T Nation

Long Term Shoulder Pain

I know there’s been loads of threads on shoulder pain, but I can’t find an answer to this specific question. I was training using bodybuilding routines until about a year ago, and I started developing a really loud crunching in my shoulder joint and my clavicles both started popping as I moved my shoulders. It got worse and kind of painful when I started doing dips more, so I laid off them. I then got into combat sports and I’ve stopped hitting the weights all that hard, and the crunching and popping got less but it never went away.

Night before last I woke up in a whole load of pain. It felt like someone was sticking a knife under my left scapula, but the pain dulled as I moved it around. It ached all day, and I could do sod all with it, although moving it around made it feel a bit better. Then the same thing happened last night, I woke up in loads of pain, but again its got slightly better during the day. It crunches and grinds like you wouldn’t believe, and the pain runs down my neck, my left arm and around my scapula.

So my question is should I start looking for shoulder rehab techniques here on T-Nation (foam rolling, stretching, scap push ups, all that kinda stuff) or do I need to stop being so tight and get down the doctors/physio? If I really do have to see someone (I really don’t want to), who do I go to? A chiropractor, a physio, a doctor or a sports therapist?

I had the same problem. I quit dips totaly, and just lifted with light weights real light pussy weights and still had the pain. Then I ordered Mark Rippetoe’s book starting strength. In it it talks about doing over head presses with a bar bell to keep shoulders from being hurt. I started doing it and my shoulders feel better than thay have in 10 years and I’m now benching over 315 again pain free at tha age of 37. I never thught I’d get over 225 again because of the pain. I still have the crunching sounds but no pain. Btw if you follow the program all your lifts will be higher, way higher. I found the link to the book from other T-Nation posts about it.

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 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.