How Does a Supraspinatus Tendon Heal Itself?

The supraspinatus tendon is one of four tendons that form the rotator cuff at the top of the arm bone and shoulder joint. Sometimes, the supraspinatus tendon, which lies under the shoulder blade, can become inflamed (tendonitis), making it difficult to pass comfortably between bones. The supraspinatus can heal on its own eventually with proper treatment.


Without proper treatment, a person risks a severe tearing of the supraspinatus tendon, which may require surgery. To avoid a severe tear, treatment usually begins with rest. A shoulder brace can help immobilize the shoulder and prevent further injury, according to

Types of Treatment

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Ice packs should be applied at 15-minute intervals during the first 48 hours. You should apply the ice pack directly on the injury every two hours throughout the day.

Other Types of Treatment

Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the supraspinatus tendon. These medications can be used every four to six hours as needed.

Effects of Exercise

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After the inflammation and pain have subsided, stretching and strength-building exercises can help increase flexibility and stability in the rotator cuff and supraspinatus tendon. Over time, the supraspinatus will no longer get pinched between the arm and shoulder bones. It will gradually heal on its own.

Time Frame

The time it takes for a supraspinatus tear or tendonitis to heal is highly contingent upon a person's age, the severity of the inflammation or tear and the extent of their treatment. Generally, a supraspinatus tendon can be completely healed within two to 12 weeks.