I have an "ouchie" and could use advice...

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    Jul 14, 2011 12:51 PM GMT
    So I have a shoulder problem that my doctor has been unable to diagnose via X-ray. I went through 6 weeks of physical therapy and the problem did not resolve. My next step is an MRI (ugh) and possible surgery. The problem with my shoulder is that I cannot really do horizontal push-ups, pull-ups of any kind, or bench presses. I can do vertical (e.g. stand against a wall) push-ups. I have moved to resistance bands with a much lower level of discomfort. Any thoughts on routines that can help me get back to shape? My upper body is not as strong as it was.
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    Jul 14, 2011 1:00 PM GMT
    Sounds a bit like a rotator cuff injury of some kind

    Complete rest is usually enough to assist, but you don't mention how you got the injury in the first place.. so the severity of the injury is hard to guage

    If it's a major tear, you may need surgery to correct the problem - a MRI will be the least of your worries compared to surgery - these injuries can take months to years to recover from.

    I really wish you the best of luck with your diagnosis.
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    Jul 14, 2011 1:25 PM GMT
    I strayed away from calling it an "injury" because I am not sure I did anything to injure it. My doc and my PT both think I did not tear anything and they have both concluded it is not rotator cuff because of the mobility I have. What they think is the issue is that the humerus is poking into the should socket and pinching/causing discomfort but they cannot be sure. Either way, it's a shit sandwich!
  • JHunter

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    Jul 14, 2011 2:04 PM GMT
    Hey bud I am by no means a doctor but I had a similar problem it seems and had surgery to my shoulder about 2 years ago. It was distal clavicular osteolysis. Look it up and see if the symptoms fit. I never had any single trauma that i could pinpoint but it could have added up from work and possible gym injury that overtime became a problem. It hurt for me to do pushups or benchpress but i could do them on a wall too. I'm happy to report that my shoulder is now completely back to normal. Hope this helps.
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    Jul 14, 2011 2:55 PM GMT
    Whatever you do be careful and lay off any activity that aggravates symptoms - it could be many different things as you have a very large amount of muscles and tendons and ligaments and whatnot in there.

    I also had a surgery almost 2 years ago and it's a very long road to recovery, still working on it. Get the MRI, have preferably more than one doc look at it, and figure out what it is. It could be anything from a sprained rotator cuff to a labral tear.
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    Jul 14, 2011 4:04 PM GMT
    JackHoffman saidI strayed away from calling it an "injury" because I am not sure I did anything to injure it. My doc and my PT both think I did not tear anything and they have both concluded it is not rotator cuff because of the mobility I have. What they think is the issue is that the humerus is poking into the should socket and pinching/causing discomfort but they cannot be sure. Either way, it's a shit sandwich!



    It seems you don't have a rotator cuff injury or tear because you can still do some range of motion although it's limited. What i can say regarding your complaints is that you might be having a bursitis....a subacromial bursitis considering that horizontal push-ups causes you pain. Subacromial Bursitis is a constellation of symptoms of an Impingement Syndrome. This is caused by repetitive movements involving the shoulder. Go ahead and have an MRI done.....the worst thing that you don't want to happen is a rotator cuff tear. In the meantime rest your shoulder (from heavy weight lifting), apply alternate cold and warm compress and take some NSAIDS (ie Ibuprofen) which has both an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic effect.
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    Jul 14, 2011 4:09 PM GMT
    I would stop the hand stand pushups immediately! Even though it doesn't cause pain to do them, just getting into that position and falling back out of it is enough to pull something. I think you're much better off grabbing the lightest weight you can find and do your regular workout with that. If a 10lb dumbbell hurts, go down to a 5 or even a 3lb if you have to. If your gym has a pool, get some water weights (they're made of styrofoam) and do a workout with those in the pool. But from my experience, complete rest only makes things worse.
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    Jul 14, 2011 4:18 PM GMT
    this sounds like an impingement.. a simple test to see if you have one or not goes as follows...

    1) If its your right shoulder that hurts... play your Right hand on your LEFT shoulder.

    2) While keeping your hand on the left shoulder, raise your elbow towards your forehead.

    If this hurts.. you've most likely got an impingement.

    Its most likely not rotator cuff, but sorry to hear you've got an injury, shoulders aren't the most fun injury to have, or to rehab.
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    Jul 14, 2011 9:18 PM GMT
    Thanks guys - you are good - my doctor and therapist both think the same, and impingement. A colleague of mine suffered from distal clavicular osteolysis and he had surgery and he's as good as new. What a shit sandwich - I have made it to 43 years old without so much as a broken bone. Ugh... I suppose I am due. Next thing you know, I'll have jury duty... Thanks all!
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    Jul 14, 2011 9:47 PM GMT
    if the doctor wants to send you for an MRI, get the MRI, they can spot things from the scan that no x-ray will pick up on.

    I've had a few MRI's done on my shoulders now and it picked up a deliciously wicked inflammation that the x-ray and even ultrasound didn't find of the bursa and surrounding tendons and ligaments oddly my doctor says the ultrasound should have seen it.. but alas it didn't.

    If your in the US without health insurance.. well.. erm.. ya kinda screwed cause in Australia an MRI is like 700 (covered by medicare) dollars so can only imagine how expensive it is in the US
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    Jul 14, 2011 10:01 PM GMT
    JackHoffman saidSo I have a shoulder problem that my doctor has been unable to diagnose via X-ray. I went through 6 weeks of physical therapy and the problem did not resolve. My next step is an MRI (ugh) and possible surgery. The problem with my shoulder is that I cannot really do horizontal push-ups, pull-ups of any kind, or bench presses. I can do vertical (e.g. stand against a wall) push-ups. I have moved to resistance bands with a much lower level of discomfort. Any thoughts on routines that can help me get back to shape? My upper body is not as strong as it was.

    You may have a "spur" in your shoulder joint. I developed one in my late 30s, due to Army push-ups & pull-ups. It's difficult to see in an X-Ray. An MRI is a good step, no matter what you have. I also had an inflammation of the bursa, which is called bursitis.