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Calcific Tendinitis


Calcific tendinitis is a condition that occurs when calcium collects in the tendons of the shoulder. Tendons are bands of tissue that connect muscle to bone. The calcium can make the tendons swell and cause severe pain.



You may need any of the following:

  • NSAIDs may decrease swelling and pain. This medicine can be bought with or without a doctor's order. This medicine can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow the directions on it before using this medicine.
  • Steroids help decrease inflammation.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Go to physical therapy:

A physical therapist can teach you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.

Apply ice:

Apply ice on your shoulder for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.

Apply heat:

Apply heat on your shoulder for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed. Heat helps decrease pain and muscle spasms.

Rest your arm:

Healthcare providers may have you place an item, such as a ball, between your side and elbow while you rest. This may help decrease stiffness and pain.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Bring a list of any questions you have so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have worse pain and stiffness in your shoulder.
  • You have new or more trouble moving your arm.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You cannot move your arm.
  • You have severe pain in your arm or shoulder.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.