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Strange recent prolonged shoulder issue

Kaladryn

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I think what you are describing is by far the most common shoulder issue, impingement. There are several things that cause impingement, but it usually starts with strain/injury to the supraspinatus muscle that comes off the back of the shoulder blade and passes through the AC joint. Once this becomes inflamed, it causes impingement in the limited space of the AC joint and causes the biceps tendon, which also passes through the AC joint to impinge also. Supraspinatus impingement causes pain the in rear delt muscle, biceps impingement causes pain in the anterior shoulder. Ultimately the issue that strains/injures the supraspinatus is usually related to weakness or improper firing of the Serratus Anterior muscle. Overly tight pectoral minor and subscapularis is also common. While the diagnosis of impingement is extremely common, especially in weight lifters, the cause and solution is often complex and individual. You need a good doctor (and by doctor I mean physical therapist, they are full doctors) to diagnose exactly what is going on and design therapy and exercises. Issues like this generally develop over many years or decades and can take many months or even years to fully resolve. Often certain muscles and nerve firing patterns have to be retrained. Athletic trainers, chiropractors, exercise physiologists, and other types of practitioners will do little for you.
 

No1

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Can you do the Doggcrapp shoulder 90% fix? The one with the broomstick or towel he says?
Active therapy the proper way.. That imbalance has likely caused it I. E. Left and right side and the way of the execution of the exdrcise
But it does not sound just like a nerve only
In labral tears, not these grade 3 I think these were called you would get this if you stop doing the rotator cuff exercises daily

Try doing the active therapy start g with everything from the back and all the shoulder rotations. Try to also. See how is it with different motions of the thoracic and even cervical spine where you will also likely benefit from the therapy, look up also smashwerx on YouTube and he has some pretty good answers
 

Knight9

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Can you do the Doggcrapp shoulder 90% fix? The one with the broomstick or towel he says?
Active therapy the proper way.. That imbalance has likely caused it I. E. Left and right side and the way of the execution of the exdrcise
But it does not sound just like a nerve only
In labral tears, not these grade 3 I think these were called you would get this if you stop doing the rotator cuff exercises daily

Try doing the active therapy start g with everything from the back and all the shoulder rotations. Try to also. See how is it with different motions of the thoracic and even cervical spine where you will also likely benefit from the therapy, look up also smashwerx on YouTube and he has some pretty good answers

Nope...I can do it with a very wide grip on a towel(shower towel) and it is sloppy and the material allows a lot of give. I have terrible mobility in them. I have been doing these the last couple weeks here and there but it never seems to provide relief and im downright terrible at it..so easily discouraged after 2-3 sessions.
 

myosaurus

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I think what you are describing is by far the most common shoulder issue, impingement. There are several things that cause impingement, but it usually starts with strain/injury to the supraspinatus muscle that comes off the back of the shoulder blade and passes through the AC joint. Once this becomes inflamed, it causes impingement in the limited space of the AC joint and causes the biceps tendon, which also passes through the AC joint to impinge also. Supraspinatus impingement causes pain the in rear delt muscle, biceps impingement causes pain in the anterior shoulder. Ultimately the issue that strains/injures the supraspinatus is usually related to weakness or improper firing of the Serratus Anterior muscle. Overly tight pectoral minor and subscapularis is also common. While the diagnosis of impingement is extremely common, especially in weight lifters, the cause and solution is often complex and individual. You need a good doctor (and by doctor I mean physical therapist, they are full doctors) to diagnose exactly what is going on and design therapy and exercises. Issues like this generally develop over many years or decades and can take many months or even years to fully resolve. Often certain muscles and nerve firing patterns have to be retrained. Athletic trainers, chiropractors, exercise physiologists, and other types of practitioners will do little for you.

This seem like the most logical answer for you, and the man knows what he's talking about. If you're lacking external rotation on your left side, it's either lats, subscapularis, pec minor(or all of above). You can foam roll those areas(hurts like no other especially subscap), followed by passive stretch of external rotation position, followed by actual external rotation with band or cable(L-flye with elbow tucked on your side). You'll need to strength teres minor.
 

Knight9

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Does anyone think I partially or completely tore my biceps tendon where it could be fucked up up towards the armpit?
 

muscle96ss

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Does anyone think I partially or completely tore my biceps tendon where it could be fucked up up towards the armpit?

