Any advice for shoulder pain?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 27, 2014 12:46 PM GMT
    I have been experiencing pain in the back of my left shoulder for probably three straight weeks now. It's driving me crazy because I have pretty much stopped lifting in order to let it heal, but it doesn't seem to be improving. Only hurts when I lift my arm to the side or do a push-up motion.

    Does anyone know if a rotator cuff injury can present these symptoms? Also, any suggestions about what to do? (should I be stretching it or resting it, etc.?) ....ugh I feel like a senior citizen. icon_confused.gif
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    May 27, 2014 2:55 PM GMT
    Go see a doctor about your shoulder problem. Any advice you get from this site about your pain is speculation and will not solve your problem.
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    May 27, 2014 4:27 PM GMT
    Thanks, but that conclusion seems only speculative. icon_wink.gif
    I may have to go the doctor, but soliciting non-professional advice is cheaper and only mildly dangerous in this case...
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    May 27, 2014 4:35 PM GMT
    I think I got a rotator cuff injury before and it was a huge pain, literally and figuratively. I didn't go to the doctor until I gave it a chance to heal in its own. I drastically cut back on shoulder exercises and started doing very low weight stretches and exercises. It took a long time but I have way more motion that doesn't trigger pain than I did in the past so I still those kinds of exercises as part of my warm up routine.
  • FitGwynedd

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    May 27, 2014 4:50 PM GMT
    Sounds like tendinitis. As a bus driver, its something we deal with frequently, it comes from holding something (like a steering wheel) for 10 hours or more a day. I've been out of work for a week now and its gone away even though im still lifting.
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    May 27, 2014 5:47 PM GMT
    I had it earlier this year, it has gradually improved but caused a bit of a plateau in my progress icon_sad.gif
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    May 27, 2014 5:52 PM GMT
    Tendinitis sounds right. It sounds like you've allowed it to heal for a while now though. I would suggest stretching and warming up your shoulders before and after ANY upper body exercise. Start lifting some light weights and move up as you feel comfortable.
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    May 27, 2014 6:02 PM GMT
    field123 saidThanks, but that conclusion seems only speculative. icon_wink.gif
    I may have to go the doctor, but soliciting non-professional advice is cheaper and only mildly dangerous in this case...

    But might waste your time on dead-end recommendations. Shoulder pain can be due to so many things: rotator cuff, spurs, bursitis, muscles, arthritis, etc. And each can have totally different solutions. Meanwhile you're in pain and the condition may ultimately take longer to cure because of delayed treatment.
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    May 27, 2014 6:30 PM GMT
    thanks everybody! these are some helpful comments.
  • gymguy81

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    May 27, 2014 6:38 PM GMT
    do you apply ice to it and have you talked to a sports doctor ?
  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    May 27, 2014 6:59 PM GMT
    You might want to try taking 600mg of Ibuprofen 3 times a day, with food, ice it 3-4 times a day, rest and see if that helps. If not see someone.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    May 27, 2014 8:45 PM GMT
    Could be the tiny (pencil eraser sized) muscles that hold down your shoulder blades. Happens to a lot of people who work bent over even a little and you get similar pains up and down your arm. Sometimes numbness in your fingers.

    Go to the doc. If they're good, they'll probably send you to a PT. Try to get to an athletic PT, not the one at the hospital as those guys mostly deal with people who are healing from surgeries and such. Treating people who are used to discomfort and have muscle mass is different.

    Makes a WORLD of difference.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 27, 2014 8:46 PM GMT
    I get this from time to time. Right now, for example. My advice is to avoid getting old. If that doesn't work, the only thing that helps me is rest. I tend to be too impatient to wait long enough before getting back to the gym, and it gets injured all over again. For me, at least two weeks of rest is necessary.
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    May 27, 2014 9:47 PM GMT
    I've been icing, resting, and taking ibuprofen. I was hoping to avoid seeing a doc or PT (never seen one before), but I will probably have to soon.
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    May 27, 2014 9:48 PM GMT
    i play water polo and yes, have had very similar pain in my right shoulder (my shooting arm). i had trouble sleeping on my side or on my back because the pressure was too uncomfortable for a few weeks. so i went to see my doctor who gave me a referral to a sports physiotherapist.

    it was definitely the rotator cuff, and over-training in the pool and in the weight room. there are a lot of little muscles in the socket, and under the shoulder blade.

    which muscles are specifically affecting you can only be told by the physiotherapist. the stretches and exercises they give you will be specific to those muscles and any injury or scar tissue inflammation that is irritating it.

    they combined therapeutic massage and very light rubber "theraband" exercises for me. it took a couple of months, but it worked! no more pain, and full range of motion again icon_smile.gif

    so go make an appointment!
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    May 27, 2014 10:24 PM GMT
    im a kinesiology major not a PT so i dont know if this would help.. but based on that description.. when your doing a push up your scapula retracts and there is anterior translation of the GH joint.. and when you move your arm up from the side that is probably pain caused by superior rotation (abduction + flexion) in the sagittal plane which also causes your GH joint to translate anteriorly slightly... im assuming it hurts to bring your arm up at your side and then after a certain point of pain it gets easier to go higher? i would try to stretch your levator traps and rhomboids, and strengthen lower traps and serratus anterior. loll im rusty from school so i have no clue if i'm remembering it right.. xP so go to a doctor/PT haha!! icon_lol.gif
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    May 28, 2014 12:42 AM GMT
    field123 saidI have been experiencing pain in the back of my left shoulder for probably three straight weeks now. It's driving me crazy because I have pretty much stopped lifting in order to let it heal, but it doesn't seem to be improving. Only hurts when I lift my arm to the side or do a push-up motion.

