5 Easy Ways to Identify a Shoulder Injury at Home

Source: joionline.net

We’ve all woken up with aches and pains we can’t seem to place. Did we just fall asleep in an uncomfortable position or is it something more?

When it comes to our shoulders, it’s often hard to tell if we just strained a muscle or if there’s a more serious injury that needs to be treated. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to identify a shoulder injury at home. Here is a few easy and fast test you can perform right now.

Check for Swelling

The most simple first step in checking for shoulder injury is to look for visible marks or swelling. More likely than not, you’ll be able to see the difference between your two shoulders, whether it be redness, warmth, or swelling.

In extreme cases, especially if an injury has occurred, you may see bruising or visible displacement. If you’re having trouble getting a full picture, see if a partner, friend, or family member can lend a hand.

Drop Arm Test

One easy way to check for a shoulder injury, such as a torn rotator cuff, is to perform a rotator cuff injury test at home. This will signal to you that there may be a torn rotator cuff, a common shoulder problem, especially in sports where arm movement is common. The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons.

Source: physiotutors.com

There are a few different rotator cuff injury tests you can perform, including the “drop arm” test. In this test, you extend your injured arm straight out to the side of your body and ever so slowly lower it straight back down to your side. If your rotator cuff is injured, this will be a fairly difficult and uncomfortable process, signaling that it’s time to see a physical therapist for treatment.

Roos Test

Another test that can be done at home is the Roos test, which helps identify thoracic outlet syndrome. TOS, as it’s known, causes shoulder and neck pain because of compressed blood vessels or nerves around your collarbone and upper rib. TOS can end up reducing your mobility over time, making it more difficult to live life normally, so it’s important to work with a trained professional to treat this disorder.

Not sure if you might have TOS? Begin the Roos stress test by sticking your arms up like goalposts. Then, pull your arms and elbows back, opening up the chest area.

Finally, open and close your hands for a few minutes, stretching your fingers outward and back in again, over and over. If you feel weakness in your arms or numbness in your hands during this test, it may be a sign of nerve damage or constricted blood vessels and you should consult with a doctor.

Empty Can Test

Another easy test to do at home is the empty can test, also known as the Jobe test. This also tests the rotator cuff muscles. To perform this test, raise one arm to the side as we did in the drop arm test, bring it forward, and then pretend you’re pouring out a drink in your hand.

Have a friend or family member gently press down on your arm. If you feel pain, this may be a sign that the muscle on top of your shoulder—the supraspinatus muscle—is torn.

Impingement Test

Possibly the most common shoulder injury is impingement when a tendon rubs against a shoulder blade. This can lead to tendonitis or a rotator cuff tear down the line, so it’s important to test for it and have it treated before you cause irreversible damage to your shoulder.

To test for impingement, simply place the hand associated with your injured shoulder on the opposite shoulder, like you’re giving yourself a half-hug. Then, move that elbow up and down with your free hand, moving the elbow toward your head and back down again. Do this a few times—if you feel a tightness or pain, it may be a signal of impingement.

Source: healthline.com