I'm curious, why are you thinking biceps? You talked about pain in your scapula, feeling instability under weight, etc..., which suggest other things. Of important note, the biceps tendon attaches to the labrum. So, I am not saying that the biceps tendon may not be involved in all the damage, but I would not think that it is the primary issue. My initial thought is that it may not even be a surgical issue if it isn't the labrum(even a partial tear in the rotator in many cases would not require surgery).
 

Knight9

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I'm curious, why are you thinking biceps? You talked about pain in your scapula, feeling instability under weight, etc..., which suggest other things. Of important note, the biceps tendon attaches to the labrum. So, I am not saying that the biceps tendon may not be involved in all the damage, but I would not think that it is the primary issue. My initial thought is that it may not even be a surgical issue if it isn't the labrum(even a partial tear in the rotator in many cases would not require surgery).
I just started feeling around in my upper inner arm and armpit and I'm not sure if I'm just naturally fatter in this area...or something is amiss.
Nothing overly obvious but when I flex my right bicep and externally rotate my shoulder it just sits and feels different. My left side has always been less developed and I cant externally rotate and open up the same...but it just seems like theres more soft flesh in my upper inner arm. I dont seem to feel bunched up fibers though.
 

airman

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A lot of what you described happened to me in the fall of 2017. For a while, felt like I had a knot in my scapula on my left side. Went for massages which would help, but it was constantly there. A few months later woke up in excruciating pain, my left arm pins and needles. Couldn't workout upper body for a couple months, after a couple months started lifting again, and had no feeling in my left arm. It's like I never lifted before, had no control over my left side. I could barely push a 20lb dumbbell on an incline press.

Got an MRI and it confirmed herniated discs in my neck. C4 and C7 I believe. Huge atrophy on my left side, tricep and pec disappeared. Kept working out and over a few months I went from 20lbs dumbbells back to 100lbs plus. A couple years later, most of my strength is back, (although I doubt I will ever bench 4 plates again, in fact, I now avoid barbell presses), there is still a slight difference between left and right (pec, arm), and left arm is still limiting me as it is weaker than the right. Having a herniated disc, is almost like being paralyzed, I don't feel my left tricep 100%. When I get pumped, I don't really feel the pump, even though it fires that mind muscle connection is not completely there.

As far as what you can do, is start lifting as soon as it doesn't hurt. Will help keep the muscle. As far as surgery, met with a neurologist, he did some nerve tests and told me that since I was functional, didn't feel pain anymore, no one would even consider surgery on me (which is probably a good thing). I was really depressed when it happened to me, but just told myself that if I have to press 20lb dumbbells, then that's what I will do. Really focused on form and trying to squeeze the most out of everything (even though I didn't really feel it). Slowly made improvements.

Not saying this is exactly what you have, but in case you do, it sucks but you can get over it. Over time the nerves adapt and your body will find a different pathway to fire those muscles. Just have to keep pushing. I thought it was all over for me, but last year managed to place 2nd at Nationals, my best placing ever, so with time you can definitely overcome it.
 

Kaladryn

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Biceps tendon is definitely probably involved. Either the long head, which passes through the AC joint and attaches to basically the backside of the scapula, or the short head which attaches near the labrum. Subscapularis or pec minor injury is possible as well. Just find a good PT, chances are it will fairly easy to diagnose without imagining, and if you do need imaging, they will know.

Physical Therapists are the most underused resource in bodybuilding.
 

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Perhaps and ustable AC joint due to the snaps and crackles. You might just need to release your scapula. Smashwerx on Youtube or IG has many videos for shoulder health. I am currently working through the same symptoms and making progress. Give the vids a look and try some of the methods. Won't hurt. Also look up Bob and Brad physical therapists on Youtube. They have a good video on how to set up pillows so you can side sleep without hurting your shoulder.
 

Matsuo Munefusa

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You need a MRI @Knight9

Sounds like it could be subscap tear, which often goes undiagnosed...particular the part about having trouble bringing your arm back over your head (without assistance of your other arm occasionally needed)

You can live with all sorts of tears and weaknesses and tightness in the shoulder girdle....problem is you won't have good functional mobility but other muscles can "take over" if ones are having problems. The shoulder is so complex.
 

brutus69

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may be a rhomboid tear. i started with pain in back by my scapula....long story short i pushed it, and eventually it tore, inflamed around a nerve and all my push muscles on my right side ended up paralyzed. literally pec, triceps, delt.....all useless. and pain shooting down my arm and ring/pinky fingers....took months of therapy. still today my right side is a little weaker than my left.
 

