Physical Rehabilitation Medicine/Shoulder pain.

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Question
For over a month I was feeling pain and weakness and loss of range of motion (mostly due to pain) in my right arm. I finally was able to get in to see my doctor and he said I suffered  rotary cuff damage and I'll be starting PT on Monday. The pamplets he gave me were for that and neck stretching type exercises I should start doing and mentioned applying ice. I deliver pizza and one of my customers as it turns out is a doctor and he gave my shoulder a look and doesn't believe I have rotary cuff damage but rather extremely burnt out muscles and I should get a massage and lots of rest and not to put ice on it. I plan to primarily follow my own doctor's directions but assuming it might not be a rotary cuff issue what advice would be good advice in either case?

Answer
I wouldn't ice it but instead would use heat.  Ice is used as an immediate anti-inflammatory but only truly works if applied early prior to swelling.

Your physician did a screen and evaluation to determine damage however an MRI would be needed to objectively confirm a rotator cuff tear.  However I'm no physician and don't claim to be.  If I were you I would do the neck stretches, don't do anything that causes pain, and modify your work postures to ensure you aren't aggravating your shoulders when delivering pizzas, etc.

I hope this helps.

Physical Rehabilitation Medicine

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Brian Neville, OTR/L, CWCE

Expertise

I can answer questions about both conservative and post-operative rehabilitation for UPPER extremity injuries. These include but are not limited to: fractures, tendon repairs, tendon transfers, nerve repairs, lacerations, tenolysis procedures, TFCC injuries, repetitive motion disorders, reconstructive procedures. I have an advanced knowledge of UPPER extremity anatomy and industrial rehabilitation. I have extensive splinting skills for injuries to the upper extremity. Although not a physician or a surgeon I have worked closely with world renowned upper extremity specialists for over 10 years. I can give general information on what some of the most common upper extremity surgeries involve. I can reference those procedures as well. PLEASE DON'T ASK ME QUESTIONS ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE NECK, SHOULDER, ARM/HAND. I'M NOT QUALIFIED AND KNOW ABSOLUTELY ZERO ABOUT BACKS/HIPS/KNEES/ANKLES/ETC. THANK YOU!!!

Experience

10+ years working closely with orthopedic and hand surgeons and their patients. I have treated patients with small lacerations to major reconstructive procedures. My knowledge base includes both conservative and post-operative rehab protocols and care for upper extremity injuries. I have treated patients all the way from day 1 post-op to return-to-work status.

Organizations
Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association American Society of Hand Therapy National Nurses in Business Association Roy Matheson and Associates

Publications
RSD article

Education/Credentials
Occupational Therapist former Certified Hand Therapist (license currently inactive) Deep Physical Agent Modalities Instructor Certified Work Capacity Evaluator

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