Shoulder Dislocates = No More Pain!

A few months ago I hurt my right shoulder playing baseball. I tried icing it, using NSAIDs, and even missed three weeks thinking that a good rest would give it a chance to heal. The pain was particularly intense whenever I tried to do behind-the-neck presses and flat-bench presses. I would get blindingly sharp shooting pains down the back of my upper arm to my elbow. I couldn’t even hold the bar on my shoulders to do squats.

On one of the T-Nation threads, I read about doing “shoulder dislocates” to stretch out the shoulders. I did about 30 one night, and no kidding–by the next morning, I had full use of my right shoulder again, with only very minor soreness! After three months of sharp pain, this was almost miraculous.

My question is, does anyone have any idea what could’ve been wrong with my shoulder? Is it possible to have had something out of place, or to have had a pinched nerve? I almost feel as if doing the shoulder dislocates put something back in its proper place.

On a side note, I’m fairly new to T-Nation and have really appreciated the knowledge available in this forum, and am motivated by the great attitude to be bigger and stronger and truly manly. Thanks to all who contribute!

Did you feel heat in the affected area after you did the dislocations? I have no scientific explanation to offer, but I know from experience, that at some point of the healing process finding the right stretch/stress almost miraculously takes away all the lingering symptoms.

Yeah, the shoulder dislocates gave both my shoulders a good burn. I guess what has left me perplexed is that my shoulder wasn’t giving me any signs of having healed any over the past few months. I went from shooting pains one day to virtually nothing the next.

You may be onto something about the shoulder being “out of place”. It has happened to me a few times. Pain, no help form the usual R.I.C.E. All of a sudden, a chance stretch or pop and then the pain is gone and the shoulder feels like it’s in place again? Glad to hear the dislocated worked. Keep them up, it may prevent future problems.

Excuse my ignorance but how does one do a shoulder dislocate? I’m an over 35er and have had similar problems with my shoulders. I have taken the past 4 weeks off of lifting to try to let them heal but my right shoulder still kills me sometimes. I get aching and burning deep in the joint and sleeping of all things seems to aggrivate it most right now. Prior to taking the lifting hiatus, incline and flat bench aggravated the shit out of it.

I know there is definitely an impingement because when lifting the arm out from my body and resting it on something in a specific range of motion it causes a lot of pain. I suspect my rotator cuff(s) are the culprit from many years of heavy shoulder development with no regard to the cuffs. Do you think this would help?

Just did a site search and answered my own question.

ocn, it’s interesting to hear that someone else has had a similar experience. And I’m a new believer in shoulder dislocates and plan to keep doing them regularly.

matt, I don’t know enough to recommend dislocates for your shoulder pain. I didn’t experience any unusual pain when I first did them. I’d say give them a try and go carefully the first time through. In my case, I could pinpoint the onset of the shoulder pain to a specific moment. That is, it didn’t come on gradually–I made a throw from righ field, and immediately saw stars!

Good luck, and let me know how those shoulder dislocates go.

I posted about a similar experience a couple years back. Basically I had pretty bad rotator cuff pain and I went to my physio and she told me to do all the usual things which didnt really help much.

Then one day I got fed up and decided to lay on the floor chest down, with my arm out at a 45degree angle and roll into it so as to give my chest and shoulder a real good stretch. Im talking about holding it in that position for over a minute. I did that a couple more times got up form the floor and 90% of that chronic pain in my rotator cuff completely went!

Then I coupled that with good strengthening exercises for my rotator cuff and 2years on I havent had any more shoulder problems.

I may give those shoulder dislocates a try myself.

Did some dislocates this morning and I didn’t wake up with shoulder pain at all today (I work nights). I am feeling optimistic that this may actually help. I plan on getting back on the iron on 9/1 but I think I will lay off the barbell bench prss all together for a while. My goal is to get lean and mean.
I’m thinking about experimenting with a new routine, let me know what you think.
Day 1: deadlifts 5x5
day 2: cardio/abs
day 3: upperbody;supersets
1)lat pulldowns 3x10/dbdecline bench 3x10
2) seated rows 3x10/db incl.bench 3/10
3) bentover rows 3x10/ db flys
4)skullcrushers 3x10/ez bar curls
5)tri ext 3x10/ hammer curls
day 4: cardio/abs
day 5: squats 5x5
front squats 5x5
calf raises 4x12
legext 3x10
leg curls 3x10
day 6: rest
day 7: cardio/abs
My plan is to do this for 6 weeks, take whey protein as meal replacement mixed with flaxseed 3x day, oatmeal in the morning and a protein heavy meal around dinner time.I think I will also suppliment with some greens + and fish oil caps.
I’m 5’11’’ and weight 215, body fat is probably around 18%, goal is about 190. I know I won’t get there in 6 weeks but I plan to switch it up at that point. Any suggestions are welcome.

WOW! From partially crippled to no pain after one session of shoulder dislocates!!!
(If you don’t want any long-winded history, just skip to last paragraph for my questions)

I’ve been suffering with shoulder pain since I started lifting a couple of years ago. I play 10-15 hours a week of tennis, so of course you’d expect my right side to be tender and sore, but actually my left shoulder has been worse. It had gotten so bad over the last 6 months I had stopped flat and incline benching, shoulder presses, any shoulder raises, and flyes (which hurt as bad as lateral raises). Incline benching, lateral and front raises, and flyes all bring acute blinding pain to my shoulders. Shoulder presses and flt benching just make them sore.

Then 2 months ago I broke my right hand playing tennis and thought, ok, that sucks but it will force me to avoid any stress or strain on shoulders. Doing no shoulder workouts at all seemed to worsen things though. It aumented those daggers that drive into my shoulder in the middle of the night, forcing me to wake up in agony. It actually got so bad that I would get anxious about going to sleep because I knew I would wake up in excruciating pain.

I have tried myofascial release, sport massage, heat, ice, every possible stretch, and nothing helped more than relieving the pain for a few hours. I was looking for an ART specialist in Florida, hoping to get in a few sessions on my trip over Thanksgiving. If the ART didn’t work, I was planning on having a MRI and probably would have opted for surgery if a doctor reccommended it. The pain was that bad.

Fortunately, you guys saved me with these shoulder dislocates. I used to use a broomstick at my old gym and do like 20 of these pre-workout. I changed gyms in Feb and my new gym doesn’t have any broomsticks so I just stopped doing them. I cut a piece of rope at home to try them after reading this thread. It seems that a rope works better for me, probably because it allows wrist movement. I did 50 on Friday and slept pain-free all night. Again last night I had absolutely no pain whatsover. Amazing, from agony to nothing just like that!

Now that my shoulders are pain-free when I’m resting and sleeping, what kinds of exercises could I look at re-inserting? I haven’t done any direct shoulder work in at least 6 months. How can I tell the difference between pain I can work through and pain that is warning me to stop? Remember, stopping did not help me in the slightest to “cure” the cause of the pain. Should I start out with low weight, high rep and see how things go? Any advice?

Here’s my recommendation for a starting place. It has worked for me and I was in the same boat as you.

A lot of that stuff is also covered in Eric and Mike’s Magnificent Mobility (in the T-Nation Store).


Check out Tony Gentilcore’s recommendations for myofascial release on the rotator cuff.