Rotator cuff tendinopathy is a common shoulder overuse injury that is commonly seen in musicians.
In particular, shouldered instruments such as a violin, viola or flute. Any instrument that requires a sustained elevated shoulder position with or without bowing can place increased load through the shoulder girdle. If you have a spike in rehearsals or gigs that means you are playing longer and more frequently than your shoulder is used to, you may develop a tendinopathy in the shoulder girdle.
Treatment for tendinopathy requires a review of your load management and strength training. Some of this may include manual therapy to unload other areas of your body (such as increasing movement through your upper back) and designing a strengthening program for your shoulder so that it can support the practice and rehearsal that is required.
The best way to manage rotator cuff injuries is to recognise them early. So if you are experiencing out of the ordinary fatigue, a niggle or pain, don’t ignore it. There may be a simple solution in the short term that can minimise the risk of long term injury and prolonged rehabilitation.