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Old 09-27-2008, 11:20 AM   #1
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Shoulder Pain with weight training, please help!

I started weight training seriously for the first time in my life several months ago. I'm 23 y.o. and very slender. I increase my weights with moderation but after a few weeks of doing lateral raises, I started getting weakness and slight pain in my shoulders. I then took surfing lessons over the summer for a week and after that, couldn't raise my right arm up for about a week. Things started improving but I seem to have "plateaued". I am functional but still have slight weakness in both shoulders when doing certain movements, especially with my elbows out.

I saw a sports injury doc who confidently said it is rotator cuff overuse so I started doing special exercises 3x a week with a exercise band. These have given me a bit of improvement but I'm still not where I used to be. I have cut all exercises with overhead movements and am very careful in avoiding any exercises that cause pain in my shoulders. I even stopped working out completely for 2 weeks and had no improvement at all.

My question is, does anyone think this is more than overuse? What bothers me the most is that 2 weeks of stopping did nothing at all. Maybe it just takes months for shoulders to heal. The problem is I can't really stop working out because I am going into a career field where PT is crucial (I'm going to be tested on how much I can bench press, etc).

Thanks for any advice or help.

 
Old 09-27-2008, 11:43 AM   #2
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Re: Shoulder Pain with weight training, please help!

It can take months for muscle healing to happen and it also may mean that you might have to wait a year before you try again and then ever so slowly. Sorry but your muscles just might not take that sort of repetitious heavy lifting...you may just have to focus on cardio type workouts instead of overhead muscle building type maneuvers.

 
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:19 AM   #3
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Re: Shoulder Pain with weight training, please help!

I agree with Ann. Rotator cuff injuries can take a very long time to heal.

Keep doing the exercises your sports therapist gave you. Eventually it should get better. If not, you might consider a visit to an orthopedic doctor.

 
Old 09-29-2008, 07:27 AM   #4
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Re: Shoulder Pain with weight training, please help!

the quickest way to really know for sure just what is causeing this would be to just obtain an MRI on the shoulders themselves and also you may want to check out that c spine area as well. since your symtoms appear to be bilateral,any c spine problem could possibly be the real underlying issue ya know what i mean? something like a centrally located herniation or protrusion within that c spine area could cause the types of symptoms you have going on so it should be at least checked and ruled out.

the thing here is,if you were not used to doing all that lifting and just kind of dove into it,there could be a herniation up there or you could just have in some way,damaged the soft tissue structures within the rotators. its just that this is within both shoulders that leads me to wonder if this is not an actual c spine issue too ya know? it just needs some looking into. what are your exact symptoms at this point? any neck pain or numbness or tingling in either arm,or fingers? FB
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 09-29-2008, 10:00 PM   #5
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Re: Shoulder Pain with weight training, please help!

Thanks for all your responses, you have been so helpful. Yes, I was hoping that the rotator cuff was just taking a while to heal. It makes sense since I still have to continue the physical training I'm doing otherwise I risk losing my job. Things like bench pressing my own body weight or doing pushups are a must even though they cause me pain sometimes. So perhaps its these activities that are just not letting the shoulders heal.

But feelbad brought up a very interesting issue. I have actually been having mild neck pain and clicking in one direction for the past month. I had an x-ray done of the c-spine and everything is normal except I don't have good curvature in my neck. But perhaps the neck clicking is linked to the shoulders, although I still feel like there is a local problem with the shoulders since I get clicking in the shoulders as well. I'd like to avoid an MRI because of the cost unless it's 100% necessary. Given that the xray was fairly normal, do you still think an MRI would be revealing? What about an x-ray of the shoulders? If a problem is found, what can be done any way besides stopping the activity?

