T Nation

Shoulder pain. Whos had it? And does anybody know how to beat it?

Recently i aquired a shoulder injury, (my own fault for not warming up properly). Everytime i do the bench press or shoulder press i have to stop and it takes weeks to get right. Does anybody know a “GOOD” supplement that will aleviate this problem and get me back to the gym? Bill?

This may be stating the obvious.
Use proper form and weights you can control
Incorporate rotator cuff and rear delt exercises into your routine
See FAQ section, I believe there is an article about shoulder injuries

I had a similar problem.

You need to stop lifting weights and go see an ART practitioner, chiropractor or physical therapist. Don;t try to work through the pain. It will only aggrivate the problem.

You’re in pain b/c something is wrong. Don;t try to mask it with a supplement.

The magic supplement is ART. If you don’t have access to ART, then PT or some other therapy may be in order. I have biceps tendonitis in my right shoulder. Received PT from October to December. But it didn’t help as I had hoped. I began deep-tissue massage in January. That has helped, but has taken a long time. There are no ART providers in my area, otherwise I would have gone that route. I had also separated my other shoulder in December during a mountain biking ride. That got better by March (also had massage done). After two months of higher reps and lower weights, I didn’t have much success. Once I started doing heavier weights and lower reps and only working on the basic exercises (overhead presses), I am feeling much better and have very little to no pain! The only supplement that may help is Chondroitin. Read Cy Wilson’s article in the recent T-mag about Glucosamine and why you shouldn’t use it, but why he recommends Chondroitin. Good luck.

I don’t care what Cy says about the pitfalls of glucomsamine, it works. I would definitely try it out. Also there is a product called Dolgit cream (you can buy it on the web; do a google search) and what it is Dolgit Gel is a transdermal ibuprofen lotion that exerts some rather unique properties that make it ideal for local pain and inflammation relief. It has been extensively researched and found to provide pain and inflammation reduction very effectively. What makes Dolgit Gel so unique is that you are able to apply it directly to the injured area for quick acting anti-inflammatory effects. It’s transdermal meaning that it permeates the skin yet studies show very little enters the bloodstream. Long term ibuprofen use can have its pitfalls. Some people report stomach ulcers, and there is a potential for liver and kidney damage. These side effects are very rare even at relatively high doses but still some people are concerned with this. Dolgit Gel alleviates this problem completely. It has helped my shoulder, neck and lower back greatly.

Don’t go with glucosamine. I have been using it chronically for couple of months. However, my insulin sensitivity dropped quite significantly. This means you can’t eat too much carbs in your overall diet or you will be a piggy. CHONDROITIN alone is safe according to Cy. This is based on clinical trials so there i believe it.
Try this stuff: SHOULDER HORN… do a search on the T-mag… someone did a review article on this and i heard it’s pretty good. I bought one for myself just now but haven’t got it yet.

I got bilteral shoulder tendinitis for 3 years.
Avoid every thing that hurts your shoulder(a little discomfort is okay though). Drop pec work as much as possible.
Do some rotatory cuff work once a week.
The overhead press made wonders for me, at a very controlled pace.

I agree with Jon about the shoulder horn being effective, but there are other exercises that help also. I had a recurring pain between my shoulder blades that a chiropractor failed miserably to fix. The solution was a $40 percussion massager from Homedics. It’s a big, heavy, grey sucker with 2 heads and it rocks! It has worked a hell of a lot better than the chiropractor. Really stretching (look for Ian King’s article), working for better balance (look for Dave Tate’s “Benching 600 lbs.” article) and the massager, my shoulders are completely happy. And I’m benching more than ever!

i agree with the guys about ART. i know someone who tried it and said it works wonders. i personally have a shoulder injury and still work out. BUT, if you’re smart, you’ll stop training upper body for a little while and get to an ART practicioner in your area. if it hurts mostly during flat bench, it’s probably a rotator cuff injury.

I had the same problem a couple of years ago, after studying kinesiology and understanding the different functions of each muscle I decided to try shoulder extension and flexions for a month. Well needless to say I have not had the problem since then.

Having a good strength ratio between benching and rowing works good in the long term. recently heard a audio file with an interview with dave Tate where, if i remember correctly, he said there were ppl at Westside doing rows with over 200 kg… somewhere around 500 pounds !

ART is definitely the way to go.

Nate Dogg, if I remember, you live in Gainesville? There is a provider in Orlando if that isn’t too far for you. His name is John Prokopiak and he is based out of Sarasota. He goes to Orlando one day a week. Do a search for him at the ART site to get his contact info.

BMJ, thanks for the info! When I had searched for an ART provider, John was the only one near me. But they only had him listed for Sarasota (about a three to four hour drive). But if he goes to Orlando, I would go there for a visit, as it’s only about one and one half hours away. I’ll give him a call! Thanks!

Hey everyone especially musicman. Could you guys be more specific about excercises, reps, sets, weight, tempo you used to help heal your shoulders. It would be much appreciated as I severely injured my shoulder and am trying to do a heal thyself because ART didn’t work nor did PT the only option according to those “practicing medicine” is to shave down my clavicle to make the joint larger and decrease the pain. I think not. I would rather try to build the muscles holding the joint together and see if that works before I go makeing changes to the frame to fix an engine problem. Sorry for the rant I am just frustrated with this damn thing.

If you are able to see an NMT (NeuroMuscular Therapy) practitioner, I would encourage you to make an appointment. I’ve been getting very good results with my knees for the past few months. This is a special form of massage that hurts like hell but gets to the heart of the matter and clears up soft tissue injuries very well. Good luck and go back to range of motion exercises and working the painfree range with lighter loads, until the injury is resolved.

Jeff Do you have your practitioners number so I can contact him/her and find out if there is one in my area?


Seriously I would really appreciate detailed information on training for recovery.

An ice bag applied to the injury site as many times a day as fits into your schedule. 1 aspirin in the morning. 3 aspirins after workout along with more ice. 1 tab (~1200mg) Condrotin everyday.

Worked for me. No pain within a month.

Here’s how I’ve made an old injury livable. I blew out my acromioclavicular joint in 1991 doing weighted bar dips with terrible form. It was in the middle of swim season so I never gave it a chance to heal. Until a couple of years ago the joint was so unstable I couldn’t handle any sort of weight at all - the joint bulged out and got squishy and ached so bad I had to brush my teeth left-handed just benching 135.

The first thing I did was start taking glucosamine. I don’t care how much it supposedly interferes with muscle building - if it hurts too much to lift, you can’t put on musle anyway. (Also helps a lot with my arthritic hip - another athletic injury that I never let heal - cycling season!) Glucosamine tightened up the joint a lot. This was two years ago.
Next, I started reading T-mag and shifted to heavy weights, low reps for bench press. I spent years making things worse by thinking that since I couldn’t use heavy weights I had to do hundreds of reps with a lighter weight. Way bad thing to do. For the last year I’ve quit doing bar dips, and any sort of lateral raise. The exercise which has helped the most is the side press with the olympic bar - a Pavel exercise but great for strengthening and stabilizing the shoulder. Those and handstand pushups are the only shoulder exercises I do. I still can’t throw, and I’m afraid to try swimming again, but my bench press is up to 260 and my shoulder doesn’t keep me awake at night, although it still bulges up. Oh - I’m an old guy, too - 46. But the real lesson is - let the damn thing heal. It’s a lot easier to take 3-6 months off than have 8 years of lousy, painfull workouts.

You can type St. Johns method or neuromuscular therapy into search engine and find a nearby practitioner. Also look in the yellow pages for NMT or LNMT after the names of massage therapists in your area. Hope that helps.