Calcifying tendinitis of the shoulder
While tendinitis is a simple inflammation of the tendon, calcifying tendinitis of the shoulder (CTS) causes the tendon to form calcium deposits close to its bone insertion.
The Symptoms of CTS
- Medium-intensity pain in the shoulder and limitation of movement
- In more severe cases: severe pain that can become chronic, acute weakness when lifting the shoulder and important limitation of movement.
Causes of CTS
Despite CTS being a fairly common condition, particularly in individuals in their forties and fifties, the exact mechanisms leading to the formation of calcium deposits are still unknown. Decreased blood circulation or degenerative tissue changes could be involved.
How is CTS Diagnosed?
The only way to confirm a CTS diagnosis is to do an X-ray of the affected area, as several other conditions present similar symptoms.
Efficient Treatments for CTS
In our clinics, our therapists have achieved cure rates of 90% by combining the beneficial effects of the two following treatments (optimal results are achieved with 10 to 15 treatments):
- Iontophoresis: a chemical substance is introduced into the body though an electric current; the substance most commonly used is acetic acid (vinegar). Many studies have shown the effectiveness of acetic acid in the treatment of CTS, thanks to its direct action on calcification
- Therapeutic ultrasound: this is a device that produces high intensity sound waves and is used to treat soft tissue such as muscles, tendons and ligaments in order to reduce pain and inflammation.
In more severe cases or when the injury does not respond to the combined treatment, Shockwave therapy may be recommended. A diagnostic ultrasound must first be used in order to eliminate the possibility of a torn tendon. This therapy produces an 80% cure rate.
Here is a preventive exercise that can halt the progression of calcifying tendinitis of the shoulder while you await your appointment with a therapist:
- Standing up, attach the end of an elastic band to a fixed object (doorknob, banister…); using your right hand, grab the other end of the elastic band, keeping your elbow at a 90° angle
- With your chin tucked in and the top of your right shoulder pulled back, move the hand outward, as far as possible; keep the elbow bent and very close to the body
- Maintain this position for 5 seconds; slow get back to the starting position; repeat 15 times; do two to three series of exercises
- Repeat with the other arm.