Thanks again

Quote:
Originally Posted by feelbad View Post
the quickest way to really know for sure just what is causeing this would be to just obtain an MRI on the shoulders themselves and also you may want to check out that c spine area as well. since your symtoms appear to be bilateral,any c spine problem could possibly be the real underlying issue ya know what i mean? something like a centrally located herniation or protrusion within that c spine area could cause the types of symptoms you have going on so it should be at least checked and ruled out.

the thing here is,if you were not used to doing all that lifting and just kind of dove into it,there could be a herniation up there or you could just have in some way,damaged the soft tissue structures within the rotators. its just that this is within both shoulders that leads me to wonder if this is not an actual c spine issue too ya know? it just needs some looking into. what are your exact symptoms at this point? any neck pain or numbness or tingling in either arm,or fingers? FB

 
Old 09-30-2008, 07:13 AM   #6
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Re: Shoulder Pain with weight training, please help!

the BIG problem with only having x ray is all you get is the outter boney structures with absolutely NO soft tissue,that takes out alot of different possible reasons for your symptoms that just would not actually ever show up on x ray,only with MRI. you have whats called reversal of lordosis in your neck,thats the straightening. i have this too,its a very common finding in many people. the thing is,when this occurs it tends to actually 'stack up' the vertebraes and creates a higher risk of slippage of a disc. this is part of my c spine problems,things slipping forwards and backwards becasue of that lordodic loss. i REALLY think just based on your symptoms and what you have stated in the last post that an MRI of your c spine should be done at the very least. you really do not have a clue as to what is actually going on 'within' the spine,only the outside,ya know? this would also show any actual cord compression that could also be an issue. certain things,like i mentioned,just do not show up well or at all on simple X ray,its getting that more in depth look that finds the more direct affectation of the spinal nerves. thats what needs to be seen right now,those nerves. a host of problems could casue spinal nerves to be affected,you just need to see it. if nothing shows,but i do think something is not right there personally just given your symptoms,then you go back and concentrate on those rotators. but that look see really needs to be done just to rule it in or out as the underlying reason for your symptoms.

continueing to lift,well i really don;t think anything is going to ever actually get better when you are not letting anything heal or rest. spinal issues also would be exascerbated by lifting,espescially heavy lifting. you may need to at least think about possibly changing your job here too. it all depends upon how your body is and what is going on right now that is simply causing you symptoms. your body and its future may just end up dictating what you should and should not do. believe me,my whole body is a mess from 14 years as a firefighter EMT and it all hit me within just a few short years when i hit about 40. just had my rotator cuff repaired this past year too. i completely tore the very top tendon in half last nov(this had started back in 1989). the way you choose to take care of your body now WILL dictate what your future will be like later,trust me on that one. it does take its toll.

right now,you just really DO need to find out where your biggest problems are and then act accordingly. but getting that MRI with contrast done on your c spine,considering your symptoms,and the bilateral nature of them just has to be done at this point ya know? this would "most likely' be stemming from a c spine issue and not totally within BOTH shoulders at the same time. while i am pretty sure there is pain from the shoulders too from doing all that lifting,i think the bigger picture is within that c spine and just needs a good look inside right now. let that MRI dictate wht the next step would be depending upon just what does or does not actually show,ya know what i mean?

this is all of course only my opinion,but if i were you i would at least get that look at an area that would be the most 'likely" area to do whats been going on with you,thats all. please keep me posted on what you decide to do. good luck, FB
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 10-02-2008, 05:41 PM   #7
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Re: Shoulder Pain with weight training, please help!

I took your advice and I'm getting an MRI of the c-spine and one of my shoulders on Monday. Hopefully that will yield some answers. I'm praying that it's not a torn rotator cuff or serious spine issue. Thanks again for your help and I will keep you all updated.

 
Old 10-03-2008, 06:39 AM   #8
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Re: Shoulder Pain with weight training, please help!

glad to hear it. you honestly just do not actually know what is going on inside anyones body til you get that much deeper look into it,trust me. different MRI scans have found all kinds of strange and bizzarre things inside my body. did'nt have a freaking clue all this was actually going on til MRIs and other rad testing found them. and yes,please keep us allposted on what you find out. obtain a copy of both MRIs just for your own records too. it really is handy to have. then you can also type out the rad report summary too here so we can see what it states as the most pertinent findings. i would be more than happy to help with that. they can be a bit confusing at times to try and figure out. FB
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 10-13-2008, 01:37 PM   #9
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Re: Shoulder Pain with weight training, please help!

