T Nation

A Funny thing happened . . .

Has anyone experienced this? About 3 months ago I experienced a sudden drop in strength, my bench dropped from 305 to about 235, but overhead dumbell shoulder press became unstable - all from my right side. Oddly enough I had no real noticeable pain - although just a week before I had worked out through some minor upper trap pain (which went away). I even started to exhibit (after a couple weeks of this shit) carpal tunnel symptoms - in fact the doctor thought this was all related to carpal (bullshit)and had a nerve velocity (or something of that nature) test ran - it indicated carpal syndrome in my right hand. Not surprisingly my curls suffered from this arm as well. Well, to make a long story short, with 0 rest (just hard working out as usual) and about 2-3 months (I did start taking some anti-inflamatories (at the suggestion of the doctor) along with doing shoulder horn excercises (I suspected minor shoulder impingement) and boom - within 2 months I’m stronger than I was before the injury! Shoulder impingement? Nerve compression? I have trouble believing that carpal caused all this or that I simultaneously developed shoulder impingement & carpal . .

Funny you should mention this. There is a group of nerves that originate on the spine just above the first rib (in the back) that feed the arm and hand. An impringement way up high (traps) can cause numbness, pain, loss of strength/contol all the way down the arm and into the hand. I’ve had pain and numbness from my bad elbows that causes my distal fingers to go numb and when I squat the bar rests on the origin of these nerves and by the time I’m done with a heavy set both arms are asleep.

Hi guys. Cervical entrapment can often cause symptoms that mimic CTS, which is one of the reasons it can be easily mis-diagnosed. The brachial nerve plexus issues from the C3, C4 and C5 vertebrae, passes by the upper trap, under the clavical, behind the upper pec and out through the thoracic outlet in your armpit to its distribution in the arm. An inflammation or soft tissue entrapment can produce traction neuropathy, and it can happen anywhere along this pathway and produce CTS-like symptoms in the hand. So your ‘problem’ with your upper trap the day before probably had something to do with it.

The best thing for a condition like this is ART.

This is For JIM ELLIS…or anybody else that can answer the question. I’ve had a similar problem with numbness in my thumbs and forefinger of both hands, although as near as I can tell no loss of strength as severe as what jim depicted in his post. I thought it was unlikely that I would develop Carpal Tunnel syndrome in both arms simultaneously, so the problem with the nerve pathways seems more likely answer to my problem. - but could you please tell me what “shoulder horn” excercises are?

I’m not familiar with the term and I’m eager to try something to fix this problem.