Shoulder Injury Mystery

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    Apr 26, 2011 9:50 PM GMT
    Ok guys, hope someone can help me with this. I hurt my shoulder about 2 months ago (beginning of March) I woke up with a sharp pain in my shoulder, could feel my heartbeat in it and all that craziness. I felt like I was going to puke my brains out. I had no idea what happened and, as far as I knew, hadn't done anything to injure it. The only thing I could think of was the fact that I had been weight training and training for a triathlon at the same time and maybe I had just overtrained it.

    Naturally, I rested it up. I iced everyday, stopped all training completely and even wore a sling for a good while...no change. It went form the sharp pain I described above to a motion based injury that came pretty much whenever I moved my right arm above the elbow. By the end of March I decided to go see a doctor and got an MRI. My gen. practitioner told me I had a torn tendon (which I thought was a little extreme, but based on the pain I had felt originally I figured it was possible) but also referred me to an ortho.

    The ortho looked at the MRI, told me that a torn tendon was a ridiculous diagnosis and said that some water had built up due to inflammation and that I had probably gotten tendonitis due to overtraining. He prescribed me some steroids for a week and put me on some rehab exercises and told me I should be good in about 3 weeks.

    Fast forward to today...I still can't workout without my shoulder hurting significantly, and I've followed all of the doctors orders fairly precisely. I want to schedule another appointment for next week, but want to go in with a better idea of what might be wrong with me, so I am coming to my RJ guys for some suggestions...where's House when you need him?
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    Apr 26, 2011 11:33 PM GMT
    No shit. No suggestions here from me but tomorrow i'm making a dr's appt.

    I woke up about 2 weeks ago with incredible shoulder pain, mostly right in my shoulder joint and was even more painful when i raised my arm. The pain shot into all my joints on my right arm, elbow, wrist, thumb. I grabbed some A-5-3-5 and it didn't help.

    The pain went down, but it's still here when I raise my shoulder. About 4-5 days ago though it has started in my neck. I can't make any sudden movements, it's really tight, almost feels like i'm about to pull a muscle. I'm really tense though, so not sure if tension is compounding the neck pain.

    Funny you posted this case I was about to ask people too. I have PREP retest and PARE coming up and afraid the shoulder might cause issues. I have been sucking it up and pushing through training, though I did take about a week off when it started.

    Make another appointment. Curious to know what it is for you.
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    Apr 26, 2011 11:39 PM GMT
    Hmmm i am sure DR House is there waiting for your case icon_biggrin.gif
    But really you should go check that
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    Apr 27, 2011 12:15 AM GMT
    Get another MRI done, this time between your shoulder blades at the base of your neck.
    Take that to a GOOD chiropractor.
    It sounds like a pinched nerve...been there.
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    Apr 27, 2011 2:57 AM GMT
    It might be a knot on your shoulder blade on something called a trigger point. I had the same thing happen to me a few months ago. What helped me was a good hour of torture from my massage therapist (deep tissue on that shoulder only) then i went into a hottub to help relax the muscle. Muscle relaxers like robaxicet will help with the immeadiate pain. Hope this helps you cuz the pain i had was so bad i couldnt sleep at night, hope your not going through the same thing.

    hope your shoulder feels better
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    Apr 27, 2011 2:59 AM GMT
    since sept of 09 i have had six surgeries on my left shoulder none took, all were for complete revisions ie replacement of the joint. now my right shoulder was injured in a fall, it is loaded with arthiritis and the fall smashed what was left. My advice get a VERY good ortho man, I have one useless arm and am staring at more cutting. I have changed Dr's HOPEFULLY it will be ok,

    I find that wet heat works well in loosening up a stiff shoulder, if you are prescribed pain meds be carefyl they are terribly addicting.

    Most of all good luck.

    R
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    Apr 27, 2011 3:11 AM GMT
    I was going through something similar, I probably strained my shoulder while doing chest presses and had pain in the back of my should for over 6 months, my doctor recommended an ultrasound instead of an MRI and we found out it was bursitis (he had prescribed a muscle relaxant when I first visited him thinking it was just muscle strain, obviously not the case).

    I had a steroid shot on the 16th, and I've been doing some basic shoulder stretching exercises and putting an ice pack on the area twice a day and I'm already seeing noticeable improvements.

    Get an ultrasound too.
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    Apr 28, 2011 1:53 PM GMT
    I've had an ongoing issue with my right shoulder for quite some time now. I recently took a week off from lifting (something I hadn't done since October/November), but that didn't help at all.

    A friend of mine recommended the following to me: "IYT's" at the start of every workout: with a set of light dumbbells, start each workout with a few sets of lifting them straight in front of you, and then diagonal, and finally to the side - hence "IYT". Doing this, as well as tailoring my shoulder day a little differently to avoid lifts causing problems (no more military presses for a while) has really helped for me.
  • victor8

    Posts: 237

    Apr 28, 2011 2:00 PM GMT
    i've been going through rehab on the right shoulder with my trainer...we went from pressing 50 lb bumbells to just using bands and 10-15 lbs weights...its been a year...we spend about 5 min just warming the shoulder up before doing any exersise at all...i've done accupuncture...laser, chiropractic...its a time thing...but i have to say its 80 % beter than last year..
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    Apr 28, 2011 2:00 PM GMT
    Shoulders are tricky, and vulnerable.

    By now I've learned that once you develop shoulder issues that are serious enough, you'll never really get rid of them, you can just manage them.

    For the OP, the pain in lifting your arm above the shoulder sounds like it could be anything from a pinched nerve, to a torn tendon, to a torn labrum. Make sure to get an opinion from more than 1 doctor.

