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  1. #1
    Registered User snowstorm's Avatar
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    Shoulder pain after Bench Press

    During my last visit to the gym my right shoulder started aching while I was bench pressing. I gave myself a break for 3 days but a slight pain still persists. The location of the pain is where the biceps join the shoulder and it is most prominent when I raise my arms to the side. Also, the pain is focussed and at one point.

    I hope this is not tendinitis or some rotator cuff injury. How can I be sure ?
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    Near Life Experience AegisFang's Avatar
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    if you want to continue doing bench dude, you need to bring your elbows down around your sides instead of at a 90 degree to the side. I hope that makes sense. Or dont bring the bar all the way down to your chest. I bet your hear **** like your a pussy if you do that but it is safer on the shoulder joint and rotators. Before you bench do some rotator cuff exercise's which you can find on this site. Just look them up. Personally, I stay away form flat BARBELL bench. I've got a stage 3 impingement in the right shoulder so I don't do it. Hell, my incline is heavier than my barbell press. Incline doesnt bother me. but take your time to warm up your rotators. i start all my upper body days with side lying external rotation, front raises, laterals and rear raises just to make sure my joint is warmed up before i start my main lifts.
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    Originally Posted by snowstorm View Post
    I hope this is not tendinitis or some rotator cuff injury. How can I be sure ?
    If you continue without doing something about it, you'll know. It usually ends in partial thickness tears in one or other of your rotators.

    The advice above is sound. As is go to see a good sports med doc to rule out any postural, impingement, scapular dysfunction etc.

    Then work to correct. Fix now, enjoy later.
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    Originally Posted by AegisFang View Post
    if you want to continue doing bench dude, you need to bring your elbows down around your sides instead of at a 90 degree to the side. I hope that makes sense. Or dont bring the bar all the way down to your chest. I bet your hear **** like your a pussy if you do that but it is safer on the shoulder joint and rotators. Before you bench do some rotator cuff exercise's which you can find on this site. Just look them up. Personally, I stay away form flat BARBELL bench. I've got a stage 3 impingement in the right shoulder so I don't do it. Hell, my incline is heavier than my barbell press. Incline doesnt bother me. but take your time to warm up your rotators. i start all my upper body days with side lying external rotation, front raises, laterals and rear raises just to make sure my joint is warmed up before i start my main lifts.
    I completely agree on the part about keeping your elbows tucked in. I have had chronic shoulder pains for the past 2-3 years. About 6 months ago I changed my benchpress form. I narrowed my grip about an inch on each side, bring the bar down to just below my nipples, and keep my elbows tucked in as close as I can. I can only lift about 80% of what I could with this new form, but the shoulder pain is gone.
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    by the bicep tendon- it could be a simple tendinitis/tendinosis, or it could be impingement (can be fixed by physical therapy- a doctor may give you a cortisone shot to ease inflammation, which COULD fix it if its only an inflammation problem, or it may just make it feel good for a few days and then hurt again, which would be an underlying issue that needs examined)
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    Near Life Experience AegisFang's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AnthonyM24 View Post
    by the bicep tendon- it could be a simple tendinitis/tendinosis, or it could be impingement (can be fixed by physical therapy- a doctor may give you a cortisone shot to ease inflammation, which COULD fix it if its only an inflammation problem, or it may just make it feel good for a few days and then hurt again, which would be an underlying issue that needs examined)
    i think the shot will give him a feeling a false security and hell push it when he feels fine but isnt. He will end up making it worse. imo
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    your supposed to rest for a few days when you get the shot to let it do its job

    i mentioned that it might help, but if there is an underlying issue he doesnt know about, i.e. a tear, then he wont get much benefit
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    When I press, my elbows are indeed at 90 degrees. I will have to fix this. Thanks everyone for the advice.

    Also, how can I be sure as to what exactly is the problem ? The pain is sharp and is noticeable when I do lateral raises (abduction).
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    Originally Posted by snowstorm View Post
    When I press, my elbows are indeed at 90 degrees. I will have to fix this. Thanks everyone for the advice.

    Also, how can I be sure as to what exactly is the problem ? The pain is sharp and is noticeable when I do lateral raises (abduction).
    to be sure... go to the doc
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    Registered User snowstorm's Avatar
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    The pain has disappeared (at least for now) and I think increasing my sleep time really helped. Will be more careful with flat bench press from now on.

