Signs and Symptoms

  • The major presenting symptom of supraspinatus tendinopathy is pain in the shoulder.  This area of pain is most likely to be on the side of the shoulder around the area of the deltoid muscle.
  • Other signs may be weakness and/or pain on movement, particularly in overhead actions like reaching, throwing a ball, or swimming and also during rotation of the arm at the shoulder joint.  This often causes the person some degree of disability and may be the catalyst for presentation to a doctor’s or physiotherapy clinic (Lewis, 2008).
  • Pain and weakness will most likely have a gradual onset, with no precise event linked to the injury, unlike for example a sprain.
  • Difficulty lifting heavy loads may be experienced, especially when lifting with a straight arm.
  • Night pain can be associated with tendinopathy, but is more indicative of a tear.                       

(Burbank et al., 2008 and Mitchell et al., 2005)