Originally Posted by janm
.............................. someone who'd had a similar problem would be able to point out something which could confirm one or the other.
My non-tennis arm rotator cuff injury first appeared at the gym as a loss of strength and some pain on lifting. There was no indication beforehand and I did not ever sense that an acute injury had happened. The MRI showed 'mild supraspinatus tears', the most common rotator cuff injury. No surgery, rested the shoulder and did targeted PT, which I found very effective and informative. Nearly normal now after 6 years with 90% or more strength, no pain except when certain positions and the pain is not bad. Discomfort, for example, if I am lying on my side in bed and try to lift a bed sheet up using just my shoulder, there is pain. This motion might more use the supraspinatus (?) before the medial deltoid has contributed because the arm's abduction angle is too small for the deltoid. (?) Or I could have some other shoulder issue causing that pain. (?)
I have read that by age 70 about 30% of people have had rotator cuff tears that would show up on examination or autopsy. Most
do not know that they have ever had these injuries.
I believe that the shoulder joint is the most difficult joint to diagnose due to the complex motions and all the components. For example, inflammation can affect adjacent structures such as bursa sacks, etc. I would not take one person's experience with their injury as applying to yours, but it might.