I have a rotary cuff injury.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 21, 2012 3:12 PM GMT
    Hey guys ;)

    So I've been gymming hard again. I have been challenging myself to increase the weights I use each week if it becomes slightly bareable. Since chest/tricep day is my favourate, I tend to put this one to the limits.

    The result is that I've injured my rotary cuff via bench press and inclined dumbell press etc. And this is not the first time.

    I need some advice on ow to avoid these injuries in future since it recurs often enough.

    Just for incase, here is what I usually do in gym:

    Day 1 Chest with triceps
    Day 2 Back with biceps
    Day 3 Shoulders and abs
    Day 4 Legs

    I manage my weights so that I can only fully complete at most 12 reps, but increase the intensity until only 6-8 reps are possible.
  • JockNerd

    Posts: 89

    Aug 21, 2012 4:11 PM GMT
    A rotator cuff injury is not the direct result of the exercises you are doing.

    1. You need to make sure you are stretching properly.
    2. You MUST use perfect form.
    3. You also need to make sure you are doing the exercises that build all the supporting muscles for whatever muscle group you are working on.

    Hope this points you in the right direction.
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    Aug 21, 2012 4:13 PM GMT
    Rotator cuff injuries are extremely common in CrossFit but I don't think it is in regular weight lifting. Do you do a lot of overhead movements or shoulder exercises? I don't see what would be causing after skimming your exercises.
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    Aug 21, 2012 4:23 PM GMT
    I did some reading up on this. Apparently rotary cuff injuries are pretty common in weight lifting due to pushing moments (aka bench press and other similar motions).

    Seems like I need to focus on more strengthening exercises for the cuffs. Also, what I found interesting is the weight ratios necessary between shoulder (upwards pushing motions) and frontal exertion exercises. It's something like 2:3.

    I know now that the problem is with bench press etc. Now I need to try to recover and strengthen the cuff.

    Also, it's not so much that my form is wrong (because Im seeing a personal trainer and we go through and keep a check on this regularly) but rather that I'm just using too heavy weights for what my rotary cuffs can handle.
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    Aug 21, 2012 4:32 PM GMT
    You might want to have it checked out by a doctor. You only have a limited time to repair a tear.
  • wander2340

    Posts: 176

    Aug 21, 2012 5:41 PM GMT
    Continue working out your rotator muscles but with lighter weights. Apparently that helps them to heal faster. And be sure to stretch them a lot to help loosen them up. One stretch that worked well for me is to reach behind my back and them up to my opposite shoulder. Don't pull to hard or you will make things worse. Just go until you feel a small amount of pain and then relax into it for about 30 seconds. You can be good as new with a month or so (or maybe even stronger). That was the advice I received and it worked great!
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    Aug 21, 2012 6:30 PM GMT
    I strained my rotator cuff (teres minor) earlier this year, and it sounds like your diagnosis of the cause, lifting heavier than your supporting muscles can handle, is probably right-on. That's exactly what I did. I did two things that really helped. First, I gave myself a break so that it could heal. This was TORTURE because I really wanted to get back in and start pushing heavy weight again, but taking it easy for a few weeks made a huge difference. Second, I started doing a light weight shoulder warmup every time I work upper body. Hope you're better soon!
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    Aug 21, 2012 7:35 PM GMT
    wander2340 saidContinue working out your rotator muscles but with lighter weights. Apparently that helps them to heal faster. And be sure to stretch them a lot to help loosen them up. One stretch that worked well for me is to reach behind my back and them up to my opposite shoulder. Don't pull to hard or you will make things worse. Just go until you feel a small amount of pain and then relax into it for about 30 seconds. You can be good as new with a month or so (or maybe even stronger). That was the advice I received and it worked great!


    Thanks man. Appreciate the advice. I will definitely do some stretches amd see hiw I can strengthen up those muscles. I thought about streching them before I start but didnt think it would make too much of a difference.

    I guess though they stretch in amycase during the motions of normal routines etc.
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    Aug 21, 2012 7:40 PM GMT
    SF79 saidI strained my rotator cuff (teres minor) earlier this year, and it sounds like your diagnosis of the cause, lifting heavier than your supporting muscles can handle, is probably right-on. That's exactly what I did. I did two things that really helped. First, I gave myself a break so that it could heal. This was TORTURE because I really wanted to get back in and start pushing heavy weight again, but taking it easy for a few weeks made a huge difference. Second, I started doing a light weight shoulder warmup every time I work upper body. Hope you're better soon!


    Great stuff. Taking a break is not what I want to hear, but you are obviously right. So yeah. Big sigh.
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    Aug 21, 2012 7:53 PM GMT
    Dumbbell presses aggravate my shoulders also. I eventually had to eliminate them from my routine because of that. I know that they say dumbbells are better because they activate more stabilizing muscles, but I'd rather not do that exercise and have healthy rotator cuffs than do that exercise and tear my rotator cuff. Some exercises don't agree with certain people's anatomy. A lot of people say that upright rows aggravate their shoulders, but I never had a problem with them. My other piece of advice would be to do rotator cuff exercises before every workout.

  • Aug 21, 2012 7:59 PM GMT
    Sucks, bro...rotator cuff injuries are a bitch! I tore my right cuff a few years ago playing baseball (all the years of wear and tear), but was fortunate to avoid surgery. I rehabbed for a few months and now my cuff feels just as strong as it did before.

    First, you should definitely go see a sports doc (orthopedist), because if you have an actual injury, you might need surgery or need to stop lifting for a while to let the tear heal itself. Even if doctor doesn't recommend surgery (assuming you have an injury), he might recommend 6-8+ weeks of physical therapy (if so, choose a physical therapist that focuses on athletes).

    Second, you should definitely ice the shoulder every day and take an anti-inflammatory (e.g. Aleve). If you go see a sports doc, ask for Flector patches--they're anti-inflammatory patches that you can put right on your shoulder and they last for 8-12 hours.

    Third, you should get cozy with the pulley machine! There are a TON of shoulder-strengthening exercises you can do with the pulley machine, and if you keep the weight low, it's pretty low-intensity so as to avoid more damage to your shoulder.

    Hope that helps! Good luck, bro!
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    Aug 21, 2012 8:03 PM GMT
    Thanks for the advice. Really appreciate it a lot. icon_smile.gif
  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    Aug 23, 2012 4:13 PM GMT
    I tore a muscle in my rotator cuff a couple of years ago. I lost all strength with certain movements. It was determined that the tear was small enough that I would gain the most by physical therapy. Through PT and my continuing to do certain strength training exercises, for muscles around the tear, I have regained all strength and motion. I was told I would have to continue to do these exercises the rest of my life to maintain strength to the torn muscle. You might want to see someone to make sure the tear is small enough not have surgery and be able to recover through physical therapy. Good luck