T Nation

The Wonderful World of Shoulder Pain!!


Hey all,

I've been having a shoulder problem ever since last summer. The day after a bench press session I developed pain in my right shoulder. It slowly faded but I could not and still cannot do horizontal pressing movements without pain(all other movement patterns are fine). I had never had any pain in my shoulders before this and it didn't hurt while working out on or before said day.

I went to the doctor within a few weeks of little to no improvement and he took some x-rays and found nothing. He told me to rest up and come back in a month or two if pain persisted. Well, recently I went back and had an MRI and the only thing they found was tendonosis(which I'd never heard of). He prescribed me 2 weeks of anti-inflammatories and told me that should do it.

Upon further research, everything I read tells me that tendonosis is worse than tendonitis and that anti-inflammatories will do me little good and that the best thing to do is eccentric exercises for the injured body part. If there is anyone out there who is relatively knowledgable about such things I would much appreciate their input. Thanks for your time.


From the wonderfull world of google:

Shoulder the Load
by Mike Robertson

Long Live Your Bench
by Ian King

Out of Kilter IV
Stop Shoulder Pain Cold!
by Ian King

8 Weeks to Monster Shoulders
by Alwyn Cosgrove and Chad Waterbury

Question of Strength
By Charles Poliquin

Cracking the Rotator Cuff Conundrum
by Eric Cressey

Heal that Hunchback!
by Mike Robertson, M.S., C.S.C.S., U.S.A.W.

External and internal rotations did the trick for me. Took me 8 weeks though but I'm returning to decline db's presses in a week or 2.


Is the pain numb or burning?

Is the pain somewhat relieved when you hold your arm paralell with your abdomen? (Like it is in a sling)

When does the pain occur?

Do you experience any pain associated with military press, lateral raises or incline presses?

Do you experience any pain associated with squat, tricep pushdowns, or dips?


I had an operation for a slightly torn labrum in my right shoulder a few months ago. When I started training again, I had a pain in my rihgt shoulder that felt like a pinched nerve.

Anyway, I'm not sure that this would be applicable to your situation, but it's sure worth a try. I read about "Shoulder Traction work on Elitefts.com Go the the "Q and A" and then "Band Exercises."

Like I said, I don't know much about the nature of your specific problems, but it couldn't hurt to give it a try, it has drastically reduced the pain in my shoulder.



The pain is sharp(definitely not numb). It only hurts during horizontal pressing movements, not on military, or lateral raises, squats, pushdowns, or even dips so much. Also, incline presses hurt a bit less than flat or decline.

I am not in pain when at rest either so holding arm parallel to abdomen doesn't really do anything.


I had the exact same thing happen to me a lot. Finally to fix it I laid off barbell work for 2 weeks (replaced with dumbells) and started every upper body day with the snatch cuban press from CT's "The Power Look article". I haven't had shoulder pain since then, and my shoulders look a lot better too. The snatch cuban press really warms your shoulders up and strengthens the rotator cuffs.


Thanks, you guys have given me some helpful advice, hopefully it works better for me than the 20 seconds my orthopedist spent talking to me.


What really did it for me was stretching the pecs.


I found most naggin pain in not just my shoulders, but knees and elbows went away when I stripped most machines out of my training. I'm 34 and feel much better than I did at 25-30 because I removed machines.