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Adjusting Plan for Shoulder Pain

The background: I’m on the 5th Cycle of 5/3/1 and feeling awesome, especially on Deads & Squats. I’m still putting up 10+ reps on the 1+ day for example. I’ve been going 2x/week w/ Deads/OH Press one day and Squats/Bench the other, I do some pullups between sets and I do 10x10 32kg Kettlebell Swings on two of the off days.

Now, the question: My right shoulder has been barking at me pretty bad, but only when I do the Barbell Lifts. I’ve found in the last couple sessions that I can comfortably do the Dumbbell OH and Bench Press at 3 sets of 10 type loading without any issue. Should I just do that and try to progress those lifts while continuing 5/3/1 formatting for the Lower Body work or am I being dumb and should stop doing the upper body stuff in general until I figure out why the barbell pisses my shoulder off? I do plan to address it, but I’d like to not kill my momentum if it’s safe to work around the pain by changing lifts.

Keep doing DB OHP and bench but still find out what is going on.

Have you ever had shoulder issues before?

If you can program it I’d probably throw in some unilateral upper body work such as Landmine presses, flat/incline DB bench to try and address any weaknesses. You could also switch from bench to floor press which is friendlier on the shoulders and on Jim’s “approved” list of exercises. I’m personally coming back to 5/3/1 after some rotator cuff issues and done unilateral work and building back via seated OHP and floor press work.

Obviously what’s most important is to get your shoulder seen to by a sports specialist whilst doing plenty of prehab/rehab

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No I haven’t had shoulder issues in the past but this has been going on a few months. I’m finally at acceptance that it’s unlikely to magically heal itself. It’s definitely time to find a sports doc to look at it.

I can definitely program some unilateral work since I’m not doing the 5/3/1 ohp and bench. Figured i go to the classic 3x10 w upper body for now. I find the Incline Press is comfortable for whatever reason so that’ll be a go to for a bit.

Are your rotator cuff issues healing or are you still struggling with it? Did you see a specialist and was it helpful if so?

Definitely go and see a sports specialist and general doctors just tell you to rest and don’t do any weight bearing activities!

My rotator cuff flares up whenever I flat bench, I had another go recently after changing my form but it persists. Ironically I actually majorly aggravated back squatting. It stems from over compensating due to injury on the other shoulder.

I saw a specialist when I first did it and had ultrasound which made a massive difference. This time around been to see a sports specialist and got a deep tissue massage which although agonising works as well. As with all of these injury prevention is better than the cure

I like the idea of the massage route, it always feels really tight so maybe loosening up the surrounding tissue would help.

As someone who has just returned to pain free pressing in all planes after just over two years of shoulder issues, I would strongly recommend you go get your shoulder looked at. These problems have a way of getting worse over time and rearing their head at the least opportune moments if you don’t take time to address them.

It could also be that your movement patterns are causing problems and you may need to review how your moving/lifting.

My recommendation is to get a good physiotherapist and be patient with your recovery. Shoulder problems can take a long time to correct, and reinjuring them is easier than you might think.

Update in case anyone gives a $hit lol: went in to our local sports med place which is pretty great btw. Xrayed and tested shoulder movement, diagnosed with mild impingement syndrome, gave it a squirt of cortisone and said I’d likely feel great by Monday. Rotator cuff is in great shape.

I feel stupid for putting it off as long as I did, but I’m glad I quit being stubborn and got it looked at as recommended by y’all and my wife.

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I wish they would put cortisone in Pepsi.
Seriously, though, something happened and could happen again. The shot will make you Superman for a week or two so be careful not to push it too hard at first.
Love that shit.

Lol for sure. I can’t identify what started the pain really so I’ve decided I need to stick with the lifts that weren’t bothering me before the shot for another few weeks and focus on fixing my mobility and movement patterns for a bit. Hopefully that will make it a bit more bulletproof before I load a barbell overhead again.