T Nation

What Type of Doctor Do I Need?


I am a newbie who needs a recomendation for a type of doctor to see about a nagging shoulder injury/sprain. I'm sure there are others who have had this type of problem and can help. This injury occured just last fall after starting to work out really for the first time in my life.

I did visit my family doctor and he gave me some anti inflamitory medicine and suggested physical therapy. I did it for a while, and the pain never really went away. Now I would like to see another type of doctor who maybe specializes in this type of treatment. Thanks.


What kind of 'working out' do you think might have caused the problem in the past?

What kind of excercises aggravate the problem presently?


And what was the physical therapy?


The workouts were full body compound movements taken from the HGM series and from TBT training here. I feel the most pain when doing any type of bench press. The physical therapy was mostly shoulder strengthening exercises.


An off the cuff guess is that you need to retract your scapulae when benching, rest for a few weeks until the swelling goes down and work on your lifting form.

This is just my intuitive response based on the mistakes I've made in the past and the mistakes I see people make on a regular basis.

The thing about working on your form is that you are not a good judge because you can't see yourself lifting. Try to get a training partner that knows their stuff or work twice as hard and do it yourself. It's not impossible, but it's hard and you can do it if you put your mind to it.

Good luck.


Also, the physical therapy that your doc reccomended sounds completely appropriate. Don't be lazy, keep it up!


To answer your question, I think you need to see an orthopedist. Orthopedists specialize in muscular/skeletal injuries (of all sorts). You could also see a chiropractor.

Of course, not all orthopedists/chiropractors know a lot about weightlifting. You could try a "sports doctor," but I wouldn't know how to go about finding one, since I don't think they call themselves that.


Thanks for the advise. I will look into contacting one of those doctors, work on my form, and the physical therapy exercises.


I'd actually suggest you return to your family doc. He did the right thing to begin with, now you have to let him know it didn't work so he'll decide what to do next. Trust me, he won't know you're not well until you let him know. He'll know what to do next and whom you should see next.
Good luck,




An Combination of a Othopedic Surgeon and a Neurosurgeon is always a good combination the Otho can address the Mechanics and the Neuro can address any nerve inpingment with bpth of them consulting you can have a great deal of success I have used this conbination several times both Docs worked to gether and found a solution and I couldn't be happier.


you might try an active release therapist. Where does your shoulder hurt and what aggravates it?


Being a couple months away from being a physical therapist (as well as being addicted to this website since 2000) I can tell you from most cases a person just starting on a workout program, really getting into it, then hurting yourself, is generally easy to fix. I have been there myself, and can tell you it is going to suck during the rehab process, but mostly because you have to lay off and let the tissue heal. You can still exercise, but do other things.
Example: I have impingement syndrome in the right shoulder and a first degree labral tear in the left shoulder. I'm fuckin' bummed because I was really getting into olympic lifting, and this is causing a couple complications, but I'm making up for it in the meantime with a pilates at school. Its great because it allowed me to really hone in on my overall weaknesses that I acn address before trying to build up muscle on a potentially unstable frame. Plus there are a lot of hot chicks that are in to exercise there!

Back to important stuff: As has been stated on this site numerous times, don't allow a single incident of a medical professional's misguided actions, be it MD/DC/PT etc, lead you to believe the entire profession is lacking worth. Along those same lines, not all medical professionals specialize in athletic injuries. I would personally go to my primary care physician if I was ill, however, for musculoskeletal/neuromuscular patholgy, even he knows I can take care of my self and diagnose myself better than he can. That is not because he doesn't know what he is doing, but he is just trusting the judgement of a person who specializes in a particular field. When you received your physical therapy, you may not have had the best PT in relation to weight lifting injuries. Conversely, you may not have been sticking with the appropriate dosage of exercise during an alloted time frame. This really is a multi-facted issue here. Hopefully this can give you a little insight into the world of the people who take care of you.