Our shoulders bear lots of the strain during lifting, reaching overhead, and during falls. If you’ve sustained an injury, you may be finding out just how valuable your shoulders are in daily tasks. Simple movements, such as pulling your wallet out of your back pocket or brushing your hair are painful.

At Lincoln Orthopedic Physical Therapy (LOPT) we can you help you with the diagnosis and treatment of rotator cuff issues. We hope this guide will help answer your initial questions about this process.

How do I know if I injured my rotator cuff?

Your rotator cuff is a series of four muscles and tendons that keep your shoulder together. They also allow you to lift and rotate your arm. An injury to “the cuff” typically means that one of the tendons is starting to show signs of wear and tear. This tearing can be a slow process over time or happen suddenly with an injury. An injury typically begins with tendinitis, meaning that the tissue is angry and inflamed. Here’s what you might be feeling, if you have this kind of injury:

  • a dull ache over the top of your shoulder
  • pain down your arm
  • a feeling of heaviness in your arm
  • arm weakness

Can I just rest my shoulder and hope it will go away?

As a basic rule of thumb, if your pain is limiting you from participating in your day-to-day activities, is severe, or remains unchanged for a few days, seek medical help.

If you keep using it too much, you can risk doing further damage. If you rest it too much, you can risk losing mobility. Frozen shoulder is not the sequel to a Disney movie.

Plus, you will want to get a precise diagnosis of what is calling the pain, as there is a lot going on in the shoulder complex and you will want to rule out other possibilities.


To find out more about physical therapy and how it can help you along with our process, please fill out the form below to gain access to the rest of the free guide.

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