Sore shoulder (s)

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Sore shoulder (s)

Postby scenthound » Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:15 pm

I continue to have a sore left shoulder, and to a lesser extent the right one. Researching this on the web is what got me here in the first place. I think I've narrowed this down to being either a bicipital tendon stress, impingement, or rotator cuff tendonitis.

I'm not sure it matters, but I'm curious. It would be nice to know. I was getting a followup for some other reason last week and my doctor didn't have much to say. He just asked me if I was still lifting, and I said yes, but with reduced weight.

Not wanting to aggrevate the problem but continue to workout as much as possible, I'm hoping for some hints here. I suspect that bench presses is the initial cause. It's hard to be sure because for a long time the pain would not occur while I worked the weights. I was doing a lot of dumbell bench presses, lifting the weights from the floor each time.

Last week I did some bench presses with more weight again and by the next day the pain on the left was considerable and the right back slightly too. I also did some pulldowns and rows but I felt some strain on the last few heavy presses.

Now, I'm doing daily dumbell workouts with some lighter ones picking them up from the floor (standing), and bringing them overhead. The overhead standing press isn't aggrevating the soreness. Maybe it's less weight, maybe the bench press.

If it's the bench press am I right in thinking I've got a bicipital tendon stress?
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Postby sensless » Fri Dec 03, 2004 7:32 pm

Are you working out the same parts everyday or multiple times per week? If so, it could be an overtraining injury. The only solution for that is to stop working out for awhile so it can fully recover. When I was younger I overtrained and as a result suffered from tendonitus in both of my arms. The only way to get rid of it was to stop lifting for 1-3 months.

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Postby scenthound » Fri Dec 03, 2004 7:54 pm

This definitely originated from over training with dumbells. Took some time to narrow it down. Haven't done repeated bench presses more than once a week for a long time. I tried to work around it. It has plagued me for many months now. Not severe. It gets better then returns. I know that I may have to lay off for months if I can't work around it.
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Postby Oak » Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:09 pm

So Scenthound,

You think it was the dumbells?

The bench press definetly can aggrivate the rotator cuffs, infact it's quite common.

Often the problem is that the pressing movenment is too slow for them to handle. Unless you have really strong shoulders you should try and to have at the minimum a 2 up 2 down count for the bench press. Whether with a bar of dumbells.

Often machines like the smith machine can agrivate the cuffs as it doesn't work the dynamic stabalisers enough and so leaves them weak.

I would take at least 3 days off from pressing movenments, depending on how good at healing you are.

Definetly lower the weights for a couple of weeks as this allows you to push quicker therefore causing less stress.

Hope this gets better for you, you will need an apointment with a physio if this persists. A sports physio will be what you really need.

But seen as how this is quite common i think that you might be fine.

I'm afraid that i don't really know much about bicipital tendon stress

Good luck,
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Postby J » Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:28 pm

For what little it's worth I keep my elbows all the way out or all the way in otherwise my shoulders will start bothering me on bench presses.
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Postby Pete » Sat Dec 04, 2004 8:21 pm

First thing I'd do is stop benching! Infact I'd stop any move that irritates the condition. Once I'd done that I'd go to a physio & get it diagnosed, then begin a rehab program.
Sometimes you can figure out for yourself what your condition is, but most of the time getting it diagnosed can save you a heap of pain & long term misery. Get it sorted while it's mild & fixable would be my advice! I spent a year overcoming a bad rotar cuff injury (couldn't rotate my shoulder outwards at all!). Don't wait to be incapacitated (like me), get it fixed now!
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Postby scenthound » Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:05 pm

At first I thought this was rotator related but came upon a more detailed link where bicipital tendonitus was mentioned as a common result of frequent and repeated bench presses and often misdiagnosed as rotator cuff injury. Since I was pulling the bells up from the floor, the biceps would be initially jerked slightly while fully extended.

I don't have any difficulty rotating my arms outward, so bicipital tendon stress seems more likely, although impingement is a possibility. Bicipital tendons attach to the shoulder under the deltoids making the pain seem to be in the shoulder.

I feel the pain only when I raise my arm, like to sip tea (slight) or to wash and rinse my hair. I stopped the bench presses several weeks ago. Looks like I will have to skip more of the upper body workouts for now.

The following from Dave Draper seems like a good approach since going dormant may have even greater disadvantages than some minor though cronic shoulder pain at times. (no function has been yet effected):

"In working an injured area, use lights weights and high repetitions. Slow and concentrated reps will enable you to pinpoint the injury and determine your body's limitations. This also warms up the area and provides the support of blood with its life giving oxygen and nutrients.

