T Nation

Shoulder Injury Diagnosis Needed


I did a search on shoulder injuries, but none I found really matched how I feel.
First, a little background.

I'm 22 years old, 5'11", 174lbs, ~19% BF and I've been training for a few years off and on, and I was just starting to lift again after six months off(rough semester) when I injured my shoulder. I performed the first day of big boy basics about a week ago and on nearly every exercise I had slight right shoulder pain, and didn't finish the workout(didn't want to hurt shoulder further). Later that day I went to work(auto parts store) and had to lift several car batteries onto the counter(just below chest level). I felt no pain while lifting them.
The next day, in addition to soreness, I had pain in my left shoulder.

Fast forward to a week later. I haven't lifted since the shoulder pain day and shoulders have felt normal again. Yesterday at work I had to lift a few batteries again. Once again, I felt no pain when lifting them. This morning, I wake up and my left shoulder feels the same as a week ago, and I have a very slight pain in my right shoulder. I feel a dull pain in the rear part of my shoulder just in front of the point of my shoulder blade as I try to reach my arm out and foreward.

I read Eric Cressey's article "Cracking the Rotator Cuff Conundrum", should I rest my shoulder until it feels better and put Eric's article into practice, or could this be something serious?


I would rest until it feels normal again then resume normal activity and if the symptoms repeat themselves see your doc and get a MRI. Sounds like bursitis. I'd take 4 OTC Ibuprofen (800mg total) every six hours with food as long as it's okay w/ your doctor (such as no allergies or history of ulcers).

If it is serious, it won't hurt you to wait and see. Such as, if it's a torn rotator cuff it will be torn 2 weeks from now. Unless you reinjure it, it won't get worse (the pain may, but the injury won't).


Thanks for the reply, I think I'll wait a week or two, then add Eric's rotator cuff workout to Waterbury's Big Boy Basics or would that be too much?


Man... both shoulders, that sucks. I'm in the same boat. Your problem is likely either structural (connective tissue, bone, etc.) or mechanical (improper firing muscles sequence, compensation, or muscle imbalance). The pain will probably subside with rest, but the underlying cause of the pain won't. If it were me, and you ain't me but this is where I wound up after 4 years of pain, I would go to chek institute and find a level II or III practitioner in your area. They should be able to identify bad movement patterns in your shoulder and refer you to a specialist if needed.

If nothign else I would call and ask the practitioner for the name of the best shoulder therapist around for an evaluation (CHEK practitioners usually have a network of specialists (the best) that they recommend). It's better than pot luck anyway. Good luck to you man.