    Are Incline Bench Flyes good enough replacement for building chest mass ? I plan not to do the flat bench press for a few weeks.
    Last edited by snowstorm; 11-19-2008 at 02:06 PM.
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    Registered User xcryption's Avatar
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    could be damage caused to the ligaments surrounding your AC joint. just doublecheck where the pain is exactly, its easy to mistake which muscles it 'feels' to be in as the pain usually isnt in the exact spot of where the damage is.

    if struggling to do side laterals pain free and it started from bench press... it sounds like as you bench, the ligaments which stabilize and hold the acromyoclavicular joint in place have been damaged (could be torn/pulled/even partially dislocated).

    i went the physio about a month ago regarding my right shoulder as i have an AC seperation, i have to now goto a specialist to find out more - they couldnt even determine what type of seperation it is - however i literally qualified myself in physiotherapy for the shoulder joint - i did that much research for it (plus im training to be a physio anyways so it was useful research personally)

    think about strengthening your internal muscles n ligaments (when i used to train... if doing the chest... i'd make sure only the chest was doing the work - so i get the most outta it.. when doin bicep curls i'd try to have the mind-muscle connection that made only the biceps do the work... cos i thought i'd help to isolate it and therefore get the most out of my bicep workout.. i then came to the conflusion after lotsa research that i have strengthened all my major muscle groups but due to the mind-muscle connection and attempts at isolation movements - i didnt strengthen the internal ligaments/muscles/rotator cuff stuff etc.

    i rested 2 week, dropped the weights, did a lot more back exercises (opposite to chest - help strengthen the ligaments n muscles opposite the chest (as it was a chest movement which caused the prob in the first place) - just keep in mind all the time 'strengthening the joint not the muscles' etc. you'll find you feel like your performing the movements stronger in a safer way using more of your shoulder etc. i did anyways - cud be placebo but i have no pain in my shoulder now and the petrusion from the clavicle has gone down too, all in about just over a months home-made rehab
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    Its not just you!

    Originally Posted by snowstorm View Post
    During my last visit to the gym my right shoulder started aching while I was bench pressing. I gave myself a break for 3 days but a slight pain still persists. The location of the pain is where the biceps join the shoulder and it is most prominent when I raise my arms to the side. Also, the pain is focussed and at one point.

    I hope this is not tendinitis or some rotator cuff injury. How can I be sure ?
    I experienced this same thing on the exact same spot last week at the gym. The pain is right at the joint of my bicep and left shoulder. The pain isn't as intense as you stated but my shoulder still hurts when I raise it.
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    Because of the risk of shoulder problems and injury, I have totally replaced the bench press with weighted pushups and floor presses. They are much easier on the shoulder joints.
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    Best thing you can do is focus on posture. Hold your shoulders back, retract the scapulas, chest up and out, chin tucked back. Do this all the time. Yes, you will be sore but your body will adapt correctly within a week most of the time.

    1. Drop all pressing movements
    2. Do lots of horizontal pulling (rowing.... except NOT upright rows)
    3. Strengthen ONLY your external rotators... ignore internal rotators
    4. foam roll thoracic spine + mobility work (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-t...pine-mobility/ )
    5. Ice after any exercise/swelling
    6. Band dislocates & wall slides (youtube these)
    7. Lots of massage/tennis balling/etc. from the scapulae to the anterior shoulders.
    8. Stretch chest and lats. A LOT. Use a basketball to roll out your chest, especially the pec minor as well. If you can't get it well use your hands to massage.
    9. Fish oil for anti-inflammatory, joint supps if you need any (sections 4&5 describe these here):
    http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/08/on-tendonitis/

    9. Do nerve glides wfs
    http://www.handhealthresources.com/S.../Exercises.htm
    10. Deep tissue massage to everything in your upper body. And by everything I mean EVERYTHING. Down into the forearms as well.

    11. Correct your posture!!!!!!!

    Here's a good set of vids on scapular mobility and stability:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4Wo095zPnc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YHIV4a81Os

    Also, diesel crew rehab vid is a good one for restrengthening your shoulders once you start getting back into it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0ONHZmsFec

    Here's a good article series about posture as well (Neanderthal No More):
    http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459379
    http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459206
    http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=462481
    http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=472224
    http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=535872


    Most of this stuff is focusing on mobility and improving posture. If stuff is painful, obviously don't bother doing it.

    Impingement you'll want to start doing RC work + fix posture + shoulder mobility as it starts to imrpove.
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    Smile

    When you chest press (flat, incline, decline) avoid lowering the weight all the way down. I try to stop where my arms are at a 90 degree angle (not referring to having your arms move away from your side or close to the side). Also maintain this form with shoulder presses. Lowering the weight past this point can mess your shoulder up.
    I also have shoulder issues and keeping your arms close to your sides is the way to go...even on push ups.
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