T Nation

Shoulder Problems Hindering Bulk

Over the past 2 months, my shoulder joints have gotten progressively worse. Shortly after I began working in a stock room, I started having pain in my shoulder joints when lifting.

After about a month of this I took 2 weeks off and when I came back they continued to get worse. Today it got to the point where I actually had to leave the gym on shoulder day after only 2 sets. I am sure the problem lies in the joints or tendons, not the delt muscles.

Some points that may matter:

I work in a stock room lifting boxing all day
My shoulders are underdeveloped compared to the rest of my upper body
I notice the pain is worst when i get to parallel and below on military press

Unfortunately, I reall cant go to a doctor anytime soon. What im looking for is someone to give me a rough diagnosis - what could the problem be?

Probably impingement syndrome. Start doing some rotator cuff work and if you’re not already, take fish oil daily.

Yes, if it’s shoulder pain, some sort of impingement is involved. But what is causing it? My vote would be for some sort of tendonitis from the repetitive motions you go through at work. In addition, your body position as you carry the boxes may be at fault as well.

I’ve just been through another bout of rotator cuff problems myself. This was my third one in the last 14 years and I learn something new each time. My usual RC exercises were not enough this time and I had to learn some new things from a PT.

The solution has been a combination of stretching, RC rotation exercises (internal and external), plus some new ones for my serratus muscles (anterior and posterior).

Long story short though, I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV. Go see a sports medicine doctor or orthopedic surgeon. They will get some x-rays and see exactly what’s “out of whack”. They should then follow-up with a prescription for some PT sessions.

Rest is only a temporary solution. So are shots. Don’t be afraid of backsliding as you should (barring extreme problems) be able to work AND workout throughout your PT sessions.

The first time I had RC problems, I couldn’t throw a dart w/o lots of pain. I thought I was on my way to surgery, but 4 weeks of stretching and exercises had me good as new.

Getting an educated opinion on how to do things diffrently will be invaluable.

Good Luck,
Scott

[quote]JJJJ4 wrote:
What im looking for is someone to give me a rough diagnosis - what could the problem be?[/quote]

You have a “shoulder day”.

[quote]Randy Smith wrote:
JJJJ4 wrote:
What im looking for is someone to give me a rough diagnosis - what could the problem be?

You have a “shoulder day”.[/quote]

So do I. I am sure you had some point with that statement. Too bad it was a poor one.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Randy Smith wrote:
JJJJ4 wrote:
What im looking for is someone to give me a rough diagnosis - what could the problem be?

You have a “shoulder day”.

So do I. I am sure you had some point with that statement. Too bad it was a poor one.[/quote]

not really… . someone with a bad shoulder shouldnt have a shoulder day… . I think volume and load spaced out over 3 full body workouts would be better on someone with a shoulder problem than hammering them all out once a week. …

[quote]Gl;itch.e wrote:
Professor X wrote:
Randy Smith wrote:
JJJJ4 wrote:
What im looking for is someone to give me a rough diagnosis - what could the problem be?

You have a “shoulder day”.

So do I. I am sure you had some point with that statement. Too bad it was a poor one.

not really… . someone with a bad shoulder shouldnt have a shoulder day… . I think volume and load spaced out over 3 full body workouts would be better on someone with a shoulder problem than hammering them all out once a week. …[/quote]

As far as shoulder development, there is nothing wrong with it.

As far as the injury specifically, changing to a routine that still involves the shoulder to be worked isn’t going to allow it to heal any faster. He needs to see a doctor and avoid doing any movements that will make it worse.

My response to that poster was mostly fueled from something he wrote elsewhere. The truth is, the correct advice would be avoid movements that aggravate the area and get to the doctor as soon as possible, especially if this has been on going.

Professor, I agree, but the shoulder day has to go for sure.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
Professor, I agree, but the shoulder day has to go for sure.[/quote]

I would tend to agree, with some caveats.

Are you doing a Push-Pull split for your upper body? If yes, then your shoulders are getting hit in both workouts. If you add a separate shoulder day, then you are very likely not allowing enough rest — the overuse is exsasperated because of your shoulder use at work.

A Torso-Delts/Arms split means you hit chest and back in the same day. The delts may be worked on a second upper body day with the arms. If you really need the rest, put the delts on the Torso Day.


Since you use your shoulders so much at work, how about dropping all direct shoulder work for a while? If you do a lot of pressing, you are hitting your front delts plenty.

Pulldowns/chins, rows, and DLs take care of the rear delts pretty well too. With the exception of the recovery-specific RC and Serratus exercises you may be given by a PT, the other delt work may be redundant and counterproductive.

My prescription: Lower your weights, lose the barbell and use dumb bells exclusively, lots of external / internal rotation exercises.

If you do something that hurts, stop doing it; either with that much weight, or stop it altogether if you can’t do some range of motion without weights. Good luck.

First, stop doing anything that hurts it, as you’ll only be making it worse. Think long term here, you don’t want to be struggling with this for years!

Second, get it checked out, preferably by a physio or chiropractor with a knowledge of sports/gym training, so they understand what you do (and what you want to do).

Follow the rehab exercises they give you and incorporate stuff like rotator cuff work into your programme.

Finally, check out Eric Cressey Shoulder Savers articles to find out how to balance your training in the future.

www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1053531

www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1055409

Hope this helps fix you up :slight_smile:

[quote]JJJJ4 wrote:
Over the past 2 months, my shoulder joints have gotten progressively worse. Shortly after I began working in a stock room, I started having pain in my shoulder joints when lifting.

After about a month of this I took 2 weeks off and when I came back they continued to get worse. Today it got to the point where I actually had to leave the gym on shoulder day after only 2 sets. I am sure the problem lies in the joints or tendons, not the delt muscles.

Some points that may matter:

I work in a stock room lifting boxing all day
My shoulders are underdeveloped compared to the rest of my upper body
I notice the pain is worst when i get to parallel and below on military press

Unfortunately, I reall cant go to a doctor anytime soon. What im looking for is someone to give me a rough diagnosis - what could the problem be?[/quote]

When I was first training my shoulders for planche I pushed them so hard that it hurt terribly to roll up a window in a car. I had to take a full 3 weeks off. After that, my shoulders came back stronger but still I took it easy for a little while.

I know having a job that involves shoulder work is a big factor and there’s all those pressures like rent, eating, etc. But if possible, I’d look for a way to take off from that job for a while else you might be forced to anyways.