20 Year Old Suffering Non Recovering Left Shoulder Cuff Tendonitus

by Alexander B
(Sydney NSW Australia)

I have a very painful shoulder tendonitus. I was examined by a qualified GP and told me I had suprascapular (rotator cuff)tendonitus. It has been with my for a year and a half now and started when I was 19. I cannot go out, I cannot do anything.

I have done elastic exercises on the shoulder and back, posture fixing with posture pro, 2 months of acupunture, 10 months of physio, I have massaged myself but only makes it worse.

I also get the shoulder and neck pain(deep left neck pain which i will mention soon) mainly when I am warm. I have used ice, deep heat and also applied ice packs to the region and upper back shoulder. It doesnt help.

I know this is a joint problem affecting muscles etc between the shoulder blades because I get 2 popping like cracking sounds internally when I strecth my shoulder blades far out (Only on the left side, the cracking).

I have had xrays and mris and nothing showed on them. No tears, although i am still checking because one doctor(low level GP) said I had a soft tissue damage.

I have kept my arm in a splint for more than a month now but it hasn't helped, i am still getting the pain a lot and 4 months before that I was doing stretches but they just made it more painful and pulled the muscle and joint more.

The pain from the shoulder tendonitus (All on LEFT side only) is under the arm, on the bottom under the arm side around to the back, the entire rotator cuff(mainly the back) and the back neck down to the left shoulder blade (mainly where pain hurts).

I get the pain when I'm going out, or if im on computers, despite if I'm doing movement it still comes.

The level of pain would have to be like knife stabbing and extreme muscle wasting. This happens even when I dont raise my arms to shoulder or head level.

Painkillers do not work, panadol voltaren 50. I dont want injections of cortisol to damage my muscles as mentioned but I'm leaning towards surgery. I have seen the problems it can give and I am worried about doing it (Subacromial Decompression Surgery)

I feel like I'm dying and am not sleeping at all.

I sleep 4 hours maximum every night and have a very hard time. I also have deep neck pain connected to my shoulder when I move my neck in an backward direction to the upper left and a forward direction to the bottom right, the muscle between the left neck and left shoulder pulls and hurts.

It may be associated with the shoulder blade but I also have a severe left TMJ (left jaw clicking) pain and I am still undergoing orthodontic treatment (3 months until finishing treatment)

I am very worried because I cannot sleep, eat (TMJ pain), work, rest, have fun or do anything and I am
almost on the verge of absolute madness.

I need extreme help. I also don't seem to look as though im going through pain because I am an extremely self conscious person and will look as though I'm fine.

All my pains are on the left side and my right side is perfectly fine.

I need to make sure I have this tendonitus. If you can help me that would be great.

Thank you


Joshua Answers:

AGHHHH!!! No surgery! The doctors don't even know what the problem is!

AGHHH!!! No splints! The muscles are already too short and too tight. Immobilizing them in a shortened position is only going to make the tighntess and connective tissue shrinkwrapping even WORSE.

Corticosteroid Injections wouldn't fix anything anyway. They may or may not decrease pain temporarily.

I SO wish I could get you on my massage table. This is definitely the arena of a skilled bodyworker. Good luck with physio. No chance with regular doctors. Chiropractor, only if they are more like an osteopath that works with muscles and muscle balance and such.

Sydney has to have a -highly- skilled massage therapist that knows how to deal with this.

The subscap can be INCREDIBLY tight and painful. Plus you have tight Scalene muscles and effectively have all the structural components of Shoulder Impingement (severe tightness all around the armpit area).

You're in an acute state, no doubt.

You're looking for a rip or tear, but you don't need to have one to get these kind of symptoms.

Maybe you have Tendonitis, maybe you don't. In other words, maybe you have damage to the tendon, but I doubt it. You definitely have a Process of Inflammation and chronic irritation.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

This is the far end of the spectrum of the Pain Causing Dynamic. Period.

Acute. Painful. Tough to get out of, but doable.


1. How exactly have you stretched?

2. How exactly did you ice?

3. How exactly did you do the elastic exercises?

4. I bet you missed one component of the postural stuff, and the pro thing probably didn't show that component to you.

5. What exactly did you do with Physio? They missed the specific component too, I bet.

Answer those questions, and I'll give you some stuff to do.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Jun 14, 2016
Bicep Tendonitis and Neck Pain
by: Jack

Hi, my name is Jack and I am a 20 year old male. I like to consider myself to be fairly athletic, as I play basketball and work out frequently to stay in shape.

I have recently been diagnosed with tendonitis of the shoulder in my left shoulder, and now I have begun feeling pain in my neck (almost as though I pinched a nerve--I have a small area of swelling on the side of my neck about halfway up).

While I have been doing physical therapy to strengthen some of the muscles around my shoulders for a few weeks now, I have not noticed a significant decrease in my neck pain, which has become by far the most uncomfortable part of my injury for me.

Do you have any recommendations for what I might be able to do to manage my neck pain?

Is it common that tendonitis of the shoulder leads to neck pain like this?

Thanks in advance.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Jack.

If you have a muscle that connects neck to shoulder (you do, and more than one), and it is unhappy (for any variety of reasons), then that can result in neck and/or shoulder pain.

You said 'bicep'. Do you have bicep tendonitis specifically (up at the top of the shoulder?)? Or do you have pain there and other places?

Do you have a lot of swelling at the neck? Or a little bit?

Is it actually swelling on the neck, or is it that a vertebrae has rotated around and is pushing out there? (That would explain a lot.)

Ultimately, yes, shoulder issue can easily become neck issue, and vice versa, as the structures of the neck and the shoulder attach to each other, so what affects one affects the other.

Any history of whiplash inducing incidents like car crash, falling down the stairs or off a horse, boxing, etc?

See Related: What's Your Opinion On My Shoulder Impingement Neck Pain And Bone Spur

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