Your age, the history of your injury, a description of your shoulder
pain, your participation in sports or job-related activities, and the results
of any previous evaluation and treatment will all help your doctor
rotator cuff disorder.
bursitis may occur in people younger than 40 who
overuse the shoulder over a short period of time, in people whose jobs require a
lot of overhead reaching or lifting objects to shoulder height, or in those who
have had a previous shoulder injury (dislocation or broken bone). Rotator cuff
tendinitis or bursitis usually causes pain during and after using the
Complete rotator cuff tears are not common in people
younger than 40 unless they have had a sudden and severe (acute) injury. In
people older than 40, the rotator cuff may be weaker, and a minor injury or
accident may tear the tendon. People may hear or feel their shoulder pop at the
time of injury.
Questions about shoulder pain
Your doctor may ask the following questions about your
shoulder pain, activities, and history of shoulder problems:
How long have you had shoulder
Was there an injury when your shoulder pain started? What
were you doing when the pain started?
Where is the pain
Is your pain constant, or does it come and go? What makes
your shoulder feel better? What makes it feel worse?
shoulder have weakness, numbness, or limited range of motion?
you had shoulder injuries or problems in the past? If so, how were these problems
treated? Did your shoulder problem completely get better, or do you still have
Do you have any chronic diseases (such as
arthritis) or heart or nervous system
In your job, hobbies, or sports activities, do you do
repetitive overhead arm movements?
How have your daily activities
changed since your shoulder problem began? What types of activities and
movements seem to be limited by your shoulder problems? Does your shoulder hurt
Reach into a back pocket?
Reach overhead (such as to comb your
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.