T Nation

Shoulder Locks Up. Any Ideas?

My left shoulder has been really giving me problems lately. I am older and have been lifting for over 30 years, so my joints commonly ache, but this is a bit different. I can move it around, I do not seem to have lost strength, but at times it locks up or catches and it hurts like hell and feels like I can barely lift my arm. Exercises like cable flys hurt at the beginning portion of the lift, even when lighter weight and a focus on squeezing the pecs. It also hurts when I sleep on my left side (mutually to the point where I cant stay there and this was traditionally the side I sleep on). Anyone have anything similar? Any ideas?

Does it hurt on the front of your shoulder where the bicep and the shoulder meet?

No, its more on the outside, a little towards the rear. Its really strange. Like something gets caught and it hurts like hell and I can barely lift my arm until it released/passes.

I have the exact same thing. I’m an older lifter also, 67 yrs old, been lifting for over 40 yrs with a couple 5 year breaks.
Left shoulder was diagnosed with calcific tendinitis a few months ago and I’ve gone through phys. therapy and 2 cortisone injections but this feels different now. Towards rear/side of shoulder right below the bone. It doesn’t really bother me while I’m lifting, sometimes a bit on bench till I warm up, but it’s more sudden movements like when watching TV or in bed when I’ll reach and then while bringing the arm back towards my body it will ‘catch/lock’ and then release with a sharp pain. I’m thinking impingement so I’ve been doing some shoulder/rotator cuff exercises with bands and I’ll do them for 15 minutes or so as a warm up to lifting. You can Google shoulder impingement and find some vids of exercises that will supposedly help.

Ill try that. Thank you. Are the exercises helping or is it to soon to tell?

Too soon to tell. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s a quick fix. The ones I started, and kept doing in PT are for rotator cuff health in general, although a few of them are the same they recommend for impingement it appears. A few more specific ones I found in an impingement-specific video I just started doing, like this pendulum exercise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-37fDuC83DQ

Here’s another one with some of the band exercises. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Lfge31AkBc