T Nation

Advice for Shoulder Pain?

After two MRI’s, I have what doctors can best guess as bursitis in my right shoulder and no real action plan with going forward. Has anyone had any experience with with bursitis? Any recommendations with what I could or should not do?


see a new ortho that gives you a plan of action. They should refer to a good physical therapy center or offer to cut you open. Try to avoid that 2nd one if at all possible.

also, read the shoulder savers articles.

I had some brusitis and what I thought was shoulder impingement. Went to a highly recommended chiro and he took some x-rays, checked some reflexes and spent about an hour there the first day. It wasn’t cheap but well worth it. Pain is down by 80%, it was hurting to shoot a basketball now no pain. He just told me no overhead or incline press for now.

He was popping my body up pretty good once we got down to business. This guy definately knew what he was doing so find someone who knows what they are doing.

Maybe the MRIs were uneeded and you just needed to see a specialist. Anyways my pain was with anything overhead and now thankfully it seems like the worst is behind me.

Good luck with your problem, not only can these injuries be physical but have mental consequences, keep your head up, if it hurts don’t do it, and hopefully you can find someone to fix you up.

foam roll


I am getting over a similar condition, inflammation/bursitis at the a/c joint leading to impingement. Like MTD25, I had the most success w/ a chiro, and also tried an ortho who was no help.

There was another question about this a couple pages back, so I am just going to quote what I put in there, and I hope it is of some assistance. Mainly do SMR/trigger point work, avoid movements that aggravate it, and work on a rehab/remedial plan to strengthen some of the rotator cuff muscles/lower trap that are responsible for proper shoulder functioning.

I just got over a shoulder injury, trauma/inflammation at the a/c joint leading to impingement. I went to an orthopedist who only could suggest surgery or cortisone. He was not experienced with weightlifters and from being in his office, most of his patients were geriatrics. I suggest contacting a local powerlifting club, strength and conditioning coach at a local university, or weightlifting club, and ask who their team physio or ortho is.

I had success w/ a chiro. Insurance covered it a bit, w/ like a $15 dollar copay which added up considering I went so many times. It worked though and my shoulder has full pain free range of motion, although my strength is down a bit.

Waking up in the middle of the night w/ shoulder pain is a big sign that something is fucked up from what I have read, so I would get it looked at to rule out any muscle tears, serious orthopedic issues, etc. Stated though, the chiro really didn’t do anything I couldn’t do for myself, except for the electrostim and adjustments/trigger point work. Other than that is was a bunch of rehab movements, adjusting my training to avoid reaggravating it, stretching, and smr (foam rolling, digging into sore spots w/ my fingers, using a ball to hit some of my shoulder girdle areas).

The key really was staying out of the gym/avoiding any and all movements that bothered it even in the slightest amount.

In retrospect I would suggest using google, some of cressey’s/robertson’s/any qualified individuals articles, the diesel crew shoulder rehab youtube video, to come up w/ a rehab program to follow. External rotations were key for me, along w/ posterior shoulder and trap/neck stretching. Combined w/ time off or modified programming. My problem was only ac joint inflammation, not a muscle tear or anything requiring surgery to fix.

I’m not a doctor by the way and I only wanted to convey my experiences/thoughts about rehabbing my shoulder. Yours may be something entirely different altogether."

Awesome stuff. Thank you for your replies. I also found a DVD called Inside/Out which focuses on shoulder injury pain rehab. I’ve ordered it, and will see how it goes. I’ve also made an appointment with an osteopathic doctor, which is similar to a chiropractor (except he’s actually been to med school). I will let you know how the recovery turns out this summer.