    Good luck with it anyway. I've had an accident over 2 years ago and a surgery 1.5 years ago and I still can't lift, so settle in for the long haul.
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    May 03, 2011 1:28 PM GMT
    Ortho appointment today. Wish me luck guys! I'll let you know what they say...
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    May 04, 2011 12:07 AM GMT
    cauzaseen saidOrtho appointment today. Wish me luck guys! I'll let you know what they say...


    They will probably give you a cortisone injection, tell you to keep doing your rehab exercises and not do any heavy lifting. Pretty typical for a tendonitis/bursitis type problem.

    It will heal eventually. Just give it rest and more time. Healing is a process, not an event.
  • AlexGuess

    Posts: 364

    May 04, 2011 3:14 AM GMT
    You should visit a Sports Doctor, those really know how to handle this kind of things.
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    May 04, 2011 3:28 AM GMT
    Have your doctor check and verify for Acromioclavicular separation or an AC Separation. I have dealt with this before and have a type 4 which included 6 months of physical therapy. Your description sounds extremely accurate.

    Be wary of this injury as it can return and can, depending on type severity, require surgical intervention. After 3 yrs I have about 95 percent and thats all I'll ever get.

    Good luck!
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    May 04, 2011 8:19 AM GMT
    Well I can't tell you anything without knowing the precise location of the pain and at what point in the range of motion you have pain.

    When I started reading your post it certainly sounds like tendinitis. If you are still having pain then you need to go back to your ortho doctor. You may have waited too long and the tendon has ruptured, requiring your surgery and defacto making your GP right lol.

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    May 04, 2011 9:31 AM GMT
    Had what I thought was shoulder pain from exercising....
    Dr. said..."Oh, just tendonitis".........

    Turned out to be herniated disc in my neck...2nd...3rd? vertebrae.....

    Two months of unrelenting pain....What fixed me up was the cervical collar stretching machine in physical therapy.......Halleluah!!! icon_biggrin.gif
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    May 04, 2011 11:28 AM GMT
    Went to appt yesterday and they are thinking it might be the tendon connecting my humerus to my shoulder, but can't tell if it is torn or just inflammation due to stretching too far.I have to schedule another MRI, with contrast in order to tell. The pain is at the point now where it is keeping me up at night and I am pretty consistently exhausted, this sucks. Any suggestions on the sleep issue while I keep at trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with me? Thanks for all the help and suggestions guys, I really appreciate it!
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    May 04, 2011 11:30 AM GMT
    Vicodins?
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    May 04, 2011 2:27 PM GMT
    cauzaseen saidWent to appt yesterday and they are thinking it might be the tendon connecting my humerus to my shoulder, but can't tell if it is torn or just inflammation due to stretching too far.I have to schedule another MRI, with contrast in order to tell. The pain is at the point now where it is keeping me up at night and I am pretty consistently exhausted, this sucks. Any suggestions on the sleep issue while I keep at trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with me? Thanks for all the help and suggestions guys, I really appreciate it!


    You should get a shoulder immobilizer and try to sleep with it on. It should stabilize your shoulder and keep it from pulling downward (due to gravity). But don't keep it on all the time because you don't know exactly what is going on.

    Go for that MRI soon!

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    May 05, 2011 7:46 PM GMT
    sorry to be the bearer of bad news...the symptoms you describe strongly suggest a rotator cuff tear...the orthopod should be able to diagnose the problem rather easily...of course, any of the above opinions may be correct but I strongly doubt it...happily, it can be repaired...sadly, it requires surgical intervention and a fairly lengthy and unpleasant rehab...

    with so many ideas trying to label your problem, I hope you keep us informed!!
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    May 05, 2011 8:35 PM GMT
    Communication saidI was going through something similar, I probably strained my shoulder while doing chest presses and had pain in the back of my should for over 6 months, my doctor recommended an ultrasound instead of an MRI and we found out it was bursitis (he had prescribed a muscle relaxant when I first visited him thinking it was just muscle strain, obviously not the case).

    I had a steroid shot on the 16th, and I've been doing some basic shoulder stretching exercises and putting an ice pack on the area twice a day and I'm already seeing noticeable improvements.

    Get an ultrasound too.



    This^^

    Could be 'BURSITIS' which is an impingement issue with bursa getting pinched because of overdevelopment of the anterior (front) shoulder and chest muscles with an imbalance of opposing weaker posterior (rear delts and upper back) muscles.

    To the OP, please answer the following: Does your exercise routine consist of a fair share of overhead presses, side and front raises, lots of chest exercises (bench presses, etc,...) and perhaps quite a bit of lat pulldowns?
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    May 07, 2011 6:40 PM GMT
    I generally keep everything balanced out. I don't do very many overhead presses. Different lat pull downs are a large part of my back routine; my shoulder routine consists of a lot of lateral and front raises; chest work out is mostly free weights with a fairly even amount of stress throughout the chest. It seems to me that if it was an issue of imbalance wouldn't it have affected both shoulders?
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    May 07, 2011 6:55 PM GMT
    happened to me once about 2 years ago. it took 6-8 months of rest before it was completely heald. no military presses to be done
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    May 07, 2011 7:08 PM GMT
    cauzaseen saidI generally keep everything balanced out. I don't do very many overhead presses. Different lat pull downs are a large part of my back routine; my shoulder routine consists of a lot of lateral and front raises; chest work out is mostly free weights with a fairly even amount of stress throughout the chest. It seems to me that if it was an issue of imbalance wouldn't it have affected both shoulders?


    Not necessarily. My right shoulder gave me problems; left was well behaved.
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    May 07, 2011 7:12 PM GMT
    Well, my next MRI is Thursday so we'll see what they sau after I get the results. Thanks again for all the help and staying on top of this with me guys.