You'll probably start by seeing your family doctor. If your injury is severe, you might be referred to an orthopedic surgeon.
What you can do
Before the appointment, you might want to write a list that answers the following questions:
- When did you first begin experiencing shoulder pain?
- What movements and activities worsen your shoulder pain?
- Have you ever injured your shoulder?
- Have you experienced any symptoms in addition to shoulder pain?
- Does the pain travel down your arm below your elbow?
- Is the shoulder pain associated with any neck pain?
- Does your job or hobby aggravate your shoulder pain?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
Feb. 19, 2014
- Where exactly is the pain located?
- How severe is your pain?
- What movements and activities aggravate and relieve your shoulder pain?
- Do you have any weakness or numbness in your arm?
- DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Rotator cuff tears. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00064. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Simons SM, et al. Rotator cuff tendinopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 18, 2013.
- Firestein GS, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1807/0.html. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 28, 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Rotator cuff repair. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- AskMayoExpert. Rotator cuff tendinopathy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Khan K, et al. Overview of the management of overuse (chronic) tendinopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 19, 2013.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 21, 2013.