Shoulder Tendonitis Specialist in New Jersey

New Jersey Orthopedic Institute (NJOI) sees plenty of athletes, both young and old, walk through our doors. A common injury that we see in our older, yet active, patients is shoulder tendonitis. Tendonitis is a common overuse injury that participants of sports such as swimming, baseball, and tennis experience.

Causes of Tendonitis in the Shoulder

The consistent overhead movements, such as that of a swimming stroke, baseball throw, or tennis serve, causes pain that may radiate from the shoulder down the arm when the arm is lifted or twisted. Our shoulder is a very tight fitting joint, and when overhead movement is involved, everything tends to compress, which places stress upon the tendons and bursa in the shoulder. Repetitive use of the shoulder causes both the tendons and the bursa to become prone to injury and inflammation. Tendonitis itself occurs when a tendon within the rotator cuff becomes inflamed, swollen, and tender. Contributing factors to shoulder tendonitis range from repetitive overhead motions, weak muscles in the shoulders and back, improper sporting technique (ex. throwing or swimming), overexertion in training, previous injuries to the shoulder, or a loose shoulder joint.

Symptoms of Tendonitis in the Shoulder

The four stages of tendonitis each share similar symptoms, but vary in the severity of symptoms. Overuse tendonitis due to repetitive stress within the rotator cuff can be indicated by shoulder pain and weakness in the joint. Calcific tendonitis, caused by long-term inflammation will also be indicated by pain, but also loss of shoulder strength and reduced range of motion. Impingement tendonitis occurs when the humerus “pinches” down on the rotator cuff tendon. This type of tendonitis is indicated with a severe sharp pain in the shoulder. Severe tendonitis that goes untreated can eventually lead to a tear in the rotator cuff. This type of injury comes with severe shoulder pain, weakness in the joint, and loss of normal movement and function of the shoulder.

Symptoms of Tendonitis in the Shoulder

The primary goal of treatment is to allow the tendons to heal on their own, through rest. Patients are asked to avoid things and tasks that hurt or make the pain feel worse. NJOI may recommend a sling to immobilize the shoulder to allow healing without any further stress on the tendon. Ice regiments of two times daily, for 20 minutes at a time, should be practiced following diagnosis. Anti-inflammatories and possible cortisone shots may also be recommended, depending on the severity of the tendonitis. Surgery is usually not necessary, unless the tendonitis is chronic, or is nearing, or has already caused, a tear in the rotator cuff.

If you’ve recently suffered from an injury and feel pain and swelling in your shoulder, coming in to be seen by the staff at NJOI can help ease your pain and help get to the root of the issue. Our practice has 6 convenient locations throughout North and Central New Jersey. We have offices in Wayne, Clifton, Butler, Bridgewater, and Morristown. Call us at (973) 273-3431 to schedule an appointment and get on the road to recovery.

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Meet The Team

Vincent K. McInerney, M.D.


Founding member, Vincent K. McInerney, M.D., graduated from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in 1977 with honors as one of the top medical students in his class.

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Anthony Festa, M.D.


Dr. Anthony Festa is an orthopaedic surgeon in his seventh year of practice at the New Jersey Orthopaedic Institute.

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Anthony J. Scillia, M.D.


Anthony J. Scillia M.D. is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon with subspecialty certification in sports medicine.

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Robert M. Palacios, M.D.


Dr. Robert Palacios is board-certified and fellowship trained, and has been specializing in outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine for over two decades.

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Craig Wright, M.D.


Craig Wright, MD joins New Jersey Orthopaedic Institute by way of Totowa, NJ where he was born and raised.

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John Callaghan, M.D.


John Callaghan, M.D. is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic trauma specialist. His expertise encompasses the treatment of acute traumatic injuries.

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Other Locations

Wayne Office

504 Valley Rd. Ste 200 Wayne, NJ 07470

Butler Office

45 Carey Ave. Butler, NJ 07405

Morristown Office

111 Madison Ave. Ste 400 Morristown, NJ 07962

Bridgewater Office

720 Rte. 202-206 Bridgewater, NJ 08807

West-Milford Office

1900 Union Valley Rd Hewitt, NJ 07421