T Nation

Cuff Tear, Maybe?


#1

Hi

Just after some advice on this one if poss.

I have a pain in the rear of my right shoulder, it comes and goes but usually occurs more after pressing movements. I used to get it also after performing the butterfly stroke in swimming but haven't swum for quite a few months now. I haven?t been to the gym for about a week now due to just having an arthroscopy in my left knee (not having much luck really).

My shoulder still gives this sharp pain from time to time so I thought I should get it checked out. My doc had a quick look and just signed me up for some physio which is still yet to begin. In the mean time I went to see a sports therapist who basically said i'm very tight in that area and gave me some specific stretching to do and said to lay off any pressing movements.

I agree that laying off the movements that could have caused my problem would be the best idea but I?m not convinced that stretching the shoulder area is such a good idea if there is a bigger injury waiting to happen?

Since having the arthroscopy on my knee I?m able to walk quite freely already. :slight_smile: The work that was carried out involved cutting some scar tissue which was making the joint move uncomfortably. I will see the consultant in a week or so. I would like to know what you think could be the best exercise to start with if any for my leg(s)to start gaining more strength before moving back onto heavier exercises.


#2

Go to a doctor. I highly doubt that its a rotator cuff tear, if it was, you'd be in a shit load of pain. Definitly wouldnt be able to do any heavy pressing movements.

I tore my labrum a few years ago playing lacrosse. I have very loose shoulder sockets, which is a reason I was more prone to shoulder injury. I sometimes get pain after bench pressing, and I cant even go below 5 reps for it or I feel it pop out with my arms locked.

Anyway, I would say go see a doctor... he/she will be able to tell you what it is alot better than we would. But, I will tell you that I doubt its a torn rotator cuff, so theres one less thing to worry about.


#3

I appreciate your reply, thanks a lot. I can tell you I did see my doctor and she had a brief look then booked me in with the physio who I am yet to see.

As I?ve said the sports therapist that I saw gave me stretches to do but is this wise if there is an injury apparent do you think?

Thanks again


#4

Sorry, I originally skimmed your post for the most part. I guess I missed you seeing your doctor already.

Anyway, I think that any doctor or sports therapist who tells you that some physical therapy/stretching is all it needs isnt very cautious or thorough at all. Not saying your doctor is an idiot, but I think he could have dealt with this much better and IMO much more professionally. I think it would have been better for him to recommend an orthopedist who will be able to take X-rays, MRI's, etc... Go to more than one, also. I had gone to 3.

The first one I didnt like just because of his attitude. The second one took an x-ray and an MRI and nothing clear had shown up. The third one, who i liked the best, took an MR-arthrogram, which is where the tear had shown up because it was relatively small and needed to be dyed. (The dye, is the only difference between an MRI and an MRArthrogram. They inject dye into your shoulder socket, which is a bitch.)

Anyway, I would see a doctor such as an orthopedist where they are actually able to see 'inside' your shoulder and see if anything is torn or anything. Physicians and sports therapists can tell you wether your shoulder is loose or tight, but still not know if anything is torn. This could be a disaster.

Your physician could tell you its ok, then any time in the future it could tear doing anything, damaging much more than what is already done. My labrum has a slight tear in it, not a huge one. Therefore it doesnt give me excruciating pain, or a lack of range of motion. The only bad thing is a lack of stability strength when my shoulder is in a lockout extended position.

My prescription was no severe contact sports (although I do still play pickup football with my friends.)

Sorry for the poor grammar, its late.


#5

Thanks again for your reply.

Yes your right I'm definitely going to get another opinion but the problem is here you can't just go and see and orthopaedist directly you have to go through your doctor first. Can minor tears be repaired by rest alone?
Thanks again


#6

Yes I realize you can't just go straight to an orthopedist, but you never said you were going to one. Are you going to see one?

From what I know, (which I can be wrong) tears, cannot be fixed by rest alone. Although theres the theorum that whenever you workout, you tear your muscles. Even though those are microtears, they're still tears.

Anyway, my doctor told me that my tear (even though its minor) would most likely not repair on itself.

Once you see an ortho, and get a picture, they will be able to tell you what is wrong, and where you should go from there.


#7

If the pain is not constant and is accompanied by weakness (external or internal rotation) then I suggest a neurological exam to rule out nerve injury or impingement.

If the stretching exercises hurt (sharp pain) don't do them.


#8

I learned something a while back. When I have a pain that does not seem to go away with the usual ice/heat therapy I do the following in strict order:

  1. I visit my massage therapist. It is usually a soft tissue issue. Scar tissue, etc. After 3 to 4 treatments I'm usually 100%

  2. Chiropractitc visit. If you know a good Chiropractor they can detect (with or without an X-ray) what sort of damage that you have.

  3. If all else fails a good sports doctor. I have not had to visit one, but would find one if needed.

I agree with you that stretching the shoulder joint could cause more problems than you currently have.