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OT: Shoulder Impingement


Hey all,
I'm posting in here because I respect the opinion of the regular posters and the vets here have a ton of knowledge on bodybuilding in general as opposed to the bodybuilding forum which (with a few exceptions) is filled with newbs these days. So this is a little off topic.

I just got checked out for a shoulder injury which has kept me out of the gym for the past 7 days. Apparently, I have impingement of my right shoulder. The DR said that she believes it was a one time thing, nothing chronic and she gave me an injection containing two forms of some numbing solution and a steroid. She said that I would be fine and the more movement the better as it would lubricate my shoulder and that as long as the pain wasn't severe (I tried lifting on monday and 3 reps into my warmup incline bench set of 165 I thought my shoulder was going to rip off...pitiful) I could hit the gym up whenever I wanted.

Basically I wanted to know if any of you have some anecdotal evidence concerning such an injury. I'm freaking out because I never miss a workout, let alone a whole week. Plus I'm in the first week of my nolva PCT and I'm gonna be pissed if I lose my gains.

I've been doing a DC routine and I was thinking of going back tomorrow and just taking it easy with the chest and shoulder movements and really hammer the rest of my body. I'm paranoid about losing mass, but I definitely don't want to hurt myself any further. This is the first time I've had an injury that kept me from lifting, so in this respect I am pretty new. Thanks in advance for any help.


She gave you a cortisone shot, had those before, temporary fix usually.

Hammer non-pressing movements, hit your legs hard, hit your back, etc.

Just avoid bench and shoulder movements for the time being, trust me, actually waiting, as painful as it is, and healing, is better than half-healing up, hitting it again too soon and just prolonging the injury for a year, just constantly nursing the damn thing while still trying to work out...and severely killing your gains for that whole year.

Your in the PCT, I realize your frustration, but just remember, even if you lose SOME of your gains because you cant press, its completely worth not fucking up your shoulder for life.

You can always cycle again, next cycle you can even run deca, or eq, or primo, or something that will increase collagen synthesis.

You only have the one shoulder.

Your only other "option" is HGH and HGH peptides, expensive, but dosed properly will speed the healing quite dramatically.


I have rehabbed a number of impingements and it is a particularly common sporting injury, and not too difficult to heal.

It is where you have a muscle imbalance in the shoulder girdle - likely the rotator cuff or bursae. If it is from pressing (i assume) then it is likely the rotator cuff, and you would do well to stretch the medial rotators (Supraspinatus/Subscap) and strengthen (15-20 reps is fine) the lateral rotators (Infraspinatus and Teres minor).

I would ice the shoulder blade, the rear/side and front delt area and the traps, and try to get some sports massage in there (people like me), so they can strip the muscles in question and assist the healing.
Normal massage is highly unlikely to get close to the subscap and teres minor IME, and is not going to employ frictions of any sort.

Also rest the area. No heavy lifting of anysort - you will make it worse.

It is common in weightlifters/swimmers/golfers.. repetitive movements of the shoulder.
Weightlifters are particularly susceptible to the injury as they train the deltoid heavily and neglect the rotator cuff - this weakens these supportive muscles and leads to impingements etc. Once you are healed i would suggest you add rotator cuff exercises to your training regime.


Thanks, man. I kind of knew that already, but sometimes you need to hear it from someone else. It definitely sucks having my shoulder feel this way and I don't want to feel like this for the whol year. I'm going to stay clear from chest and shoulder movements for the next two weeks and just hit everything else hard. Luckily my chest and shoulders aren't weak points, though they could always get bigger.


Ya.. i'd re-think the two weeks suggestion however...!
Let me put it like this: If you don't rehab it correctly (massage, stretching, exercise, rest, hot/cold) over the coming ~2 months, you will find that this is an injury that will continue to come back.

2 weeks is a little on the light side of a down time prediction IME :wink:


Thanks for the reply Brook. What would you suggest for stretches and rotator cuff specific exercises? Right now the only exercise I'm doing directly involving the shoulder is pushups. Today I did preacher curls, reverse curls (which I took it easy on), and legs. Next workout will most likely be targeting the back and legs, avoiding the chest/shoulder.

I am wondering if the sudden spurt of muscular growth due to my cycle helped speed up the impingement process or if I simply started lifting heavier weights that led to exploiting the weakness in the shoulder.

