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Doctor's Orders: Addressing exercise-related aches, especially shoulders

Shoulders can be a sore spot when reintroducing exercise to your regimen, or when upping the weights. Here's what to do when you're feeling some pain.

TOLEDO, Ohio — If you are jumping in to our Super Fitness Weight Loss Challenge at home, you might be experiencing a few achy muscles, along with baggy pants. But your body will tell you when you have pushed it too far. 

Our Super Fitness Weight Loss Challenge host, Kelly Heidbreder, has some shoulder pain and is getting a check-up with physicians from ProMedica Hospital. 

Here are your doctor’s orders.

Each year, almost 2 million people in the United States visit their doctor because of a rotator cuff problem, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

“People who are active commonly have rotator cuff issues, however even if you’re not super active you can still have rotator cuff issues,” says Erica Martin, MD, ProMedica Physicians Family and Sports Medicine.

“The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that help to stabilize the shoulder blade against the chest wall,” explains Dr. Martin. “When you have rotator cuff problems, you’ll have pain that radiates down your arm. It can hurt to lift and to reach overhead.”

She continues, “In certain situations, surgery may be recommended. However, if it’s tendon irritation, physical therapy may be recommended. You’ll work with the therapist on gentle range of motion and strengthening muscles of the rotator cuff to offload tension over the tendon that’s in the space.”

If exercising makes the pain worse, Dr. Martin recommends resting and speaking with your doctor, who can provide recommendations on treatment options, like physical therapy or injections.

For more health tips, visit www.promedicahealthconnect.org

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