Hello all. So I got the results of my L-shoulder and c-spine MRI and wanted to share them in hopes to get some feedback:
___
LEFT SHOULDER w/o contrast:
Findings:
There is fluid in the subacromial-subdeltoid bursa. Under the acromion this forms a very thins collection but anterior to the anterior edge of the acromion and just superficial to the anterior edge of the supraspinatus tendon there is a more lobulated fluid collection, but I believe this is fluid within the same anatomic space as the subacromial-subdeltoid bursa. There is slightly increased signal within the supraspinatus tendon and some thickening of the tendon especially anteriorly, but I do not see evidence of a full-thickness tear. This fluid then is possibly related to tendinopathy or bursitis.

Bony head of the biceps tendon is intact and merges with the superior labrum normally. My sensitivity for labral pathology is diminished without intraarticular gadolinium. I see no gross labral pathology however. Signal from the long head of the biceps tendon is normal. There is no degenerative change involving the glenohumeral joint or AC joint as visualized.

Oour transaxial sequence was obtained with rather marked internal rotation of the umerus which makes the subscapularis tendon difficult to evaluate. I could not exclude tendinopathy, but I certainly do not see evidence of a complete tendon tear. There is no periarticular soft tissue mass. No other significant findings.

Impression:
1. There is some fluid in the subacromial-subdeltoid bursa. Question bursitis.
2. No evidence of a full thickness Rotator cuff tear, although minimal supraspinatis tendinopathy may be present. Otherwise, unremarkable enhanced MR of the left shoudler, as described.
3. The subscapularis tendon is difficult to evaluate. I do not see evidence of a complete tendon tear, but I could not exclude tendinopathy.

C-SPINE W/O CONTRAST:
Sagittal images reveal normal cervical alignment. I see no fractures or destructive lesions of bone. The marrow signal is normal throughout.
The C1-2 articulation is intact. No degenerative changes, spinal or foraminal stenosis is seen.
The C2-3, C3-4 and C4-5 disks are maintained in heigh and signal intensity. There is no evidence of disk protrusion, spinal or foraminal stenosis at any of these levels.
At C5-6 the disk is maintained in heigh and there is a minimal diffuse disk bulge. This does not create significant spinal or foramial stenosis.
The C6-7, C7-T1 and T1-2 disks are unremarkable. No spinal or foraminal stenosis is seen at any of these levels. No intrathecal abnormalities are seen. Cervical cord is normal in caliber and signal characteristics. There is no evidence of a Chiari malformation and the paraspinal soft tissues are unremarkable.

Conclusion: Other than a minimal diffuse bulge at c5-6, unremarkable study.
___

As far as I can understand, it looks like my shoulder problem is localized and is due to bursitis/tendonitis and perhaps overuse?? The c-spine seemed fine except for that bulging disk which seemed insignificant anyway. I'm no expert at reading these reports so I'd appreciate any help. Thank you again!

Last edited by BackPainMan; 10-13-2008 at 01:38 PM.

 
Old 10-14-2008, 04:09 AM   #10
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Re: Shoulder Pain with weight training, please help!

your pretty much right on with your Dx there(the fliud is from inflammation probably). the thing here is,nothing will actually heal if you continue to keep doing what probably caused it in the first place ya know? when i had bursitis,i used warm compresses and advil(this was like fifteen years ago?aleeve would probably be better since you only have to take it in the morning and at night) and also had my arm in a sling for about two weeks,just giving everything a good chance to heal. you just need to get this healed well before diving into lifting again or you could pay much more dearly for it later. you also need to always be aware that you DO have a small herniation too. they tend to start out small,then over time can become a much bigger issue. unless this is encroaching upon nerve roots right now tho,it shouldn;t be a huge issue. the main thing is getting your core muscles in good shape espescially the upper just to help protect the c spine better with more structure and stability. you can probably obtain some good excercises from your doc about the best muscles to work on to build up.

thankfully this was not a tear and you don;t have major c spine issues right now either,and thats a huge plus. just take good care of that shoulder now so you don't have to go back to that doc again and ask for another MRI becasue you think something may have torn or some other muscle/tendon issue may have popped up. it wouldn't hurt to ask about PT just to find those good excercises espescially for you ya know? hope all goes well for you. good luck, FB
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 10-14-2008, 08:44 PM   #11
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Re: Shoulder Pain with weight training, please help!

