T Nation

Rate My Routine (Recovering from Injury)


I know I’m a few months late but how’s your shoulder been feeling? Dealing with some similar stuff.


I’m still having issues, been having issues since May last year, but this new physiotherapist I’m seeing have given me a few treatment suggestions that we’ll try, as well as getting in touch with another orthopedics clinic.
But I’ve pretty much scrapped this one I wrote out. Are you getting professional help for your issue? I’d highly recommend it if you don’t already


Yes, I’ve gotten help. First had an anti-inflammatory for a couple of weeks, a couple months of P.T., a cortisone injection, surgery for a torn labrum and bursitis, and then more P.T.

The medication didn’t achieve much; the first round of P.T. worked as long as I didn’t do any other lifting…once the therapy stopped and I tried any type of lifting it returned; the injection worked for a week or two since I was not allowed to lift during that time - again, once I picked up lifting again, the pain came back.

Finally had surgery from a surgeon who had a very good reputation for shoulders (was the offical team surgeon for a few different college & pro baseball teams). Had to travel 3 hours to a bigger city to see him, but I wasn’t confident in any of the surgeons in my hometown. Felt pretty confident in him, then the day following surgery I started P.T. up with a woman who “had never seen someone this close to their surgery” and who nearly 2/3 of the work I did caused pretty intense pain…when I questioned it she said it was just because it was new.

Anyway, finished up therapy, asked my surgeon about the pain, he changed his intial tune and said just to expect a little pain. Just wondering what can be done about it, or if I should just say fuck it and go ahead and lift since I have pain anyway, without lifting.


That’s fucking rough, how long has this been lasting?
I got the OK to lift light weights 3 days a week today, I have periods where that feels okay. She told me it’s fine if there’s minor pain the first couple or last couple of reps, but any more than that, stop. And keep doing the physio we have set up as well.

Have you tried shockwave therapy? It’s this machine that basically punches you 2000 times lol
I tried it once but it can take about 3-5 sessions to see improvements, I’m going to start it back up once things have calmed down around here so I can go once a week.

As for the lifting, I really don’t feel like the right person to ask, I’d try to talk to the surgeon or someone else again and try to stay in touch with them. Ideally you could try some exercises with them so you’re both there as it happens, if that makes sense?


I believe I started noticing the shoulder pain in January of 2017…that seems right. Finally discussed surgery in October of 2017, and had surgery in May of this year.

No, I haven’t tried shockwave therapy - not sure I’ve even heard of it. I’ll look into it - I live in pretty small town, with very limited resources as far as athletics and athletic related medical care goes, so my options aren’t that many. The larger cities around me are 3-5 hours away, so not something that can realistically be done very often. I’d stay in touch with my surgeon but after our last meeting he 1). seemed to be ready to move on and be done and 2). is 3 hours away, so it’ll be tough. He said give it a couple months, then talk to him about pain, if still an issue. Just wondering what to do in the meantime, since my P.T. (and any others) are not helpful, and he said “there’ll be pain” and left it at that.

Currently, I’m just doing some shoulder mobility work (mostly dislocates) and rear delt work (pull parts/face pulls mostly), as well as other bigger movements with low weight, low reps, just feeling things out. I feel like the mobility/strength is helping a bit, so hopefully that continues and I can continue to find strength building movements that work.

I’d like to compete someday (in everything - strongman, powerlifting, weightlifting), so I’m hoping I can get back to 100%!


That makes me wonder if they’ll discuss surgery with me too. How did you get your injury? Did you hear a pop or did it kind of build up over time?

That’s rough, with the resources, ask your physiotherapist if they’ve heard about it, I’d never heard about it until I started seeing this one either, so I’m honestly not sure how popular of a method it is. I think the point of it is to help the body work on inflammations better, so you can’t take any anti-inflammatories before or after, for like 24-48h or something like that.

Pretty much same as me, I do mobility work and the stuff the physiotherapist told me to do, and now I’ve finally gotten the okay to do low weights 3x per week, but like you, I’m just feeling things out with those, I don’t want to accidentally fuck it up worse lol it’s kind of hard to know what to do when you don’t exactly know what’s wrong or what may aggrevate it.

I hope you get back to 100% so you can compete one day!


It seemed to just build up over time. Last winter (2016-2017) I was going through Starting Strength, and making decent progress, and I suddenly noticed pain while benching. Overhead pressing felt fine though. Not sure if my form was bad (I’m sure it wasn’t great) or if I was doing too much pressing vs. pulling (one of my few qualms with the program), but anyway, I noticed pain while benching.

I stopped, and started just kinda doing other stuff to feel it out. Eventually, lat pulldowns bothered it, chinups bothered it, front/lateral raises with DB’s, pushups, curls, rows, and basically any movements that involved my biceps or movement at the shoulder. So all that was left was like tricep pushdowns, or maybe some forms of tricep extensions.

Oh, and squats and cleans hurt too.

Eventually, even digging a hole with a shovel, scrubbing dirty dishes, holding a phone up to my ear for very long, or any other action that wasn’t too difficult caused burning pain up and down my bicep for hours, and a sharp pain in the “middle” of my shoulder…still can’t pinpoint exactly how it felt or where it was located but it just seemed like it was in the middle of my shoulder, like right at the joint. I don’t know.

That’s when all the treatments started - medication, P.T., cortisone injection, and eventually, surgery.

I’ve actually started Starting Strength again (I’ve only done like 4 workouts) - with a 20 lb. barbell, and really perfecting my form, and paying close attention to movements and how they feel. I’ve also added in pull-aparts/face-pulls, just for some rear delt work.

And really, besides some occasional soreness, things are feeling good. Maybe it’s actually strengthening the shoulder and that’s what it needs. If anything hurts, I’m gonna stop, but it was the simplest way I could think of to check the major lifts and see how they feel, and fastest, simplest way of progression.

Once I’ve started to slow down on my linear progression I’m gonna program all of my pressing minimally (benching, overhead pressing, pushups, only when needed) and just focus on getting my rows and chinups as strong as I can. I don’t care too much about hitting my chest from every angle, and more just would like to not be too weak at the presses. Gonna give my legs and back the main focus.

Anyway, yeah, that’s the plan! Progress slowly, keep the shoulder strong and mobile, pay attention to form, and don’t let my ego take over! Provided I’m still feeling good in a few months, I’ll probably do 5/3/1 or something and start hitting it hard with the back work.

I’ll check in with you sometime, and see how you’re doing. Best of luck!


Hmm similar to me! Incline bench felt alright and overhead pressing, but flat bench gave me a bit of a pressure in my shoulder.
Luckily pulling movements don’t seem to bother it for me. The form thing, I record my form frequently now even if I do super light weights, just to make sure everything is alright, you should do that too when you’re able to get back into it, unless you have someone with you that can check to make sure your form is good.

Dishes and showering hurt for me too at the start of my injury, when you can’t even do your everyday things it gets super depressing.
Yeah it’s a good idea to start super light like that, depending on the injury dumbbells can be good too to help more stabilzer muscles and making sure everything is working evenly.

Sounds like you have a good plan, I hope that it works out for you and you can get past the injury soon!
I don’t care for hitting it in every possible angle either lol but I will be sticking to incline dumbbell presses for a while since that seems to be the least aggrevating for my shoulder.
I’ve wanted to get on a 5/3/1 program too, let me know how it goes once you’re there!

Best of luck to you too!