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Old 03-31-2006, 12:45 AM   #1
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kt411gcn HB User
Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

Hi there, I recently have been developing some shoulder and rotator cuff pains. I weight train for mass, doing 6-8 reps, and i've been lifting for about 2 years. I also play tennis.

The rotator cuff can be felt when im pulling my arm back to get ready for a forehand, or rotating my shoulders forward for a 1-handed back hand. The pain is bearable to be able to move through it, if you know what I mean. I also have a shoulder pain where it seems to be near the joint. I can feel iit when I lift my arm straight out to the side. The shoulder/rotator cuff probably existed before, but not enough so that I noticed. The pain started to happen when I first started working on my serve. When I first got it, I stopped weight lifting and tennis for about 3 days, and when I tested my shoulder by swiniging my racket around, I didn't feel anything, so I proceeded to work on my serve. The next day, my pains came back again.

So my questions are, how long should I rest my shoulder/rotator cuff before I resume lifting and tennis? What stretches are available for the rotator cuff and the area of the shoulder pain im having? What other different body parts should I stretch to assist my shoulders/cuffs?

And lastly, I think i've been doing the wrong form of military press these last 2 years. What I do is the normal press, where I lift in front of me. Anyway, my starting point is with the barbell across my chest, slightly below the collarbone. I press the weight straight up, so that at the top of the motion, the barbell is 1 or 2 inches in front of my head. Is this the correct movement?

One last thing: will massaging speed the healing process, and does it matter how much pressure is applied? Thanks.

 
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Old 04-02-2006, 08:59 PM   #2
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Re: Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

I suggest you take two weeks off completely from tennis and weight lifting and then start back slow and see if the pain persists. Sure you can try getting massages it can in some cases greatly help the healing process. Stretching the rotator cuff is a good idea but takes two people. I will outline it for you: The best rotator stretch involves your partner laying face down on the floor with his/her arms turned down and palms facing skyward. Have your elbows bent, so that the upper arms are at 90 degrees (a right angle) to your body, so that your limbs and body form an M shape. In this position your scapulae (shoulder blades) will be sticking up if you have tight rotator cuff muscles. You can always tell what arm your partner favors because the rotators will be tighter, forcing the bottom point of the scapulae up so that it will stick up and be felt easily through a T-shirt.

To stretch these muscles apply VERY GENTLE pressure to the point sticking up, so that you are in fact pressing the scapulae back down to the rib cage it sits on. With your other hand apply firm but not hard pressure to the shoulder, around the rear deltoid area. If you are doing these two things correctly your partner will probably be yelping, as it is an unfamiliar sensation first off. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds and release gently. Communicate with your partner while performing the stretch so that you do not cause them pain or injury. Repeat on both sides.

When your partner gets up with a bewildered expression on their face watch as it changes to relief as they feel the “release” on the shoulder start to kick-in that this simple stretch provides.


While weight lifting there are a few things you can do to really take uneeded stress off your shoulders. While benching, military pressing, or doing any type of pull downs or presses, only descend the weight until your upper arms are parallel with the floor. Also on pull downs and pull ups, never put your hands on the angle parts of the bar. You only need to go slighty wider then shoulder width apart with your grip. Any wider puts unnatural stress on your shoulders and eldows.

Last edited by MaxOT26; 04-02-2006 at 09:01 PM.

 
Old 04-02-2006, 11:19 PM   #3
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kt411gcn HB User
Re: Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

I got everything, except for the advice on the pulling/pushing exercises. For example, on the bench press, no matter what way you lower the weights, it would have to go down, right? I also forgot to mention that I am an avid mountain biker, putting in about 10 hours a week. When I climb, I usually pull up on the handlebars to better help the rear wheels gain traction. I also notice that with the upper body being over the handle bars all the time, it would also put stress on the shoulders and cuff. Should I also take a break from biking? Thanks for the help.

 
Old 04-03-2006, 10:31 AM   #4
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Re: Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

Yes, stop biking as well, for exercise just stick to the recumbant bike or tread mill while you let your shoulder heal. Shoulders are very complicated joints. Don't mess around with them or you will spend months or even years battleing the same old shoulder pain.