    Does anyone know if a rotator cuff injury can present these symptoms? Also, any suggestions about what to do? (should I be stretching it or resting it, etc.?) ....ugh I feel like a senior citizen. icon_confused.gif


    This has been going on for a while. My suggestion is to see a doctor, preferably one with a knowledge of sports injuries. It could be anything from tendonitis to arthritis. You won't know until a competent doctor orders x-rays, etc. Once a diagnosis is made, you can set up a treatment plan.
  • FRE0

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    May 28, 2014 2:37 AM GMT
    It certainly wouldn't hurt to see a doctor, but don't expect too much. Their recommendations don't always help. Sometimes experimentation is necessary to find out what helps.
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    May 28, 2014 3:32 AM GMT
    field123 saidI've been icing, resting, and taking ibuprofen. I was hoping to avoid seeing a doc or PT (never seen one before), but I will probably have to soon.

    Forget the PT. You should see a PC (Pastry Chef). He can tell you if you've been icing properly. Maybe put the cake on a turntable.
  • DarkWoods

    Posts: 91

    May 28, 2014 5:07 AM GMT
    Take about 2500+mg of Fish Oil daily, source it from the Pacific
    Eat a lot of food with Tumeric
    Take 400mg of Magnesium before bed and rest for 8 hours each night.
    Drink a ton of water.

    Get well soon
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    May 28, 2014 5:20 AM GMT
    field123 saidI've been icing, resting, and taking ibuprofen. I was hoping to avoid seeing a doc or PT (never seen one before), but I will probably have to soon.

    Do not over ice, you will actually make it worse. You only ice the first 24 hours, there after heat. You should go see a chiropractor, if a doctor doesn't find a tear or something internal.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    May 28, 2014 7:13 AM GMT
    It could be anything. But if it's been three weeks, I'd see the doctor. I had recurring pain in my shoulder for months. It was a dull pain. Not very strong, but persistent. I went in to see my doctor. He wanted to do an MRI, but my insurance would only allow a CAT scan. The CAT scan was indeterminate, so I was prescribed with some physical therapy. After several weeks and still no major progress, my insurance allowed the MRI. Turned out I had a bone spur in my shoulder from repetitive motions from working out. I was angry because I didn't start working out to cause harm to my body, I started working out to prevent harm to my body.

    In any case, they couldn't diagnose the issue thoroughly without an MRI. I hope yours doesn't take as long to diagnose, but you won't find one in this forum. Even my doctor and physical therapist could not predict I had a bone spur.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2014 6:52 PM GMT
    Thanks again to everyone! I will report back if I find a solution. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2014 8:29 PM GMT
    AMoonHawk said
    field123 saidI've been icing, resting, and taking ibuprofen. I was hoping to avoid seeing a doc or PT (never seen one before), but I will probably have to soon.

    Do not over ice, you will actually make it worse. You only ice the first 24 hours, thereafter heat. You should go see a chiropractor, if a doctor doesn't find a tear or something internal.

    Heat actually works best on my own shoulder, where I've had bone spurs. Also heat on my lower back, where I have degenerative disc disease, for which I tend to avoid ice.

    But as you say, going from cold to heat is often prescribed for other conditions But I stress: PRESCRIBED by a professional, after a physical exam and testing as needed to diagnose the true cause. NOT arrived at through trial & error with the many possible therapeutic approaches. Trying the wrong thing may actually be additionally harmful.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4864

    May 28, 2014 11:21 PM GMT
    EricLA saidIt could be anything. But if it's been three weeks, I'd see the doctor. I had recurring pain in my shoulder for months. It was a dull pain. Not very strong, but persistent. I went in to see my doctor. He wanted to do an MRI, but my insurance would only allow a CAT scan. The CAT scan was indeterminate, so I was prescribed with some physical therapy. After several weeks and still no major progress, my insurance allowed the MRI. Turned out I had a bone spur in my shoulder from repetitive motions from working out. I was angry because I didn't start working out to cause harm to my body, I started working out to prevent harm to my body.

    In any case, they couldn't diagnose the issue thoroughly without an MRI. I hope yours doesn't take as long to diagnose, but you won't find one in this forum. Even my doctor and physical therapist could not predict I had a bone spur.


    It would have cost the insurance company less if it had permitted the MRI to start with. The attempts of insurance companies to save money sometimes delay or prevent proper treatment. On the other hand, without control, sometimes money is wasted on unnecessary tests and treatments. It can be hard to know what to do.