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Anterior Shoulder Pain

Alright, so I’ve dealt with anterior shoulder pain, stiffness and sometimes even locking up and grinding during very bad times. If I put my fingers into the front of my armpit and push up, I can feel the joint (or something…assuming its the joint) which is sore and and tender. I’ve never been certain what it was, maybe tendonitis, maybe arthritis, maybe I have the bad acromion, maybe I have all three or something else. It gets worse with any kind of upper body pushing that I do although this is alleviated quite a bit by keeping my elbows tucked instead of flared. For some months it is gone, no pain or inflammation at all. Other months one shoulder hurts, other months the other or both shoulders are in agony.

Anyway, I was benching today and it seriously hampered my ability to to do my sets. I finished up and did decided that I would do some work that I thought might help my shoulders, so I did bent over rows, posterior deltoid raises, hammer curls, lateral raises, and shrugs. My shoulder DOES actually feel better after doing that. Does anyone think that that kind of upper body posterior chain work will help cure my shoulder issues? I’m considering doing this work before my benching for a while, does that make sense? Does anyone else have any advice or ideas?

I am unsure if the pain you’re experiencing the same thing as what I’ve been dealing with, but you may want to try foam rolling or using a lacrosse ball on your infraspinatus, and all the other accompanying muscles around the scapula. You should notice immediate relief if it’s really tight and pulling on your shoulders enough to cause the discomfort you’re dealing with.

[quote]PapaBlunt wrote:
I am unsure if the pain you’re experiencing the same thing as what I’ve been dealing with, but you may want to try foam rolling or using a lacrosse ball on your infraspinatus, and all the other accompanying muscles around the scapula. You should notice immediate relief if it’s really tight and pulling on your shoulders enough to cause the discomfort you’re dealing with. [/quote]

Interesting. I’ll give that a shot, because I think that might be it. (tightness).

Sounds similar to what I went through for a long time; 5+ years, off and on. It’d flair up, then I’d take a break, only to get back to bench press, and have it happen all over again. About a year ago I went on an all out assault to fix this on my own. Doctors always just said I needed to start doing more rotator cuff exercises, which I was already doing. I just felt the doctors where rushing me out of the office and calling out “NEXT”. I just needed to find a way to get healthy again, before giving in and spending the money for an MRI on both shoulders.

First, I went and purchased a high quality ice pack for my shoulders. I ended up with one similar to this: http://www.icewraps.net/shoulder-ice-wrap--upper-arm-ice-wrap-original-model.html I iced the hell out of it while I wasn’t working out, especially after workouts, regardless if it hurt or not. Then, I went and got a TENS machine and starting using that at the same time I iced. I’m not a doctor but as an NCAA athlete, my trainers were always sticking these on me, so I thought why the hell not, for $50! Both icing and the TENS, I feel, helped a great deal. However, the single best thing I found was an article on EliteFTS.com.
http://articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/band-pull-apart-super-series-for-healthy-shoulders/

I started doing this series, daily, and almost immediately felt a difference. I started doing this back in September, I believe, and still do it now; it’s part of an almost daily routine. I have almost NO shoulder pain anymore. Every so often I’ll get a twinge or a light pain in there, but it’s no where near what it once was. Most nights I lost sleep for the pain. Another thing I started doing on shoulder and chest days is increasing my warm ups. For a long time a warm up to me on a bench day was
135 X 20
185 X 10
225 X 8
GO LIKE HELL
That’s just not enough, I’ve found.

I stopped doing that. Now, I jump on the cables and do light cable flies for 5 X 15-25, with light weight, and really squeeze, and feel the weight/muscles work. I’ll break a darn good sweat with my warm up. Afterwards, whether shoulder press or bench, I will then do some light sets to feel and gain a rhythm in the exercise, then increase weight from there until I reach my working sets. For a while, I stopped bench pressing all together because I knew that was the culprit to my shoulder problems. However, I now believe, and have convinced myself, I was my own culprit for doing things to not protect my shoulders. Sorry for the long read, but thought I could help. Good luck.

J

EDIT:

P.S… as mentioned above, I also have recently incorporated foam rollers as well. I figured it can’t hurt.

Wow, thanks Justthrowit. I’ll be picking up a band.

Hope it helps…