Calcific tendinitis is a condition in which calcium deposits inside the tendon. This condition can occur in any part of the body but most often in the shoulders. The exact cause of calcific tendinitis is still undetermined and the treatment is not generally agreed upon by the doctors. In most cases, the calcium deposit is detected with an X-ray which can provide a definitive diagnosis. Take note that this form of tendinitis can develop without any signs and symptoms for long periods of time and generally irritated by overuse.
Always bear in mind that calcific tendinitis usually develops over time and often exists without triggering any symptoms. The individual starts to complain of pain in the shoulder region after engaging in a lot of activity that involves the use of the shoulder. In case the pain becomes intense, there are measures that can be carried out to alleviate the discomfort.
These anti-inflammatory measures can include immobilization of the affected area using a splint or sling, application of ice several times in a day and administration of over-the-counter medications. In severe cases, the doctor might prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or even injections. Remember that these measures will not remove the calcium deposit that might flare-up again in the future.
A physical therapist can use various modalities to reduce the inflammation and even dissolve the actual calcium deposits in some cases. Some doctors even utilize the radial shock-wave therapy in managing calcific tendinitis on the shoulder since it is considered relatively safe and effective. This leads to drastic reduction in the degree of pain as well as improvement in the shoulder function after 4 weeks without triggering any adverse effects.
Ultrasound therapy is also utilized by physical therapists to reduce the inflammation and calcium deposits. In addition, a stretching routine is a vital part of the physical therapy for those who are suffering from calcific tendinitis.
Occasionally, some cases of calcific tendinitis do not respond to any of the conservative treatments. In such circumstances, they should be managed with the help of surgery. The surgery on the removal of the calcium deposits can be carried out microscopically which reduces the recovery time drastically.
Once the calcium deposit is taken out from the rotator cuff, the pain caused by the condition is expected to subside. The recovery period tends to vary on a case-to-case basis depending mainly on the degree of damage to the neighboring tissues. The individual is required to rest the affected area for 2 weeks and should be reassessed by the doctor again whether he/she can resume work or activities previously engaged in.