Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


I am a 53-year old business executive. As part of my job, I’ve been observing various divisions of our company. During the last rotation, I helped lift some heavy pipes. I felt a snap in my right shoulder with sudden pain. I don’t want to file for worker’s comp. What should I do?


Tendons, ligaments, and muscles can “snap” or “pop” when injured or damaged. Often, this is a sign that the soft tissue has torn partially or completely. Immediate pain and swelling suggests a muscle may be involved. A normal tendon/muscle unit is painless and strong. A first degree strain or tear will be painful and strong. If movement of the arm is painful and weak, suspect a serious strain or tear. In the case of a weak arm without pain, there may be a complete tear of the soft tissue structures. Use ice, gentle motion, rest, and antiinflammatories for the first 24 to 48 hours. If painful symptoms persist, a medical exam is advised. Continuing to use the arm can cause further damage. It’s best to file an incident report, even if you don’t see a doctor right away. Jacques Soyer, MD, et al. The Relationship Between Clinical Outcomes and the Amount of Arthroscopic Acromial Resection. In Arthroscopy. January 2003. Vol. 19. No. 1. Pp. 34-39.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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