T Nation

Help! Shoulder Problem



Last January I injured my left shoulder bench pressing and was too stubborn to go to a doctor about it, mainly because I didn't think the pain was too bad and I figured it would resolve itself. .. come May the pain had gotten worse and I decided to get it looked at. . After an MRI and an MRI Arthrogram it was discovered that I had "shoulder laxity" but other than that nothing was wrong. Went to two different physical therapists, got a cortisone shot and I'm now on an anti-inflammatory called Lodine 500mg twice a day.

My second physical therapist said I had a protracted shoulder girdle and had me doing a lot of external rotations as well as cable rows. . . I stopped seeing him about a month ago and have been doing the routine in the gym without much improvement. The pain seems to be in the front of my shoulder kind of under my arm pit, gets worse when I drive (using the steerwheel)

I was told I needed my shoulder blades to retract and the pain would go away, I haven't noticed them moving back at all. . nor a change in the amount of pain I experience. . . If anything my left shoulder is becoming more protracted and I'm starting to feel like it's pulling the left side of my ribcage forward or something. . It's been noticed that my lower left rib protrudes more than my right which is starting to worry me. . A group of my friends all noticed it at the beach last weekend which really got me thinking if it could be affecting my shoulder not getting better? Is there any way the two could coincide? I'm not sure how it's happening but it's really bugging me.

Are there any exercises to fix a protruding ribcage? I feel weird even asking about such a thing, lol. Also I can post my shoulder routine if it would help


I'm surprised you can pin-point the sudden onset of pain/issue to a specific event & time, yet the diagnosis is a gradual process type injury/issue where you would have notice the increasing discomfort over a period of time.
If you still have the MRI scans would you not consider taking these to a sports injury/specialist/physician?

In 2009 I injured my right shoulder doing Bench Press (trying to press 180kg to shoulder line when usual line is to nipple/sternum line does NOT work.....IDIOT for even trying!!!), my GP prescribed Voltaren, a few physio sessions & suggested I take a break from training.

Long story short, after repeated insisting to the physio that the issue was not resolving I was given contact details for a specialst sports physician (deals with those insane blackout-before-I-tap-out-MMA's & rugby players).
A relatively in-expensive CT scan confimed I had a tear in my Suprspinatus Tendon. Further investigation by MRI confirmed a full depth tear of 60% the Suprspinatus Tendon, 20% tear of the Infraspinatus & 20% tear of the biceps tendon at the Supraglenoid insertion. Surgery was the ONLY option.
Now 2 years & nearly $30k later (quite pricey for 5 stainless anchor screws!!!) I'm back in the gym doing what I enjoy with every intention to lift heavier than before.

My point being don't give in to accepting a diagnosis if you feel more investigation is warranted. Go to a specialist for comprehensive, hands-on assessment & diagnosis. I strongly doubt anybody, regardless of their good intentions/similar experience could do a diagnosis by reading a forum post.

Good luck


I've been to two different Orthopedists, one told me point blank "I have no idea what's wrong with your shoulder" and gave me a cortisone shot. . . the other summed it all up to capsular laxity and said once I strengthened my rotator cuff and perioscapular stabilizers I should be fine. . .

I guess I should look into a third opinion then.

I'm not even about to ask my last Ortho for contact details to another specialist because I was really disappointed with the way he handled my last appointment. . . basically told me since my shoulder has been hurting for so long it's gonna take a long time doing physical therapy for me to get it back to normal. . . He just made something up and ushered me out really quickly.

at this point I'd actually prefer surgery, I don't think physical therapy is going to help my situation anymore so than it has. Aside from the pain it feels like my entire shoulder just moves completely differently from my opposing one. . . with pretty much any exercise. . . Tricep extensions/pullups/pulldowns . . . even bicep curls, it's ridiculous. I'm so over it.

Anyways thanks for posting, I appreciate the advice.