain down the deltoid muscle − especially with abduction of arm (raising the arm away from the body)
  • Increased pain with overhead activities such as brushing hair or reaching for objects on the upper shelf


The diagnostic assessment tools and tests that are used to diagnose rotator cuff tendonitis include:

  • Physical examination
  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound
  • MRI


From a Naturopathic standpoint, Dr. Moira Kwok ND will obtain a very thorough medical history in order to put all of your "puzzle pieces" together to form a whole picture of everything that is going on from a health perspective.  From this holistic approach to treatment, she will put together an individualized treatment plan based on a combination of dietary and lifestyle recommendations, supplements, botanicals, acupuncture and/or IV therapy that is based on your specific case.



  • Beers MH & Berkow R (Editors).  1999.  The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy (17th Ed.).  Merck Research Laboratories: Whitehouse Station, NJ.
  • Ferri FF.  2007.  Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment.  Mosby Elsevier: Philadelphia, PA.