Thanks FeelBad!! You have been so helpful!! Do you think I should go the sling route as well or just rest, heat and NSAIDs? Also, what's your advice regarding heat vs. ice and should I continue doing those rotator cuff exercises the PT gave me? I need to pass a physical exam for my job requiring me to bench press my own body weight....I can do it now but with mild to moderate pain. Should I rest for a couple weeks and then go back to trying to accomplish this?

I know people can easily say "choose another career field" but I'm 23 y.o. and this is my dream job and I have spent years trying to accomplish this, so it's not that easy. I just need to get through 6-7 months of training (which will begin in the next 1-3 months) and then I can ease up on my body a bit.

 
Old 10-15-2008, 08:21 AM   #12
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Re: Shoulder Pain with weight training, please help!

tho this may be your "dream job" you also have to keep in mind that this 'job' is going to be demanding on your body the way it sounds,am i right? this IS a big deal hon. like i mentioned before,my 'dream job' tore up just about everything in me at this point,and am now living on disability becasue it it and other factors. any time we use our bodies heavily in our jobs it can take its toll eventually. just keep that in mind,K? think about how much this really means to you and what price you could be paying later.

personally,depending upon when you are going to need to show whoever how much you can bench,i would try and do everything you can right now,including the sling,just to try and get the injured/inflammed areas to calm down,then slowly get back into it. it will set you back tho just becasue you are not using the arm in a normal way or lifting,but you DO also have to get this back to normal too ya know? that will not occur unless this area can calm own for at lest a week or so. and be very very thankful this was not an actual tear in your rotator too. thats a biggie.

depending upon just how much time you have to get this accomplished would kind of dictate when certain things should be started back up again. are you or were you lifting every single day or takeing it every other day? that can also impact as far as inflammation and possible damage too if you are actually lifting every single day,it should be cut back to every other day. at least with the same muscle groups. the muscles need a day in betwen that hard workout just to rest and rebuild certain chemicals again before diving in the very next day,ya know what i mean? this was the lifting scehdule i was on when training for my agility test way abck in 89. i never lifted two days in a row,ever,always every other day. what exact date do you have to be able to do all this?

the ice vs heat thing is basically what makes the injury or area feel better. but in most cases,right after any level of injury,always go with ice first. it reduces swelling and helps to also minimize tissue damage when used right away. after a few days,you want to start alternating ice and heat to get the blood flow back but not letting it get too out of control too,ya know? then kind of stay with the heat,but if you have a bad flare up,always switch back to ice to get it back down again. using NSAIDS certainly helps with the underlying inflammation that always accompanies soft tissue injury. i personally like the aleeve just becasue it doesn't seem to hit my stomach as hard and you only have to dose inthe morning and later in the day. it supposedly lasts eight hours vs the advil which has to be multidosed every four to six.

the best rule of thumb regarding ice vs heat is when in doubt,go with ice. in most cases with very few excetions,ice will not cause harm,but you can do alot of underlying damage with using heat when it should not be used. just an FYI for ya.

for your particular situation,and you DO want to do this in the best possible way for you and to avoid further injury,would be to actually see a good PT person for the best possible advice at getting back into things in the best way for your particular issues and what you are going to need in the future too. they would know the best possible excercises and could also monitor your condition and do the right changes when needed too,you know what i mean? since your livelyhood is going to depend upon your overall physical abilitys,you just need the more expert advice from a good PT to guide you thru all this. you just don;t want to try things too soon which could really cause you,with already having some pretty severe levels of inflammation going on in there to injure yourself and just never be able to do that dream job you want so desperately. this is just going to take time and healing in order to get you back into things in the best possible way for your body,and for your future too.

just always be aware of what you are doing when you attempt to lift anythig at anytime. the wrong move or using your back instead of relying more on your legs to lift even everyday objects that have some heft can really screw you up if not done the proper way. but i would definitely seek out the expertise of a good PT person at this point just to make sure you are doing the right things in the right timeframe for your issues. i do hope this all works out for you. just let time and healing do its work and you should be good to go when that time comes. dont get too impatient and screw yourself up even more,ya know? good luck and pklease keep me posted, FB
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
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