It’s that time of year again when the weather is improving, the days are getting longer and you notice how wild and overgrown the garden has got! Motivation is high so you make a burst to pull the weeds, trim the hedges and tidy the plant pots. After a couple of days you start to notice a niggle in your shoulder which then becomes painful and all of a sudden you’re finding it very difficult to reach overhead or get your arm into the sleeve of your jacket. Very often the reason for this is because the load required is beyond the capacity of the tendons or the muscles to cope resulting in irritation to the rotator cuff tendons and painful movement. The Rotator Cuff is a common name for the group of 4 distinct muscles and their tendons that provide strength and stability during motion of the shoulder. The muscles arise from the scapula (shoulder blade) and connect to the head of the humerus (the long bone at the top of your arm), forming a cuff at the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint. Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy is seen as the most common type of shoulder pain as it is seen in about 30% of the overall population (Abat et al, 2017).

Some Symptoms of a Shoulder Tendinopathy include:

–        Reduced shoulder movement due to pain

–        Pain at the top of the arm

–        Pain at back of shoulder

–        Pain when lying on shoulder

–        Pain with activity, especially at horizontal or overhead

–        Neck or upper back pain

Top Tips for avoiding shoulder tendinopathy

  1. Pace yourself – mix up the things you are doing in the garden and try to vary the positions you are in
  2. Put the plant pots up on a table for weeding or cutting them back
  3. Make two trips moving branches or weeds to the compost bin instead of struggling and straining to do it in one
  4. Use a safe, sturdy step ladder or ladder to trim hedges instead of reaching up overhead for long periods

If you have developed shoulder pain call the clinic on 071 9671533 for a thorough assessment and treatment of your symptoms. We’ll have you flying fit in no time!


Abat F, Alfredson H, Cucchiarini M, Madry H, Marmotti A, Mouton C, et al. Current trends in tendinopathy: consensus of the ESSKA basic science committee. Part I: biology, biomechanics, anatomy and an exercise-based approach. Journal of experimental orthopaedics. 2017;4(1):18. Available from: [Accessed 25/03/2021]