Patient: I injured my right shoulder about a year ago while working out but never got it checked out. It has continued to bother me as in i can not carry a bag, or backpack with my right hand due to my should starting to hurt. also i noticed since i injured my shoulder i have loss some of my strength from my right hand. is there anything you can tell me about this or what i should do? a friend of mine said it might be that i tore my rotator cuff, but he said he wasn’t 100% sure
Doctor: There are several causes of arm-shoulder pain; one of the most common is the Rotator Cuff tendinitis and this seems to correspond with the description that you made of your pain. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons that support the shoulder. These tendons can be injured during weight lifting, when playing sports with a lot of throwing, after repetitive use over a long time or suffer degenerative changes with the aging process. Typically, presents with an activity related dull ache in the upper outer arm and shoulder. Activity is commonly more difficult and painful above the shoulder level (more than 90 degrees). There is little or no discomfort with below-shoulder-level activities (less than 90 degrees) such as golf, bowling, gardening, writing, or typing. But, tennis, baseball/softball, basketball, swimming, and painting are more problematic and painful. Conservative treatment of the Rotator Cuff tendonitis involves: physical therapy to control pain and keep range of motion of the shoulder, avoidance of painful movements and activities; anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e.: “Advil”, “Aleve”). If you show poor or no improvement, then, local corticosteroid injection may be considered.