Knight9

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Still dealing with this...
It's more comfortable but I seem to still have weakness in my left tricep and a very light ache daily that reminds me its there. Slightly atrophied too. Also my neck still aches a bit near the left trap.

I've been back in the gym a few times but strength is a bit down since I've only trained 4x since March 24. The left side in pressing is clearly a bit weaker as well.

Still waiting for travel to be safer to go get an MRI in Georgia which is several states away.
 

zee-man

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Let's rewind about three weeks. I was feeling an ache in my left scapular area so I decided to get to the gym(even though I had been avoiding going to it as often with the recent outbreak). So I go to the gym and do some pulldowns to pump the area full of blood and stretch it out. My training partner shows up and wants to do chest so I oblige and we start warming up on dumbbell incline. I only do incline work...I have probably only flat benched a dozen times or less in the last decade or more. Aside from that, I do a flat press machine if anything.

DB Inclines....warmed up with sets of 45,55 and 70. Jumped to 100, 120 or 130...all good and feeling good. I did two sets of 150s for 7-8 reps each and then moved onto other movements. Full disclosure my left shoulder has had something minorly wonky with it for years. It's hard to describe but it will crackle(not crack, but crackle) sometimes when I take my shirt off...it's hard to externally rotate..and it feels less stable under heavy weight. Also...when i scratch my back or pick at something and use a corner of a wall or entertainment center to push my elbow back so my hand can reach further behind me...SOMETIMES...especially the day of or after a pressing day it can be hard to get back rotated frontwards and back over/infront of my head. Sometimes I literally have to help it with my other hand.

I felt pretty good about the training session as I hadn't pressed 150s in likley 6-8 months. I go home and eat and shower and eventually sleep. I wake up in the middle of the night and my shoulder/chest tie in area is in a lot of discomfort. I feel like it could be the onset of DOMS in the tie-in but my shoulder feels like its inflamed and I would have to take it easy a few days. FOUR days of pain and discomfort. Somehow I ended up going back to the gym and got some blood flowing and it felt fine...for the time being. Several hours later it had returned although not quite as bad at first. These initial times for several days it felt like I had maybe torn something in my rear delt...it was painful but it would depend how I layed on the bed. I couldn't sleep on my right side..because my left shoulder would sulk down and be in pain...and no way I could sleep on my left side. On my stomach, pain would usually feel like it was at the front of my shoulder..but on my back it would feel like it was my rear delt. Then my neck and trap started to ache/hurt...then my left arm would feel weak...my tricep would ache(the long head)...the claw would spasm at times. My inner elbow would hurt and I would feel a 'pulsating' sensation in the meaty part of my forearm near my elbow if it was at a 90 degree angle. My elbow...forearm...and wrist would seem to crack more often. I would have tingling in my fingertips at times and my overall arm just felt like it was generally week and slightly unstable. Occasionally I could pinpoint sharp pain where my pectoral and underarm meet. No bruising or swelling anywhere ever through all of this.
It was 17-18 days of borderline misery and extreme annoyance/discomfort and the last 48 hrs it has seemed to tone down a bit but it still there to a less varying dergree...except in small waves which is usually alleviated by sleep. Other things that would help during this time was hot showers, standing up(not sitting or laying), and oddly enough..the last couple days taking a pre workout has alleviate the dull aches and pains I was feeling. It makes no sense to me how that has happened.

So started as a scapula ache...
Trained and turned into a Delt/pec tie in problem that progressed to triceps, trap, neck, down the arm..tingly fingers issue. Id say for 18 days I was at a 75-80% discomfort level and now I'm in the 25-30% range.

Please contribute with your knowledge fellas. What is going on?
Hi Knight. You described how you started your workout and I didn't see anything along the lines of activation exercises or active (not static) stretching. Most likely you've pissed off the smaller supporting muscles in your shoulder / upper back because you went in and pushed yourself, as well as sound like you have limited range of motion in your shoulder due to at least tight lats.

I'm not a doctor, or physical therapist, but I have seen the latter and have experienced some of the issues you are describing. Ive had a bit of tingling down my arms but I wont assume its to the same level as you describe.

What I can say is that adding in exercises to 1) activate those smaller muscles, and 2) open up my shoulder joint has allowed me to lift without pain for the past several months. If you workout out at a gym where there are powerlifters, you'll see the types of warm-ups they do. Bodybuilders don't, or a lot don't, and its a poor decision. I saw you did pull downs as a warm up but your dominant muscles will always be primary in any movement, so unless you target your supporting muscles directly, they won't auto fire, especially if your body is already compensating incorrectly for issues.


