The Baseball Observer Feb 2015 vol 1 - Page 19

If your shoulder pain stays the same for more than a few days or gets more severe seek medical attention. POTENTIAL CAUSES/ RISKS There are several things that can cause rotator cuff injuries    Falling – Using your arm(s) to brace yourself when going to the ground (baseball). Repetitive Stress – Overhead movements (baseball) over and over can stress your muscles and tendons which can cause inflammation which can eventually cause a tear. Bone Spurs – An overgrowth of bone on part of the shoulder blade can develop and grow down over the rotator cuff. This extra bone growth in that area can begin to rub against the tendons or muscles and irritate and damage them. Most people would think immobilizing the affected arm/ shoulder would help it heal. But that’s not quite the case - even though resting your shoulder in part of recovery. By completely immobilizing your arm, it might cause the connective tissue to encase the joint area and thicken – therefore tightening which will cause a “frozen shoulder”. PREPARING GOING TO THE DOCTORS Most people will go to their family doctor. Then if the injury is more severe, might refer you to an orthopedic surgeon. To make things go easier at the appointment, make a list and answer the following questions (from the Mayo Clinic):        When did you first begin to experience shoulder pain? What movements or activities worsen the shoulder pain? Have you ever injured your shoulder before? Do you have any other symptoms in addition to the shoulder pain? Does the pain travel down your elbow or associated with any neck pain? How severe is the pain? Is there any weakness or numbness in your arm? AT THE APPOINMENT The doctor will press different parts of the shoulder and move your arm into different positions. Along with that, they will also test the strength of the muscles in the affected shoulder and arm which includes pushing and pulling. Depending upon the initial exam, they might recommend a few simple tests. They include x-rays, an ultra sound or an MRI. POTENTIAL TREATMENT OPTIONS Depending upon the severity of the injury, there are several treatment options that may be prescribed. For rotator cuff impingement and inflamed bursa, conservative treatments such as rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy may be prescribed. They might also suggest a steroid injection into the shoulder joint. If symptoms do not get better, surgery may be required. For a more severe injury such as a rotator cuff tear, surgery is required. Unfortunately, rotator cuff tears are unable to heal themselves. Once injured, they only get worse over time. Bone spurs also require surgery.