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Shoulder Pain. Help if Possible


Hello all. I have developed a pain that only seems to get irritated when doing incline barbell or flat barbell bench. What stumps me is that the pain appears to be located where there is only bone, but if I play with the irritated area, I believe I can feel a bit of soft tissue. I've attempted to massage the area, but it seemed to only further irritate and inflame the spot.

No matter how I play around with my grip, whether my elbows are tucked or flared, this pain comes with the two above exercises. The only treatment that's helped thus far is icing and ibuprofen. Push presses or any pure shoulder pressing does not irritate the injury ever.

Any ideas? I've attached a picture with the approximate spot where the pain is located. The pain is directly on top on the outside, not in the interior at all.


Perhaps this is what's happening?



From the location and activity that causes pain, I'd go with an AC joint irritation. Did you have a specific injury?


I have the same problem in my right shoulder. I dislocated my right elbow years ago and I have always assumed they were associated. A combination of limiting overhead shoulder pressing, strengthening my rear delts, and taking osteo by flex and fish oil keep my pain at acceptable levels. Sightly tweaking my routines and the supplements I mentioned eliminated my ridiculous dally intake of ibuprofen.


Go see a physical therapist or other doctor that is familiar with weightlifting shoulder injuries and get a diagnosis; then plan your re-hab from there. Trust me, that's the best and quickest plan to recovery. I wish I had done this right from the beginning of my chronic left shoulder problems.

If you're stubborn like I was and don't want to see a doctor, then do some online reading about Upper Cross Syndromane and Lordosis. These two postural problems commonly lead to shoulder pain, impingement, and a host of rotator cuff and soft tissue injuries. Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson wrote a great 5 part article titled, "Neanderthal No More", which might help you with some rehab ideas.

However, if you have an injury, like a labrum tear, it's not going to get better; so go get an opinion from an expert...is my advice.


None that I was ever aware of. It just slowly crept up on me.


Do lifts like push-press, military press etc bother your shoulder? Thanks for the tips.


I know you're right, but you're also right about me being stubborn. Thanks for the reference to the reading. I'll check into all of those.


I agree with RMichael, take a few steps to figure out the problem, and it will save major headaches down the line. I kept playing water polo after developing chronic pain in my non-throwing arm and after long enough, had an MRI taken only to find out that I exacerbated my labral tear to include tendinosis and shoulder impingement. I'd also lay off the stressful exercises like bench press, just for the time being.


Yes, but not as much as heavy BB bench. When I am benching heavy I back off overhead pressing. I have recently adopted a powerlifting style on the bench, and it seems to mitigate my shoulder pain some. I also agree with the other guys about getting it checked out. I was told during my rehab that I would never have full ROM again (true), to stay away from heavy weights (fuck that), and that I would have issues with tendinitis, etc. Thus, I operate under the assumption (which could be wrong) that my current pain is a result of my previous injury. If yours just crept up on you, I would make some adjustments to routines and carefully monitor the pain level. If it doesn't improve, go see someone who knows what they are talking about. Also, in the Boodtbuilding section there is a thread dedicated to asking Synergy questions, and he addresses dealing with shoulder pain while training.


It should be either an AC joint, or rotator cuff irritation. Ice it for a couple days, take some ibubrofen, MSM, glucosamine, and chondroiton(forgive my spelling, lolz) and you should feel better. If your rotator cuff is weak, it may require some specific training in order to strengthen it once it feels better. If your posterior deltoid is weak, you may be lacking some support in the shoulder girdle and that may also be part of the problem.


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Thank you everyone for your help and input. Upon further inspection, after the irritation has occured, the equivalent to a front raise is what causes the most acute pain. Raising my arm laterally doesn't seem to cause much if any discomfort. Does that point to anything more specific?

Also, BBB, you're right, the pain isn't centralized inside or and the interior at all, it's more on top/outisde of the boney process.


I've been suffering with secondary impingement in both of my shoulders since 2008, but was slow off the mark in sorting it out. I'm not beyond repair by any means, but it's held me back tremendously. It might only be minor, but it affects my performance in nearly every exercise I do. I'm not qualified or knowledgeable enough, so I'm not even going to guess what your problem could be, but just get it looked at ASAP and do not do anything that irritates it.

I can sometimes get away with dumbbell bench presses and military presses (with dumbbells), but apart from that, I've cut out most direct shoulder work and pressing with a barbell. My main focus is on pulling exercises as my physio said I need to bring my shoulder blades back and down into their most functional position. At the moment I'm focusing on face pulls, cable and barbell rows and pullups etc.

This has also helped my deadlift as I'm gradually finding it easier to stop my shoulders slouching forwards. Check out http://www.physioroom.com/injuries/shoulder/index.php?SKEY=ef34c538128c6aaf5a765a7d1b470be6 for shoulder injuries and decent explanations. If you find an injury which accurately describes what you are experiencing, take a printout of the information to help describe the symptoms to a professional. I'm fully focused on fixing my shoulders now and I don't care if it means backing off for 3-6 months if it enables me to train properly for at least the next 20 years.


I may be over simplifying it but I have a similar problem of having shoulder pain when benching, what I found helped the most from the pain reaccuring was to keep my shoulder blades down and back while lifting. You said that powerlifting style helped ease the pain so I would assume it is a similar injury.

I hope you find whatever the problem is though, after 13 years of baseball I know how much shoulder injuries can impact your activities.