Shoulder and neck pain: possible Rotator Cuff tendinitis

Patient

Q: I have had a pain in my left shoulder and neck for the last 2 weeks it gets worst in the night it feels really heavy am finding it hard to sllep in the night when am turning i have to lift my left arms to turn around coz it really hurts i have been to the doctors they gave naproxen it doent hel i tried exercising, hot water bottle, ibuprofen tablets and gel but its getting worse please help????????

Doctor

A:    There are several causes of neck-shoulder-arm pain; one of the most common is the Rotator Cuff tendinitis and this seems to correspond with the description that you have 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, the pain worsens at night, a dull ache in the upper outer arm and shoulder, it results from mechanical impingement of the rotator cuff tendon beneath the anteroinferior portion of the acromion (one of the bones of the shoulder joint), causing changes in the distal part of the rotator cuff tendon, which is at risk due to poor blood supply. 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  poor or no improvement, then, local corticosteroid injection may be considered.

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