Supraspinatus tendonitis is often associated with shoulder impingement syndrome. The common belief is that impingement of the supraspinatus tendon leads to supraspinatus tendonitis (inflammation of the supraspinatus/rotator cuff tendon and/or the contiguous peritendinous soft tissues), which is a known stage of shoulder impingement syndrome (stage II) as described originally by Neer in 1972.
The causes of supraspinatus tendonitis can be broken down into extrinsic and intrinsic factors.
Extrinsic factors are further broken down into primary impingement, which is a result of increased subacromial loading, and secondary impingement, which is a result of rotator cuff overload and muscle imbalance. In athletes whose sport involves stressful repetitive overhead motions, a combination of causes may be found.