Rotator Cuff Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosed-660x240Often patients present to the clinic with shoulder pain and they assume that it is due to one of the rotator cuff tendons because they have either searched the web and came to this conclusion or they have been diagnosed by another practitioner with a rotator cuff tendinitis.

However there is one lesion which is more common in the shoulder and is often misdiagnosed.


It is Subacromial bursitis.


This is a common injury in repetitive activities such as weight training, especially flat bench pressing when the shoulder comes under a great deal of stress.


Just yesterday I had a gym patient present with right shoulder pain which he had for 1 month and he assumed that it was tendinitis. He reported that the pain was in the anterior-medial aspect of the shoulder and he had pain on weakness on testing the supraspinatus tendon of the rotator cuff.


However testing the rotator cuff tendons with the shoulder joint distracted elicited no pain and the patient had full power. Therefore it he had tendinitis; pain would still have been present as the tendon has to engage to move the shoulder.


A steroid injection into the Subacromial space was performed and I happened to see the person in the gym this morning and he stated that he had the best night’s sleep in a month with no pain.

I have instructed him to take 10 days from upper body weight training and then ease back in gradually.


There are more than 150 bursa in the body and they are small sacs of synovial fluid which allow muscles and tendons to slide across bone.

Bursitis occurs when they become inflamed thus causing pain on movement.


Often non-steroidal anti-inflammatories may help and I often tell patients to try them for 1 week but if this does not alleviate the symptoms then a steroid injection is the treatment of choice.


For further information on injection therapy please view the link below: