T Nation

Shoulder Rehab - Where to Start?

After reading Eric Cressey’s “Shoulder Saver” articles, I’m convinced that I’ve been abusing my shoulders since the day I first started lifting. Now I’m 41 yrs. old and my shoulders have gotten weaker and weaker over the past several years and I always experience pain during and after a workout and have gotten to the point that I can’t even bench anymore. I’m sure I’ve got some muscle imbalances and impingement going on in one shoulder at least (diagnosed once by an ortho back in my early 20’s).

So, I’d like to start from square one and build a good foundation and muscle balance. Trouble is, I don’t know where to start. I tried doing some “shoulder dislocates” stretches and that hurt…tried doing some light dumbbells and that hurt. I’m going to rest completely for a couple of weeks to let the inflamation go away, but then where should I start?

Cosgrove and Waterbury wrote a shoulder article a while back that had something you could use. Search Cosgrove’s past articles.

This rehab protocol by Diesel Crew is good:

If some of the days fall on your normal training days, do what you normally do and then perform these exercises. It definitely helps.

this is the order you should approach it

tissue work ( foam rolling, massage etc) --> mobility work --> stretching —> corrective exercises

without the tissue work you will be spinning wheels, as the tight fascia and trigger points will limit mobility and causes the msucles to function incorrectly.

some stuff to help you out and read this as well

[quote]something that need stressing - make sure your doing foam rolling and self myofascial tissue work with tennis/golf ball, or small balls ( yes even a mini BBall pumped tight works great) or other objects like the corner of a bench top…

On your off days to keep scar tissue and adhesion build up to a minimum and keep your fascia nice and loose so your body works properly and is in alignment.
It will greatly reduce damage from jumping and training, and keep jumpers knee at bay… I speak from personal experience :slight_smile:
And allow you to squat way deeper without your lower back tucking under in an oly full squat. Loosen up the glutes with a tennis ball against the wall until all painful trigger points are gone etc

Even shoulder pain too…

Start from the bottom of the feet and work up.

background info





[quote]the foam roller helps for the lower body, but if you read the articles, the tennis ball is even better for the upper body and bottom of the foot
Tennis ball against the wall is also awesome for the glutes and hips, TFL etc
All problems start from the foot, so start rolling out the foot arch with a tennis ball or golf ball, if the tennis ball isn’t doing much. I also use a hard 21x3 inch cardboard roll, since the foam roller eventually doesn’t do much when you get looser. A PVC pipe does the job too.

And I also use small Mini BBalls pumped up tight. I have one the size of a volleyball that works great on the VMO and adductor area. The small size works better there, foam rollers tend to get in the way. Applies enough pressure to bring tears to my eyes!

Anyway you will find trigger points all over your body. Once they go away, you will be so loose, it’s not funny! And feel stronger too! The moderate weights at one stage started to feel scary heavy on my back, on squats. I think the CNS was shutting down the muscles because everything was so tight, scar tissue filled and jammed up. Now it feels good.

My upper body got a whole lot stronger and more stable after I started the tissue work. No surprise, because ART does the same kind of thing, but better, and people regain and improve strength.

also foam rolling will work the crap out of your core and upper body support muscles like the serratus anterior
I was so sore in spinal erectors and ribcage msucles at one stage I had to take pain killers to sleep… [/quote]

This is exactly the kind of info. I’ve been looking for, guys. Thanks for the excellent responses.