I definitely appreciate the advice though. I've been icing it and when in the shower alternating between scalding hot and ice cold as per Thibs suggestion. I also ice it after doing pushups or going to the gym. I will be looking to find a sports specific masseuse as well.

So you think if I were to rehab it in this manner for say 1.5-2 months that I would be completley healed then and able to get back into heavy pressing (albeit with rotator cuff exercises added in)?


Mate it is difficult to prescribe exercises as i do not know what the impingement is.

However i would advise you to cease any and all pressing movements - assuming it was presses you were really concentrating on/pushing forward.
This includes push-ups too!.

The exercises you should concentrate on are (shoulder) lateral rotations, medial rotations, and the opposing stretches (medial rotator (cuff) stretches and lateral rotator (cuff) stretches - Google them on Google images for help) - hopefully you know enough about physiology/kinesiology to work them out??

Ideally i would pay for the services of a good sports therapist. The key is good, many get complacent and are severely undereducated.. a good osteopath would be fine, as would a physio too.
Physio's are (should be) much more educated than a sports therapist, officially..



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ART absolutely, i wouldn't consider that 'normal' massage really though. Albeit very easily accessable..
Maybe i was a little vague - i just meant that the usual '£15 regular Swedish relaxation massage' that many bodybuilders employ every now and then wont do much for injury. It will do some, as it stimulates the lymphatic system etc.. but not by using any special techniques to help the recovery of specific injury.

Thats what i was referring to - how was i to know that no-one could know exactly what i meant, when i didnt actually say?!




Thanks again Brook. I did a google search and found the appropriate exercises/stretches. I'm kinda pissed that the ortho. I went to see told me none of this. Just gave me a shot with the instructions to move it often and that unless I felt severe pain I was ok to lift. Do you reckon that pulling motions like cable rows and lat pulldowns would be alright though? I'm just trying to figure out what I can do gym wise that won't aggrevate it further until it's healed.


Hey man I had the same exact problem on my last cycle, right at the end I got a shoulder impingement and like you I never miss lifting. Well I f'd it up so bad that I couldnt bench for about 7 months. So dont do any pressing, I got 2 cortisone shots in it and then got a shoulder wrap that has ice packs that line in it. Here is a link for one: http://www.dme-direct.com/shoulder-wrap/

Use this every night along with ibuprofin or celebrex, and the most important thing is sleep on your back. This is critical if you want to get it to heal. You have to sleep on your back or the shoulder that is not hurting. Use that ice pack every night for 30 minutes, maybe twice a day max and take the ibu or celebrex and it should be back to normal in no time. When you go back to the gym start out slow and work your way up because it will flair up again.


Pulldowns should be of little issue - the thing is i have no idea what caused the impingement, and have only ever assumed it was pressing because this is common for weight lifters. If this was the case, dropping all overhead and vertical (chest) presses, and adding some more vertical pulling exercises would go some way to correcting the balance - often caused (in weight-trainees) by too little direct training of the rotator cuff, more presses than pulls or pulls than presses and no direct balancing of the workload for the 4 rotator cuff muscles.



I'm fairly confident it was the pressing. I had been hammering my shoulders hard while on this cycle and it was on shoulder and chest days that I started to experience problems. I always did a lot of pullups, bent over rows, cable rows, etc. too though so I never anticipated developing an imbalance (as if one ever does). Live and learn I guess. I will definitely be including rotator cuff exerises and stretches for the rest of my lifting career as well as other preventitive measures.

@BSC thanks for the link. I used to sleep on my right shoulder but since the injury have been trying to stay on my back.


the type of massage for this injury will hurt.

when I was rehabbing my shoulder once they sent me to a massage therapist and sports rehab specialist.

when this little girl started pulling and stripping the muscles in my shoulder and back I thought I was going to die.

but it did work wonders after the fact just had to put up with 30 mins of pain once a week.
thats all I can add,as your in great hands here and everything has been covered already.

to BSC,I used to take celebrex for an injured hand and I thought they had pulled that off the market.

It was a wonderful nsaid though I liked it


lol! It DOES fucking kill!

I loved practicing sports massage - it is really satisfying to get stuck into a muscle, and if they are sports person or have anything about them, they will expect and look for pain. It is no fun massaging those who didn't look for pain in recovery of a sprain/strain, etc.

I personally LOVE pain during massage - you know it's working then!