T Nation

Injured Shoulder


My training partner has been out of the gym since last October. Off and on he has complained of shoulder pain but as it would come and go he never really worried too much about it. Well in October it started to become so painful that he stopped working out. He says that he feeel the most pain when his arm is straight over his head(like when he would take off his shirt or reach for something)or when he reaches across his body. Also if he sleeps on it wrong then he is in some serious pain for a few days.

The thing is he that he is not well off finicially and doesn't have health insurance. This makes him reluctant to go to the doctor. Finally, over the holidays he went to get it looked at but by the cheapest doctor he could find. The doctor he went too just looked at his shoulder and had him do some stretching. She said he had a small tear on a ligament or something somewhere in his shoulder, but never did any other tests to further diagnose the pain. He has been doing the prescribed stretchs and PT she recommended. She said it could take up to 6 months for him to see any improvement.

To me this just seems way too long, but I really have no idea or experience with injuries. He tells me that he isn't having any improvement and I know being out of the gym is killing him. Have any of you guys heard of an injury like this or have any recommendatins to help speed recovery.



They didn't do an MRI or anything to see what was going on with the tissues?

Impingement syndrome came to mind when I was first reading it. Not saying that's the case, but could be a culprit, since the movement described would exacerbate the problem.


No like I said he has no insurance and MRI's and X-rays all cost money. I feel bad for him it's just a fucked up situation to be in.


I had some nagging pain in my right shoulder for a couple of weeks now.

Looking back in my training logs, it all started when I thought I'ld try a change, and decided on a wide grip on the incline bench press.

Went to the docter, he manipulated my arm for a while. I felt it most when I rotated my arm in front of my chest inward, with the doctor giving resistance, or when moving the arm behind my back.

His conclusion: damage to the supraspinatus. And he told me to get an echo. Echo's aren't THAT expensive, and they don't give as detailed information as an MRI. And the shoulder IS a difficult area to Echo. But I got lucky. The specialist noticed a slight thickening of the bursa, and a pattern on the tendon of the supraspinatus.

I'm expecting a full report in a couple of days.

I'm not saying that's what your friend has, but the doctor told me it was a very common problem and nodded when I "confessed" on working out in the gym.


Thanks Wreckless. If you could keep me updated about your shoulder and what they prescribe for you I would really appreciate it.


In Oct of 2003, I tore something in my right shoulder. I went to have it x-rayed and followed it up with a visit to an orthopedic surgeon. His findings....strain and bruised.
After 8 months of now progress and continual pain, I went back to him and finally got an MRI with contrast (injected dye).
Result......a torn labram and subscapularis tear. Had surgery a year later (Nov. 2004) by another surgeon, followed by passive, then weight training/rehab.
This consisted of a pitchers (baseball) rehab program of stretching, bands and the PINK dumbells.
Moral.....x-rays didn't show my injury and the doctor was somewhat incompetent. Rehab was 12-14 weeks 3 times a week. Without surgery or an accurate diagnosis, he may never be back to near normal


I find it ridiculous sometimes that GP's will give people exercises to do when they have had such limited orthopedic experience. They may have studied how to do the surgeries, but when it comes to performing the basic tests to see if the surgeries are warranted, these tests need constant practice and re-evaluation.

Some staes have direct access to physical therapists. This means you can walk into a clinic without a MD prescription and get insurance to cover the care. Even if your friend does not have insurance, he'd be better off calling up a clinic to see if he can set up something with a PT to PROPERLY diagnose/treat the injury without having to go through all the CT/MRI stuff via an MD(that can cost upwards of $1000). Now this is just a plan that utilizes the best cost-to-benefit ratio I can think of. Maybe next time he can circumvent the doctors and go straight to the PT for help.