T Nation

Muscle Tears and Recovery Times


Hi Guys, long time reader first time poster

It's been about six months now since I had a pretty nasty stack snowboarding at Mt. Buller for those in Australia. I landed directly on my left shoulder, not with my arm extended out but right onto it. Prior to this I had a motorcycle accident about a year and a half ago on the exact same area with my arm out, causing a haematoma(?) in/on my left clavicle.

According to some scans I got just over a month ago its "a rim-rent tear of the deep anterior fibres of supraspinatus measures 3x2mm, but the rotator cuff tendons are otherwise normal." Everything else is normal.

The pain happens when I abduct the arm of perform an external rotation, which is actually quite often such as when I'm putting on a jumper or putting my backpack on and even these minor movements cause pain, even after 6 months time. It is usually felt in the long head of the bicep, along the lateral delt and refers sometimes down the bicep as well.

I was a jackass about it and didn't start getting treatment until about 2.5 months ago; I just kept on with my part time work as a stock filler and just ignored it which I'm sure only worsened the problem.

I've been seeing a chiro who's just been doing some soft tissue and activator work. It's definitely not as severe as it was 6 months ago, but it is still quite painful in moments where i'll rapidly extend the arm or am bumped into the shoulder.

It's really impacted me physically (obviously) and mentally as well as I can't play sports or goto gym any more. Even if I want to squat, just holding the bar steady for a back squat hurts due to the extended position of the left arm.

The chiro and GP aren't giving me any real straight answers. At first it was about 2 months should be around 80% and now that time period keeps extending and its gotten to a point where it's reached a plateu.

The chiro recommended some basic stretches and movements without weights - hard to tell whether they're actually helping or not. This week I didn't do any of the exercises and it feels if anything a little better.

I just wanted to see if any of you guys have experienced these things; what should I expect in terms of recovery time, when can I start a bit of resistance training, were there any specific things you guys did to get back on track.

It's really hitting me hard every time I push a door open or something like that and that shooting pain just reminds me of all the things I cant do now. Thanks for any help guys

EDIT: Sorry forgot some basic stats: 22YO, 170cm, 80kg but not the good kind of 80kg at the moment


I would ask for a referal to a physiotherapist. In my experience they know a lot more about this stuff than GPs or even chiropractors. I have seen a physiotherapist to get treatment for muscle wasting in my pinkie finger after a compound fracture there.

I also saw a physiotherapist for patellar subluxation(basically my knee caps used to dislocate when I crossed my legs. Kind of embarrassing at school when everyone used to sit down at assembly then suddenly I'd begin involuntarily screaming like I'd been gutshot and rolling on the ground in agony.


haha yea that subluxation would've been a bit of trouble

The chiro's probably drained my private health cover gap for bonuses; I goto Melbourne Uni though and I know they have a physio dept, I might see if they've got a student clinic then when all my cover for physio/chiro runs out