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"What is wrong with my shoulder?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat is wrong with my shoulder?


There isn't any pain in my shoulder but it seems like I just can't raise my arm above shoulder level. I figure maybe something isn't working right in that shoulder but why wouldn't there be any pain? Any ideas?


I would strongly recommend that you go to see your primary care doctor about this issue. Any trouble moving your arm or with weakness in your shoulder needs to be evaluated to make sure there is no serious underlying cause. Your primary care doctor can perform the initial examination of your shoulder and help you determine if you need further testing, therapy, or referral to a specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor. One of the most likely causes of trouble lifting the shoulder is damage to the rotator cuff, which are the group of muscles and tendons which surround the shoulder and help to lift and rotate the arm. Usually, when the rotator cuff is damaged there is significant discomfort however sometimes, especially if the injury is old, there may just be weakness without significant pain. Your doctor can examine the strength and integrity of your rotator cuff with simple maneuvers in the office. Trouble raising your arm could also be from a nerve problem. When you go to see your doctor, they will also want to test you for any evidence of this, such as changes in the reflexes in your arm or numbness, tingling, or decreased sensation in the skin. Get in to see your doctor right away!

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