Ok on presses and pulldowns the thing to watch is your elbow joint. Only lower or pull the weight until the point you make a perfect 90 degree angle with your forearm and upper arm. Only military presses and pulldowns that will mean the bar is right about eye level, on flat presses it will mean you are lowering the weight only about half way down. Personally, I would stop doing flat presses for a while all together. Just stick to incline movements, they generally put less stress on the joint.

The main thing to remember is to train AROUND your injury not THROUGH your injury. If it hurts don't do it. It might take some expriementing and some creativety to still train but it can be done.

Again take two weeks completely off, execpt the recumdant bike or treadmill. Then start back exerciseing under this guidelines and start slow. If the pain comes back, go get it evaluated, believe me you don't want to mess around with your shoulder.

Last edited by MaxOT26; 04-03-2006 at 10:32 AM.

 
Old 04-04-2006, 01:36 AM   #5
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Re: Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

About lifting at a certain angle, wouldn't that make my gains slower and make the workout less effective? Also, is the weight lifting advice for after my shoulders are completely healed, or for a while after the 2 week rest? Thanks again, and I'll certainly take care of my joints, I understand it will take a toll in the later on in my life if I don't watch myself right now.

 
Old 04-04-2006, 12:29 PM   #6
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Re: Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

Look around any gym, or open any muscle magazine and you will see people doing pull ups, or pull downs with their hands as wide as they can go and placed on the down angle of the bar. Doing pullups or pulldowns in this matter puts your shoulder joint at an unatural angle. It is also hard on your elbow joints overtime. Slightly wider then shoulders width is as wide as anyone needs to go to effectively stimulate your back muscle. No, it will not hinder your progress, in fact it will improve it. Putting your hands wider will not make your back any wider it will only kill your joints.

As far as the depth range I told you about, stick with that for a while after the two week break. Once you are confident that your shoulder is good to go then you can revert back to using a full range of motion.

 
Old 04-05-2006, 01:13 PM   #7
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Re: Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

It looks like im all set on the pull up thing, i've been doing them shoulder width ever since I first started. I didn't know it was good for your joints though, I did them because I felt it was the best balance between the forearm and back. Anyway, thanks for all the help. I will be putting all the info to good use .

 
Old 04-05-2006, 08:42 PM   #8
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Re: Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

You bet man, let me know how the shoulder does.

 
Old 08-21-2006, 11:19 AM   #9
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Re: Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

I have the same problem. I've been lifting weights for maybe a year but recently did some research and for around a month and a half I've been doing heavy lifting -- 6-8 reps, 4 sets, high protein diet, lots of rest -- the way you're really supposed to do it, not ***** 30 reps "tone" (not strengthen) your muscles.

I've had a slight shoulder problem for a while. Not any pain or anything, just noticeable when lifting -- it kind of pops or crunches. The new workout has been doing miracles, in the month and a half I've doubled the amount of weight for almost every exercise, lost 5 pounds, and then gained another 3 (I'm tryint to see if I can put on 10 pounds.). The popping/crunching also started to go away.

Anyway, yesterday was military press day and I started noticing not just the popping but some pain and unlike what MaxOT26 suggested I worked "through the pain." My reasoning was that strength training would help my shoulder and where the pain was was where I needed it.. which was kind of stupid. I was also doing them the same way kt411gcn was, instead of eye level I was moving from the chest up. And now it hurts to lift my arm certain ways. The worst is when the palm is up and it kind of hurts down the biceps a little, "If tendinitis involves the biceps tendon (the tendon located in front of the shoulder that helps bend the elbow and turn the forearm), pain will occur in the front or side of the shoulder" ( [url]http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/shoulderprobs/shoulderqa.htm[/url] ) It's also kind of hard to play my trumpet now (shoulders back, head up, play toward the box...).

When it's military press day again I might try some of the other exercises instead, or lower the weight.

Is there some way to permanently fix the shoulder though, not just rest and hope it doesn't come back again? I mean stop the popping, stop the rotator cuff syndrome etc.

