T Nation

4 Weeks Out from a Fight with Shoulder Injury



I'm at a bit of loss as to where to go at the moment. In four weeks I'm scheduled to debut in an MMA fight in Australia and am experiencing a worsening of a shoulder injury.

So far I've been to a couple of doctors, had an x-ray and an ultrasound on it. Nothing has been diagnosed. There was slight bursitis in the shoulder area when the ultrasound was taken, but I've had bursitis on and off for years and know that this is not the same thing. The ultrasound also scanned the bicep and infra and supraspinitus (sp?). Again, nothing.

The symptoms I get is an ache in the shoulder joint that radiates down to the bottom of the bicep. I get pretty tight at the back between the shoulder blade and spine, too. It's almost like the arm becomes a dead weight, making it hard to lift my hand up.

While boxing doesn't seem to inflame it (I can do bag work without too much discomfort), sparring is a problem. I think this is from blocking strikes with my arm that is jarring the joint. By the end of a 90 minute sparring session last week I was relegated to using one hand to block. Suffice it to say, I got punched in the head a lot.

The two worst activities I've found are pummeling and holding pads for someone. I think both these movements require a sharp, pushing down force (when someone punches a pad I push out and down with it to try and catch the punch a little) that really sends the shoulder off. When it gets really bad I have to stop training.

Any ideas? If I had a clear idea of what was wrong then I could start looking out for it better. I'm seeing a physio today, but I'm not too optimistic that he's going to be able to help.



Did the doctors check your neck at all? Or check for any kind of TOS?


have you had a dig around with a foam roller / tennis ball / lacrosse ball?

i had a weird nagging pain at my elbow joint...

finally figured out that it was due to knots in my triceps and also found some knots up closer to my shoulder.

i think the biggest culprit was repeatedly lowering weights to my thighs with a clean grip that was shocking / jolting my arms.

fingers crossed for you that that is what is wrong since it is fairly easily fixed.


Sorry about the delayed reply, been away from the comp for a while.

The sports physio was able to sort me out a lot better than the doctors I had seen.

Turns out it there was a problem with the infra spinitus (that's the outside one, right?) and to a lesser extent the supra spinitus.

He massaged the area (which was fucking painful), before doign the other side (which had no pain whatsoever) to highlight this.

He thinks that due to an imbalance, my shoulder might be dislocating slightly during training (like 1mm) which is enough to cause the symptoms without being visible on an xray/ultrasound.

Anyway, he gave me some exercises to do which are helping. Only problem is that I did some shoulder presses the other day without thinkign and have inflamed my bursitis, meaning I have to rest the shoulder again.

Anyway, pretty positive now, looking forward to the fighting.


If you have issues with the bursa at the shoulders, I strongly advise against over head pressing. Every time you press a load in this manner, you are jamming the bursa and the supraspinatus tendon against the acromion. Besides, the overhead press is not a lift that would transfer to your sport.