T Nation

Shoulder Pain

Ok, I’ve been having some shoulder pain for a few months now, and it is finally to the point that I can’t do anything in the gym, or around the house, heck I can’t even put on my shirt without some kind of ache and a snap, crackle, pop in the morning. In August I noticed that I had some deep joint pain right near the ball and socket joint in my shoulder. Mostly tightness, but some pain. Ok, so I laid off of doing overhead dumbell/barbell stuff. September, I could no longer bench anywhere near my usual weight because of this joint pain in my right shoulder. Fine, I’ll lay off of that for awhile and just do fly’s and lateral raises since they seem to work without pain. October, now the raises and fly’s hurt, and when I do one arm dumbell or cable rows it feels like my arm is going to pull out of the socket because the joint doesn’t seem strong enough to hold the bone in anymore. So now I do nothing in the gym. I see the orthoped in a couple of weeks, but I’m afraid all they are going to say is lay off it, and take Ibuprofen, which I am already doing. The damn joint aches, it pops with any kind of rotating or up and down movement. Any kind of pressure pulling or pushing makes it hurt. And I can’t even lay on the damn thing anymore. What do you think it is?

In the same boat
Had the problem in the past when I was lifting heavy and was younger. Did not take anti inflamitories but instead used light weight ~10 lb dumbells and did verticle rises and lateral rises ~25 reps 2x every day. No heavy lifting. Was able to return to routine in 1-2 months.

Now I am older and this is not working, at least on its own. I have started chondroitin but have only used it for about a month with minor improvement.

I don’t know if I have permanent damage at this point but I am hoping to be able to lift again someday soon.

I may tend to overdiagnose this problem more because I have my own extensive experience with it, but this sounds like a typical rotator cuff injury.
There are TONS of great internet resources that teach you about the structure of the shoulder and this muscle group. As lifters we are at a HUGE risk of injuring this - especially as we start doing more and more weight.
Specster’s advice to do light weight was right on target, in fact, you may have to take a few weeks completely off.
I will promise you that this is not an injury you can work through - it will get hurt worse if you try. Ice it every night and take it easy.
Read about it too! A search for “rotator cuff anatomy” got me lots of info.

Just be careful. You may end up taking 2-3 full months off completely but if you don’t you will just be limited in lifting LONGER! :o)

Oh yea, and also, see a physician.
It’s really hard to remain objective and properly diagnose oneself since we are so closely tied into our improvement.
Plus, doctors know more. :o)