Understanding a Shoulder Injury: History

A detailed look into the symptoms that have been present, what makes them worse or better, and how and when they began help identify the best way to treat an injury. An injury can stem from a trauma, overuse, aging, infection, metabolic causes, congenital causes, or neurological causes. Up to 80% of a diagnosis can be made with a proper history.

Physical Examination

A phsical exam is used to test the function of the shoulder for any of the symptoms described in the history and narrow down the specifics of the injury. This is a thorough process of testing the shoulder’s range of movement and limitations. After physically testing the injury, imaging studies are used to confirm the diagnosis suspected. Only 15% of the diagnostic process takes place in the physical examination.

Alternate Studies

Nerve, EMG, phsychological, and ergonomic studies may be necessary in addition to a physical examination on a case by case basis, depending on the source of the injury.


After the injury has been diagnosed, the most applicable treatment is chosen. There are both surgical and non-oporational treatments for shoulder injuries, depending on the type and severity of the injury. Ranging from stretches, to chiropractic treatment, to injections, non-operative treatment can treat many shoulder injuries. If the injury does require surgery, however, there are surgical procedures proven to mend many differing injuries.

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