My sincere advice is to 1) rest and work on active stretching (dont push it while healing). A PT might be able to help, otherwise find one of those serious powerlifters (not sure how hardcore your gym is), or check out squat University on Instagram. Once you're better, work on rolling out your lats and shoulders post-workout and include activation exercises pre-workout before you do any primary movements.
 

Reload

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MRI with arthrogram is going to provide you and your ortho doc the most info.
I had both shoulders repaired in 2018. It was a long rough year into early 2019
but I returned to the gym immediately after each and recovered quickly.
If you can repair it w/o going under the knife then my hats off to you.
 

Knight9

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Diagnosis...had a handful of mri's..
And btw screw mri's...laying in place (especially in some sort of pain) is fine for a few minutes but after 20-30min can be excuciating.
I spent over 4.5 hrs on a table Thursday and another hour today..(doing shoulder/neck/triceps and knees) - some because im not right and others because I had the luxury of doing preventative requested mris..

Here is my diagnosis...
*Left shoulder:
40% 6mm supraspinatus tear
Slap tear labrum(complete)
Tendinitis and tenonosis bicep tendon
Previously suspected avn is actually subchondral cyst
Impingement

*Left triceps and right triceps good

*Right shoulder
20% supra tear
Normal labrum and bicep tendon
Impingment

Neck mri not back yet...
 

benchmstr

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I have that shit all the time!

I hook my tens unit up to it on blast and go to sleep..just let the unit go all day and night and get as much blood flow as possible.

the next day it is so sore I think I’m going to pass out..then it’s fine.

I did the above for years and eventually just had them rebuild my shoulder...100% now
 

gotgame

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Diagnosis...had a handful of mri's..
And btw screw mri's...laying in place (especially in some sort of pain) is fine for a few minutes but after 20-30min can be excuciating.
I spent over 4.5 hrs on a table Thursday and another hour today..(doing shoulder/neck/triceps and knees) - some because im not right and others because I had the luxury of doing preventative requested mris..

Here is my diagnosis...
*Left shoulder:
40% 6mm supraspinatus tear
Slap tear labrum(complete)
Tendinitis and tenonosis bicep tendon
Previously suspected avn is actually subchondral cyst
Impingement

*Left triceps and right triceps good

*Right shoulder
20% supra tear
Normal labrum and bicep tendon
Impingment

Neck mri not back yet...

Did they say where the supra tears where?? Articular, bursal? Footprint/myotend junction?

Given that they are partial thickness tears they MIGHT be amenable to other forms of treatment but it also sorta depends how messed up the tendons are in general. My other forms of treatment i mean rest, PRP, things that may increase tendon healing but it depends on a few factors. But if your just gonna keep injuring them nothing u do is gonna help.

The slap tear is gonna be fun to deal with...your biceps is just gonna keep on pulling on it that that isnt gonna heal...

In general assuming you do no invasive treatments id refrain from doing exercise movements which narrow your outlet so nothing which ABducts your humerus past like 80 degrees and no overhead movements ofcourse. Keep that in mind if you bench elbows flared. Since they are calling impingement once you start narrowing that outlet your gonna be effing up ur tendons bit by bit until you have a bigger issue.

As for your slap year.... your long head of biceps is gonna keep on pulling on that. So in my opinion you have to take the pressure off that. thats kinda tough but if it were my shoulder id try to limit positions that are actively pulling on it moreso then others ( i.e incline dumbell curls ). Id try shifting some of the force to the elbow and keep pressure off the shoulder. So id do more preacher bench work, hammer curls etc.
 

Kaladryn

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I have similar shoulder issues, you will have three major components to your success in dealing with them. The biggest and most difficult is going to be retraining and rebalancing your scapular musculature: basically, your shoulder blades have to operate correctly to prevent impingement, impingement is probably what is causing you the most actual symptoms. This probably involves 'reprogramming' your subscapularis and other rotators over months and even years of therapy, and it's something you will probably have to continue permanently. The next component is going to be figuring out how to get the results you want in the weight room without causing more problems with the shoulders, if you don't address this, anything you do, therapy or surgery, will just return. And the final and easiest component is surgical intervention, if appropriate. A shoulder cleanup where they trim scar tissue and remove stuff that is causing issues can be a big help, although often disappointing because the other two factors above are not fully addressed.
 

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