T Nation

Strengthening --> Pain

Hi all. I have observed something very interesting in the past few weeks, and wanted to get your inputs and opinions. This is especially because I do not want to make any rash and potentially dangerous conclusions, which the observations are pointing toward.

It all started last Feb when I had a distal clavicle resection for my osteolysis. I was in a sling for around a month, and after than was an extended period of rehab before going back to the gym (I wanted to err on the safe side rather than rush back into it).

I also took the opportunity to strengthen the entire shoulder complex on both sides, as I previously had impingement in the non-surgical shoulder, and that still gives some issues (due to being a laxe joint; stabilizer weakness; scar tissue etc).

For around 8 months I was worked with a biokineticist (checkups ever 2 months or so): rehab on the right shoulder, together with strengthening exercises for both. This was to improve balance, strength, stability, and to correct adaptations which had developed (non-firing muscles, others taking over, fatigue, and so on).

Strength and balance improved, but I still had lots of pain. This was especially in the left (non surgical) shoulder. A range of issues exacerbated the area, such as weak suprispinatus, tight pectoral etc.

What I felt (as described in other threads a while ago) was that the left pec was overly active, taking over many/most shoulder movements. Ditto for the left trap, made worse by the fact that the trap “shrugged”. This led to pain and exhaustion in the pec, shoulder and neck. I was doing a lot of rehab and strengthening work, especially from the various articles I read here at T-Nation; and linked to by fellow members here.

Around a month ago I stopped doing the work as religiously: time, work, and the pain and lack of results reduced its priority. Then all of a sudden, literally within a week (or less), workouts were so much better!

Pain dissipated, stiffness and exhaustion was reduced, balance and stability improved?..as if - contrary to what I expected - cutting out that rehab related work made things better.

As a “test”, I re-instated that rehab/strength work again this week. Within 3-4 days the pain started coming back again, both throughout the day and during the specific exercises during workouts which were prone to pain previously. Same symptoms: pec taking over, pain in pec/neck/trap etc.

So, what does this mean? I am not sure what to make of it and how to proceed. Any suggestions would be appreciated!


BUMP…topic was initially messed up so didn’t reflect the question at hand :frowning: . Hopefully revised topic garners some advice/suggestions.