If you’re having shoulder pain and you’re concerned that you may have a rotator cuff tear, things to consider would be: do you have weakness? If you have weakness in your shoulder, then you may have a rotator cuff tear. For instance, if you can’t bring your arm up over your head, that is an indication that you may very well have some sort of an issue with your rotator cuff and I would suggest seeing an orthopedic surgeon if that is the case. If you’re just having some pain in your shoulder and you’re not sure what’s going on, then I would suggest starting with a course of a heat application, anti-inflammatories, rest. Oftentimes I’ll see patients who have shoulder pain and it was just that they had played five hours of beach volleyball over the weekend and their shoulder is hurting. So if the case is where you’re having shoulder pain and it just came on over the weekend after playing flag football, then I’d say probably just give it a rest and see if he gets better with anti-inflammatories, maybe some heat and rest. If it doesn’t and you’re still having difficulty moving your shoulder, then I would suggest seeing an orthopedic doctor for further evaluation.
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