Simple Tests For Shoulder Pain Self-Diagnosis

While self-diagnosis and self-treatment shouldn’t be your first course of action in case of suspicion of an injury, you can still perform a few simple tests to determine the possible cause of your shoulder pain. But don’t stop with the self-diagnosis either!

You have to seek medical advice so that the appropriate treatment plan can be adopted. You should also work with your personal trainer at Equinox in making modifications to your workout plan where its exercises can affect, for the good or the bad, your shoulders’ current condition.

Here are a few of the common shoulder injuries that you can self-diagnose with simple tests.  

AC Joint Separation

The acromial-clavicular (AC) joint is the point where the clavicle (i.e., collarbone) and the scapula (i.e., shoulder blade) connects. There’s a possibility of AC joint separation when there’s pain at the joint between the downward pressing hands, or when raising the arm upward, or when sleeping sideways.

You will need a partner to perform the AC joint compression test, as follows.

  • Sit on a chair in a comfortable manner but don’t slouch. Your arms should be by your sides and your hands on your lap.
  • Have your partner place one of his hands at the front of your shoulder joint and the other hand at the back.
  • Let your partner slowly but firmly press on both sides of your affected shoulder, which will compress the AC joint.

If you feel pain at the AC joint when your partner presses with both hands on it, then you may have a case of AC joint separation.

Biceps Tendonitis

This is a common injury wherein the tendons in the biceps are inflamed. With biceps tendonitis, the pain is experienced at the front of the shoulder during resistance.

Again, you will need a partner to perform these steps to ascertain whether you have biceps tendonitis as an initial impression.

  • Sit down on a chair with your back as straight as possible.
  • Raise your affected arm where the shoulder pain originates forward to the front.
  • Turn your palm out (i.e., forearm supinated position) while your arm is straight in front of you.
  • Let your partner push down your arm while you resist the force.

If you feel increased pain in your shoulder while attempting to resist, then you may have biceps tendonitis.  

You should also consider other possible causes of shoulder pain. These include impingement of either the tendons or the bursa (i.e., the space between the shoulder nurse and rotator cuff tendons becomes smaller); rotator cuff tear wherein your arm involuntarily drops and unable to maintain the parallel position; and labrum tear.

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