T Nation

Pain in Part of Anterior Deltoid

I’m in need of a little advice:

I’ve got some pains in my right anterior deltoid. It is located near where the clavicle ends.
Somewhere near the “clavicle”-pin on this image:

I belive I got these pains from doing dips. I been careful with dips earlier because of bad shoulders, but this time I tried sitting dips. It seemed to work out ok, but my shoulder have become increasingly painful now. I’ve dropped the dips from my program now (of course), but the pains remain and doesnt seem to lessen during the last week.

I suspect my shoulders are tilted anteriorly, somehow. But I’m no physiologist, so I’m not sure.

Now I need some advice on:

  1. How to heal whatever is wrong (I hope it’s not much, the pain is not extreme)
  2. When I can start loading more weight on my shoulder/chest exercises again
  3. How to prevent the same thing from happening later

What I have done so far:
I’ve dropped BB benching several months ago, as they gave me the same problems. I only do DB incline bench now, if I want to hit my chest heavy. I’m trying not to flare my arms too much, and not lifting overly heavy.

I’ve added rear flies and some rotator cuff work to strengthen my rear delts and my rotator cuff, and I’ve kept doing that for a couple of months.

Anyone got some suggestions? :slight_smile:

Edit: I might add in… I feel the pains doing almost any movement now. It’s not excruciating, but it’s there. Luckily not while deadlifting or doing pull-downs, but most other excercises in my program.

I developed this exact problem from flat barbell benching and weighted dips.

In my case, It was the beginnings of AC joint damage in my shoulder. I’m guessing it’s the same thing for you.
You need to rest your shoulder completely for at least a week and stretch it out until the pain is completely gone before you go back to lifting normally with it.

A few months ago during a chest workout I decided to “work through the pain” and the result is that now I have permanent joint damage in my right shoulder. So please, don’t be like me. The exercises I can perform without pain even after recovering is SEVERELY LIMITED, so don’t let this problem get worse.

I also strongly recommend dropping dips and flat barbell benching from your workouts for a while, if not permanently.

Okay, I will take at least a week break from any upper body movements (and back squats, etc).
Better safe than sorry.

I noticed a small clicking feeling and sound when I move my arm in certain directions now. Is this a reason to worry, as long as the pain is not immense?

And have you got any idea on how I could prevent this from happening later (except for never touching dips/BB bench) ? It would be nice to be able to strengthen the ligaments somehow.

I’ve been able to take care of the clicking with the broomstick shoulder stretch. Give it a try.

Honestly, for me, this problem only appeared when I did BB benching and weighted dips. Beyond that, unless the area was already aggravated, I never got this pain from any other exercises so I’d say just stay away from those once you’re healed.

The ligaments will strengthen themselves from normal delt and pressing/pulling exercises as well as prehab exercises if you choose to do them, as long as you aren’t aggravating/tearing them with bad exercises. Even a smoother movement like an incline bench will give you some problems if you bounce the bar off your chest or use poor form, so just make sure everything is on point.

The only other thing I would add, and there are plenty of people here who would jump down my throat for suggesting this, but for me I can avoid problems in this area by taking a very wide grip and basically “iron-crossing” my incline benching and DB benching. It puts less stress on that area of the shoulder, although some people say it puts more stress on the pec insertion and rotator cuff.
Personal choice.

I tested doing some benching etc. today, and I did not feel any pains during my set. I did however feel “something” while putting my DB’s back in place, or similar easy tasks. Should I take another week off, or is it safe to start again with lighter weights (15rep weights before my 2 weeks off is now my 8RM or something :frowning: )?

Thanks for the advice on using the broomstick stretches, I feel they help my mobility. BUT I feel extra sore in the previously painful area after doing the stretches… should I take a small break from them as well, or is it ok as it is?
(Btw, damn I get a real pump from doing those stretches… :smiley: )