What is Rotator Cuff Tendinitis?

What is Rotator Cuff Tendinitis?

Rotator cuff tendonitis

Rotator cuff tendinitis is the inflammation and swelling of tendons and the surrounding bursa connected to the rotator cuff. It is painful and usually occurs following an injury, repetitive shoulder activities, or overuse.

Signs & Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tendinitis


Rotator cuff tendonitis can be very painful—ordinary daily activities such as cooking or hanging laundry can become unbearable tasks.

Rotator cuff tendinitis symptoms include:

  • Pain in the shoulder area
  • Arm weakness
  • Limited motion

What Causes Rotator Cuff Tendinitis?


An overuse injury may cause rotator cuff tendinitis, especially repetitive motion associated with throwing, raking, washing windows, or any other activity that requires constant repetitive motion.

Additionally, falling on outstretched arms, trauma to the shoulder, and normal wear and tear that comes with age are known causes of rotator cuff tendinitis. This condition often requires treatment since it can worsen over time and lead to partially or entirely torn tendons in the shoulder.

Risk Factors

Risk Factors

Some factors place a person at a higher risk for developing rotator cuff tendinitis. These include:

  • Age - Our tendons can become worn out or frayed, making a rotator cuff injury more likely
  • Occupation - Construction, carpentry, or house painting that requires constant overhead, repetitive motion puts stress on the shoulder and can eventually damage the rotator cuff
  • Genetics - A family history of shoulder and rotator cuff problems increases a person’s risk for developing rotator cuff tendonitis
Get Care

Trust NewYork-Presbyterian for Rotator Cuff Tendinitis Care

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, it may be rotator cuff tendinitis. Don’t wait—make an appointment with an experienced orthopedic specialist today. Our experts are here to listen and offer you the best possible care for your rotator cuff tendinitis.