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Calcifying tendonitis

TREATMENT OF Calcifying Tendonitis

When tendonitis is called “calcifying”, it means that calcium has accumulated in the tendon, causing inflammation. This disease limits the range of motion of the arm and causes pain and discomfort. Calcifying tendonitis is often the cause of shoulder injuries. Calcifications of the shoulder tendons occur quite often, affecting 10% of the world’s population. In most cases, the patient does not feel discomfort despite this calcification. However, some symptoms may appear, hence calcifying tendinopathy.

There are different types of calcifications:

  • Type A calcification or fat calcification: calcification is homogeneous and with clear contours;
  • Type B calcification or polylobed calcification: this calcification is less dense and with clear contours;
  • Type C calcification or inhomogeneous calcification: the calcifications are multiple and with blurred contours;
  • Type D calcification or calcification which is similar to insertion enthesopathy

What are the symptoms of calcifying tendonitis of the shoulder?

When the rotator cuff is affected by calcification, the patient may not feel any discomfort or pain over a long period of time. On the other hand, when he uses his shoulder intensively or suffers trauma to the shoulder, pain appears and extends to the arm.

The evolution of pain follows two main modes:

  • The chronic mode: the patient feels pain daily when performing movements. Most of the time, these pains intensify at night because of inflammation.
  • The acute mode: the pain is intense when the calcification fragments and disappears. They are called “life-saving pains” because they define the healing stage of the shoulder.

Causes of calcifying tendonitis

Although calcifying tendonitis is a common injury, especially from midlife onwards, the process of calcium formation still remains a mystery. It is very likely that poor blood circulation and tendon degeneration are the cause of this calcification. The latter affects nearly 20% of the population and causes almost no pain and inflammation. It can occur inside the tendon. The calcium formed can reside inside the muscle without causing pain or discomfort. If the patient suffers from pain, it can be intense. These pains extend from a few millimeters to 5 centimeters.

What are the effective treatments for calcifying tendonitis of the shoulder?

Our clinics offer the intervention of qualified therapists to help our patients recover from their calcifying tendonitis. Our cure rate reaches 90% thanks to the combination of two types of treatments:

  • Therapeutic ultrasound: this method relies on the use of high-intensity sound waves to relieve inflammation in the tendon. It is adapted to eradicate calcium in soft tissues such as tendons, muscles and ligaments.

If the combination treatment does not work, then another treatment is necessary for the patient’s relief: shockwave treatment, or commonly known as shockwave. To do this, an X-ray should be performed beforehand to check for possible tendon detachment. The effectiveness rate of this therapy exceeds 80% in physiotherapy.

The physiotherapists at Physio + Hamel are qualified to treat cases of calcifying tendonitis. These professionals are able to diagnose and treat calcifying tendonitis.

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