This post is about Chiropractic Care of Shoulder Girdle Pain: Calcific Tendinitis.  Calcific tendinitis is a shoulder condition where calcium slowly accumulates in the rotator cuff tendon.  Most of the cases are in the supraspinatus (muscle in back of shoulder) tendon. Calcific tendinitis can occur in any age group, but occurs mostly in 30-60 year olds. Women seem to be more affected than men. It may either happen insidiously (comes on slowly) or subsequent to a fall or other major trauma.

If you have shoulder girdle pain from calcific tendinitis, Chiropractic can provide relief!


Chiropractic Care of Shoulder Girdle Pain: Calcific Tendinitis- CAUSES


The exact cause of calcific tendinitis is unknown.  However, there are many proposed hypotheses/theories on the causes: abnormal activity of the thyroid gland, metabolic diseases (e.g. diabetes), and genetic predisposition. The most recognized cause is the degenerative and “multiphasic” theories (acute and chronic phase).


Degenerative Theory of Calcific Tendinitis


Rotator cuff muscle strains can be caused by falls on an outstretched arm and minor or repetitive stresses to a tendon. Most injuries are to the supraspinatus tendon.  The following is what happens next:


First, due to the comparatively poor blood supply near the insertion (where muscle attaches to bone) of the supraspinatus muscle, nutrition to this area may not meet the demands of the tendon tissue. Second, an inflammatory response (due to injury or repetitive use) starts in the tendon.  This creates a tendinitis that arises in the tendon. Third, there is a release of various enzymes/proteins and then the resulting “dead tissue” may appear as “foreign” to your body. Fourth, your body may react by laying down scar tissue or even calcific deposits. And this is referred to as calcific tendinitis.


Acute phase of Calcific Tendinitis


In the acute (develop severely suddenly and last a short time) phase of this condition, you will have severe shoulder pain that increases with any shoulder movement. Furthermore, you will find yourself in a supportive posture, holding the arm against your side to avoid movement. Sometimes, the pain is intense as the body tries to reabsorb the calcium.


Chronic Phase of Calcific Tendinitis


In the chronic phase, the presence of the calcium deposits doesn’t cause as much inflammation, so the pain is less. 

Firstly, there may be a bursitis (painful swelling of a small, fluid-filled sac called a bursa) secondary (resulted from tendinitis) to the calcific tendinitis.  So bursitis, as a primary condition (occuring on own) resulting from local trauma, is rare. It is very common to have bursitis as a secondary progression from tendinitis.

Secondly, acute bulging of the tendon compresses the bursa against the coracoacromial arch (portion of top outer edge of shoulder blade).

Thirdly, this swelling of the bursa produces limitation of motion and pain. The subacromial and subdeltoid bursae are most frequently involved.



Chiropractic Care of Shoulder Girdle Pain: Calcific Tendinitis


The evaluation of  calcific tendinitis is based mainly on imaging studies such as x-ray, ultrasound, and a magnetic resonance image of the shoulder. Radiographs (x-ray) usually will suffice to diagnose calcific tendinitis.

Treatment in the acute phase may require an arm sling, ice and various modalities/therapies. It may be too inflamed for manipulation.  In the chronic phase, Chiropractic manipulative treatment/therapy to the spine and extremities (e.g. acromioclavicular joint, glenohumeral joint) are effective for Calcific Tendinitis. Our other therapies, such as soft tissue techniques, electric muscle stimulation, ice/ heat therapies, therapeutic exercises and homeopathic consultations also provide relief.

Through regular chiropractic visits, you can get pain relief and improve your health without drugs or surgery! 

At Meiri Chiropractic we spend the time necessary to examine, diagnose and treat every neuromusculoskeletal condition and various ailments you have.  Chiropractic is a holistic and natural way to not only treat existing conditions, but to keep your body in its best working condition.  We have been offering effective chiropractic care in Palm Beach county since 2006.  Many of our patient reviews note our excellence.  Call us today at 561-253-8984 to make an appointment or to find out more about Chiropractic Care of Shoulder Girdle Pain: Calcific Tendinitis.