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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18435
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Shoulder pain - impingement

Customer Question

shoulder pain - impingement
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.
What is your question about shoulder pain and impingement?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Arm movement painful specially when try to raise but once raised there is no pain or movement restrictions. Carrying weight not much of a problem but lifting even a little weight is very painful
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
These symptoms are most often seen with degenerative changes affecting the rotator cuff muscle/tendons.
The rotator cuff muscles are most involved in the initial lifting of the arm. Once the arm is lifted to about 90 degrees, the deltoid muscle is the primary muscle involved in lifting the arm. Since your symptoms are more during the initial lifting, but is not an issue once the arm is raised, that is the typical pattern seen with rotator cuff problems.
We frequently hear of rotator cuff problems in professional athletes, but this is different than the problem that the average person gets. A professional athlete places far greater strain on the rotator cuff, so they develop an overuse syndrome in an otherwise healthy shoulder. However, for non-athletes, the shoulder and the rotator cuff problems that occur are typically due to degenerative changes that have developed over years and decades.
It is also true that there could be a bursitis or arthritis that is pressing on the rotator cuff muscles from above.
Although it would require a proper evaluation to determine the exact cause, it would be reasonable to first try home treatment. It would be appropriate to take an over the counter anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. It also would be appropriate to apply local care of ice and moist heat. Range of motion exercises or swimming also may help.
If these home interventions ease the symptoms, then it would be fine to continue these home treatment when needed. If the symptoms persist, though, it would be appropriate to be seen by your doctor.
If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.