 
Old 08-21-2006, 05:06 PM   #10
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Re: Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by zefer21
I have the same problem. I've been lifting weights for maybe a year but recently did some research and for around a month and a half I've been doing heavy lifting -- 6-8 reps, 4 sets, high protein diet, lots of rest -- the way you're really supposed to do it, not ***** 30 reps "tone" (not strengthen) your muscles.

I've had a slight shoulder problem for a while. Not any pain or anything, just noticeable when lifting -- it kind of pops or crunches. The new workout has been doing miracles, in the month and a half I've doubled the amount of weight for almost every exercise, lost 5 pounds, and then gained another 3 (I'm tryint to see if I can put on 10 pounds.). The popping/crunching also started to go away.

Anyway, yesterday was military press day and I started noticing not just the popping but some pain and unlike what MaxOT26 suggested I worked "through the pain." My reasoning was that strength training would help my shoulder and where the pain was was where I needed it.. which was kind of stupid. I was also doing them the same way kt411gcn was, instead of eye level I was moving from the chest up. And now it hurts to lift my arm certain ways. The worst is when the palm is up and it kind of hurts down the biceps a little, "If tendinitis involves the biceps tendon (the tendon located in front of the shoulder that helps bend the elbow and turn the forearm), pain will occur in the front or side of the shoulder" ( [url]http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/shoulderprobs/shoulderqa.htm[/url] ) It's also kind of hard to play my trumpet now (shoulders back, head up, play toward the box...).

When it's military press day again I might try some of the other exercises instead, or lower the weight.

Is there some way to permanently fix the shoulder though, not just rest and hope it doesn't come back again? I mean stop the popping, stop the rotator cuff syndrome etc.
The rotator cuff pain I had went away. What I did was take 2 weeks off; no upper body excercises, tennis, swimming, etc. Then what I did was work out my rotator cuff every 3 days. Here's the link to an article on how to strengthen it: [DELETED].
I also proceeded with my normal workout routines and sports.

I reread your post more thoroughly just now, and instead of the 2 weeks off, maybe you should go longer. The pain I had was just noticeable enough so that it was uncomfortable to lift a certain way, yours sounds a bit worse. Take 2 weeks off, and any additional days depending on if your pain persists.

Last edited by mod-anon; 08-21-2006 at 09:28 PM. Reason: please do not post info on how to locate commercial websites

 
Old 08-21-2006, 09:29 PM   #11
 
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Re: Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

Please honor your membership agreement. Please read and follow the posting rules.

Please do not post commercial websites for any reason whether or not you personally benefit.

 
Old 08-22-2006, 10:29 AM   #12
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Re: Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

It's actually a lot better now. Hopefully after two weeks I'll be good. I think I might have injured that shoulder mountain biking or something which is why it's always been popping. I'm sure it's related to the rotator cuff problem. When I think back I remember doing the forward raise exercise (when I had a different work out program) and having it hurt the same way it does now. Only the one shoulder.

Maybe with some rest and strength training it'll fix itself. I'm not sure of any other cure besides surgery.

Last edited by mod-anon; 08-22-2006 at 10:36 PM. Reason: Discussing commercial websites is against the rules of this Board.

 
Old 09-10-2006, 11:18 AM   #13
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Re: Rotator cuff and shoulder problems

I never thought isolated exercises could work very well but targeting the rotator cuff for 2 weeks increased my mil press by twenty pounds, no pain, no popping. I guess it just used to be a weak spot (I always felt like I could be lifting more but it hurt, in a bad way).

Try the four exercises here:
[removed] (hope this isn't "commercial," honestly I havn't read the agreement...most forums dont mind links outside of the site)

It may be different for different people but if you're like me and want to be lifting I recommend ignoring their advice on reps and just do standard 6-8reps (or whatever you normally do), 4 sets, 3 times a week (these are isolated so you do them every workout instead of alternating every other routine. Just quit your other shoulder exercises (rows are fine but no lat raises or presses), 4 is technically too much as it is for one region).

Last edited by mod-anon; 09-10-2006 at 11:04 PM.

 
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