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shoulder bursitis/ impingement syndrome


Jun 6, 2010
So like many lifters and athletes, I recently started having shoulder pain during my lifts.

I live very close to one of the most respected hospitals in the United States, and after seeing Orthopedic doctors, surgeons, and sports medicine specialist they were unable to come up with any clear answer to what was going on.

After trolling many a body building thread and medical sites - I have diagnosed myself with shoulder bursitis/ impingement syndrome. My symptoms pretty much read verbatim for it.

For anyone not familiar - google it. I don't feel like explaining it :). In a nutshell - I'm fubar with any lift that involves my arm being over should level. It is also associated with a MASSIVE knot in my trap where it connects to the scapular. It doesn't hurt - just constantly feels like a need a massage.

Anyone else in here struggle with this in the gym? It is a serious pain in the arse, and really limits the types of exercises I can do.

I have found however that extensive warm ups of the shoulder and staying away from barbells like the plague have helped along with ibuprofin for inflammation.

I would be most interested in hearing from anyone who has recovered from it (preferably without a extended absence from the gym). It has been lingering around for several months now!
one of many:

**broken link removed**
this is the only thing i can come up with why my hand is numb esp when doing bb curls.started about 5 years ago.both shoulders are damaged from doing heavy db presses in my early 20' my right hand and first 3 fingers have no real feeling in them and at night the pain in my arms get so bad i have to sit up for a while.i constantly have to come up with new routines.
the hammer benches seem to help alot.i've gone as high as 325 on front presses on the hammer type machines without as much pain.
glucosamine chronjointent with msm at least 1500mg a day along with shoulder stretches has drastically improved my impingement so well they dont bother me at all. the doc want to do surgery on both.
go on and search DC's posts about broomstick stretch (think its stickied).

I use a towel instead of a broomstick (same thing).

Help impingment problems years ago.

Then I dropped OH pressing and flat bench pressing (all pressing I do is decline presses).

Gained 15 more lean pounds.

Then I went on a low dose of nandrolone.

Finally after 7+ years of pain I am pain-free.
Thanks for the advice.

I'm in physical therapy for it right now. From what we've found its a bio mechanical issue. My rotator cuff isn't moving my shoulder blade down and out of the way when I press. The therapist actually assisted the shoulder blade during a press and it was like a miracle pain free movement. Now if only I can drag her to the gym with me every day!

Stretching is helping a lot. I'm doing everything in my power to avoid a surgery or cortizone injections at all costs.

I don't compete, I'm just a normal guy who has always loved to lift and had a fascination with the sport. Thus, I've never cycled but been intrigued by it for some time.

I recently read a medical report on deca and its ability to repair tendon and soft tissue damage. And of course I'm no stranger to the joint soothing effects in general. PsyT - how long did you run the nandrolone for? I would not be the least bit opposed to a very lite test/deca cycle in addition to PT if it could assist in permanently strengthening and easing this shoulder pain. However, I'm not interested in just masking it for a few months. I've heard it go both ways.

We'll see how things go. Slow and steady. This truly is a patient mans game.
I've had the same thing in both shoulders over the years. I was all set for surgery until it was recommended to see a sports chiropractor. I know it sounds weird but my problem steemed from my spinal cord being pinched because my spine did not have enough of a natural arch to it. Long story short the nerves were actually pulling my shoulders in, thus causing the inpingmint and destroying the fluid disk in the shoulder joint and causing the bones to rub together. I went through six weeks of of neck rehab and never felt better. For example...I couldn't bench press the bar it hurt so bad. Six weeks later i put up 315. Don't get surgery if you can help it!
Good info in here. I'm going to try some of this stuff out since the dr. Doesn't know what's wrong...
Impingement in the shoulder may stem from several things..all of which can be Easily treated by a Chiropractor.

Your Brachial Plexus (bundle of nerves that supply your shoulder and arm) come off of your spine through your lower cervical vertebrae. They then travel under your first rib and clavicle and then down your arm and shoulder. Most commonly the impingement is with a first rib subluxation or lower cervical (C6 or C7) subluxation. You obviously have chronic trigger points in your traps, but I would be more concerned with your rhomboids and lats. Poke around on those, I garantee your rhomboids are trashed and need some deep tissue stripping out, and the attachment of your lat to your arm (deep in the back of your delt) will most likely be pretty tender too. Go get adjusted and have those two muscles worked out and post how long it is that you have to avoid Any lift at the gym.
Correct the Cause of the problem and you will heal quick
Shoulder bursitis?

Your post doesn't indicate if you had a previous injury or not? Have you had the shoulder x-rayed? If you have a old injury it could be possible that you have calcium deposits around the old injury? Which would cause inflammation and pain around that area. I had such a case, got a x-ray because of the constant pain in the same area you describe, and it showed a calcium deposit in a tendon.

If it is in the muscle the deposit can be treated with needle aspiration and cortisone to break up the deposit. I forgot the technical name of the procedure? If it is in the tendon the only alternative is regular cortisone shots. Which I know is not recommended, but in my case over a period of time it eventually dissolved the calcium deposit as shown on the x-ray.

But this was done over a two year period. If I felt it was too painful to do what I had to do I went and got a shot, but I recall it was only like twice a year. If you do it too frequently I hear it is not good for tendons. Less is better.
this is a new injury... I had a strain in my OTHER shoulder which bothered me on and off for the better part of 2 years until I started lifting again - then it promptly healed and the other one went bum... different symptoms.

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