T Nation

Overcoming Scapular Bursitis


#1

For almost a year now I have suffered from scapulothoracic bursitis (snapping scapula syndrome). My training has suffered greatly and I am looking for any ideas.

Basically, I get inflammation and pain in the soft tissues under the scapulae, as well as some crepitus when I pull them backwards. There is probably bursitis and there is almost certainly adhesions involved. All this developed after I sprained the region about a year ago and it basically never healed right. Five months of physical therapy didn't help much, nothing funny shows up on x-rays and MRI, and so I am basically on my own unless I should decide to go for surgery.

For some reason I can't do bent over flyes to save my life. In five months of physical therapy I could not progress past 1 pound weights with this exercise without being in agony for days after. I still cannot do these. Rows are much better, and I have been having some mixed success in the past couple of months with seated rows and negative incline dumbbell presses. I find I can do them with moderate weight but just VERY SLOWLY. A couple of times I literally felt an adhesion snap while doing them and felt great for a week afterwards. Some days I still feel great after doing these and the pain almost goes away for a few days. But then for some reason next time the exact same exercises feel like they aggravate the injury. Right now it is so sore again that I feel back to square one.

Anyone got any ideas? I'm just about ready to try anything.


#2

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#3

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Where do you live?

If it’s UK, you can come and see me. [/quote]

Bushy, be sure and check him for Scapular Winging. lol

OP, it helps my scapular function to take a batting cage baseball and roll it between my back and a wall. I’m sure any hard ball would work. I focus on the muscles around the perimeter of the scap, especially the Traps. I do it before I start warming up and between one or two warmup sets. Good luck.


#4

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#5

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Where do you live?

If it’s UK, you can come and see me. You sound like an interesting case, and I like interesting cases, lol.

Actually, you sound a little like my friend Dave (they all seem to be called Dave here in Wales, lol). He had lots of crepitus in and around his ST joint. I massaged it away once and he said it was much better (though the pain of the intense massage was a 9/10).
[/quote]

No, I am in the Boston area (though I travel often to South Africa via the U.K. so this might still be a possibility). Anyway, so massage can break up adhesions, right? I did go a few times to a chiro who does active release therapy. It didn’t help but I don’t think he was very good at it. Maybe I should give the massage route another go, this time with a better therapist. Anyone know of a good one in my area?

[quote]
EDIT: adhesions may be part of an incorrect inflammatory response. Do you take fish oils or other anti-inflammatories at all?

How is your hydration? Water provides a lot of the lubrication between muscle fascia. The movement prevents adhesions forming. Dehydration may be playing a part here.

What is you major daily activity? i.e. do you sit at a computer, operating a mouse, or are your shoulders free to move most of the day?[/quote]

I have been taking fish oil at 1mg a day. What dosage would you recommend? Hydration is good. Yeah, sitting and computer use are big problems, and so is lying down. I am thinking of getting a stand-up desk.


#6

[quote]on edge wrote:
OP, it helps my scapular function to take a batting cage baseball and roll it between my back and a wall. I’m sure any hard ball would work. I focus on the muscles around the perimeter of the scap, especially the Traps. I do it before I start warming up and between one or two warmup sets. Good luck.[/quote]

Thanks guys, I try the rolling suggestions.


#7

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#8

seekonk,

I’m very interested in following how you make out. While not as extreme as yours, I have some shoulder ‘locking’ issues in my right shoulder, most notably if I do a ‘lateral raise’ movement and try to touch my hands over my head (I can get to about 2 oclock) and/or raising my arm in a ‘chinup’ ROM.

Eric Cressey/Mike Robertson (the ‘Shoulder Savers’ guys) are in the Boston area. Might be worth at least a call to them. At minimum, they could probably point you to some shoulder specialists in the area.


#9

Thanks guys. I’ll up the fish oil, try to limit the sitting, and I’ll definitely contact Cressey.


#10

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
on edge wrote:
bushidobadboy wrote:
Where do you live?

If it’s UK, you can come and see me.

Bushy, be sure and check him for Scapular Winging. lol

Haha, yeah, will do :wink:

BBB[/quote]

Ya know, Bushy, we are passing up an opportunity to go octagon on each other for 6 pages and leave the new guy dazed and confused.


#11

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