Unless the injury is radical, I work through it and around it. Enduring the pain and not wanting to further abuse the area, I begin to compromise and, in compromising, discover new movements. I find I'm able to arrange a groove to work just outside the direct pain area. This often requires an abbreviated movement, a subtle change of angle or grip that I may enjoy and retain as a standard in my workout."

http://www.davedraper.com/training-injuries.html
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Postby wannalift » Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:53 pm

since i quit doing overhead press and bench press and started taking ibuprofen(spell) i feel way better. i even did hang cleans, powercleans, highpulls and farmers walks on my last session. i'm getting some prescription strength ani-inflamatory medication later this week and i hope to be back by the beginning of next year. also shoulder rehab stuff that is rotator cuff specific is probably helping me too.
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Postby scenthound » Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:05 pm

[quote="Pete"]First thing I'd do is stop benching! Infact I'd stop any move that irritates the condition. Once I'd done that I'd go to a physio & get it diagnosed, then begin a rehab program.
Sometimes you can figure out for yourself what your condition is, but most of the time getting it diagnosed can save you a heap of pain & long term misery. Get it sorted while it's mild & fixable would be my advice! I spent a year overcoming a bad rotar cuff injury (couldn't rotate my shoulder outwards at all!). Don't wait to be incapacitated (like me), get it fixed now!
All good advice. I did go to the OSU sports medicine clinic and my doctor had little to say. Unfortunately I never get the pain when lifting, and it takes sufficient aggraviation to notice a change later. That's why it took so long to narrow it down. I noticed a slight strain, but no pain, when benching some weight - on the ninth rep. I was straining. The pain increased noticably later that day.

It appears that the initial strain was the result of repeated dumbell lifts - floor to overhead - then worsened acutely by the bench incident. I'm just going to lay off until it seems to be gone.
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Postby Heyutang » Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:21 am

Hey Scenthound,

just saw this post now, don't have much time these days to visit the bbing forum (or the gym :) ).

First of all, the fact that you only feel pain after lifing is a good one. This means your tendinitis is in phase one. Phase five means total immobility. Phase two is when you feel pain before and after exercising.

Then, which tendonitis. Fairly easy to find out by a few tests. I'm surprised they didn't test you at that sports clinic? Or didn't find anything? Lifting dumbbels from the ground could point to biceps caput longum inflammation. If you do a normal biceps exercise, can you feel pain after a while (flex your arm with dumbbell)?
Similarly, if it's your rotator cuff: does turning your arm outwardly hurt? You could test this by using the vertical pull machine, pull with painful arm from opposite hip to homolateral ear (end position: like you're going to throw a ball or spear, know what I mean). If pain arises after some time, you can expect rotator cuff inflammation.

In either case, you might do well with shoulder stablization training. Do this in closed circuit: hands fixed, e.g. on floor. (open circuit= hands loose; open circuit training could cause an imbalance in muscles when done too often, like in many throwing sports). Examples of closed circuit training: push-ups, and later push-ups on a soft mattress (more instability, so more training), and maybe even on special wiggly planks: really good for training little muscles and correcting imbalances.

Another aspect of recovery is stretching. I'd suggest you stretch both biceps and rotator cuffs. Stretch within pain limits (don't make it hurt).
http://www.thestretchinghandbook.com/ar ... injury.htm
http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/Biceps/Standing.html
Stretch several timer per day.
Doing more repetitions with less weigth is also part of a physio rehab program. Just make sure you do the rigth exercises. Read here about possible supra- and infrapspinatus weakness, that may even play a part in a biceps tendinitis. http://www.exrx.net/ExInfo/Weaknesses.h ... hor3503966 All these muscles work closely together, that is why closed circuit rehab is important (trains all of them in a balanced way).

Good luck!!
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shoulder strength

Postby letsgetsick » Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:29 pm

Here is a link to some good rotator cuff/ shoulder exercises for injury prevention and I would think would be good for physical therapy as well.

http://www.american-gymnast.com/tt/stre ... /index.htm

And here is a device I haven't tried but I think I' going to get soon that helps build stabilizing shoulder muscles as well as pushing strength, which might be good to recover with.

http://mattfurey.com/powerpushup2.html
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Postby scenthound » Thu Dec 16, 2004 1:46 pm

Thanks to Heyatang. I'm just today finding yours and letsgetsick's posts. That standing biceps stretch just definitively isloated it for me. Just as I suspected it must be bicipital head, not rotator cuff. Unless some of each.

I stopped bench pressing a couple weeks ago. Minimized upper body work for now. Took all weights off one set of handles except for 1 1/4 # plates. Doing mostly dumbell deads and squats for now.

The soreness is still apparent when in the tub and washing hair, hands over head, but not bad, and getting slowly better. I've tried working around this but aggrevated it and prolonged the slight disability. I can remember the slight pain when pushing that last "failure" press three months ago. If I had understood it then, I'd be back by now. I will go the slow rehab route and do more yoga in it's stead. A good thing.

Thanks.

...actually now thinking both are affected. Doesn't surprise me since I was doing a variety of repetitive weight work. No more overtraining.
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