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  • Adam R Whatley Osteopath

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Tendinitis: Efficacy of Hyaluronic Acid Treatment

Tendinopathy is a common injury in athletic populations, secondary to overuse and as a result of repetitive or excessive loading, and abnormal or unusual movements.

Also, metabolic and hormonal related clinical conditions such as diabetes and menopause have been identified as risk factors for tendinopathies.

Tendon injections of corticosteroids are also common in the standard management of tendon issues and appear to somewhat successfully reduce inflammation and pain at short-term. However, the risk-benefit ratio currently remains controversial.

Well performed physical therapeutic interventions such as eccentric strengthening which has shown some good therapeutic outcomes in the treatment of various tendinopathies. Among the recent advances in the management of tendon disorders, the injection treatment of hyaluronic acid (HA) has shown promising results in clinical trials including patients with tennis elbow, knee tendinitis, Achilles tendinopathy and various disorders involving tendons in the rotator cuff. Injection of HA is a natural substance and has shown to reduce tendon adhesion, provide mechanical protection, and facilitate vascular growth factor IV collagen, resulting in the acceleration of tendon healing. In particular the rotator cuff has led to a significant improvement of shoulder function in all published trials.

We understand that physical therapy and tendon hyaluronic acid (HA) injections have both shown promising results in the treatment of shoulder tendinitis. This particular study identifies how shoulder tendon HA injections combined with physical therapy have high efficacy in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis, leading to an earlier return to pre-injury activity and the need for fewer rehabilitation sessions, which may benefit both patients and the healthcare system.

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