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Shoulder Problems and Injuries

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Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What are your main symptoms?
  • How long have you had your symptoms?
  • What were you doing when you first noticed your symptoms?
  • Have you had this problem in the past? If so, do you know what caused the problem at that time? How was it treated?
  • How and when did an injury occur? How was it treated?
  • Have you ever had any injuries to the same area? Do you have any ongoing problems because of the previous injury?
  • What activities related to sports, work, or your lifestyle, make your symptoms better or worse?
  • Do you think that activities related to your job or hobbies caused your symptoms?
  • What home treatment measures have you tried? Did they help?
  • What prescription and nonprescription medicines have you taken? Did they help?
  • Were illegal drugs or alcohol involved in your injury?
  • Do you have any health risks?

If you have a shoulder problem, the following list of questions may help you and your doctor determine how much your shoulder and arm function has changed.

Arm position

  • Is your arm comfortable hanging at your side?
  • Can you sleep on your affected side?

Movement

  • Can you wash your back or opposite shoulder?
  • Can you toss an object underhand?
  • Can you toss an object overhand?
  • Can you put your hand behind your head?
  • Can you tuck in the back of your shirt?

Lifting

  • Can you carry 20 lb (9 kg) at your side, such as carrying a light suitcase?
  • Can you put a 1 lb (0.5 kg) object up on a shelf at chest level or higher?
  • Can you put an 8 lb (3.6 kg) object up on a shelf at chest level or higher?
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 16, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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