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  1. #1
    Registered User JAGJAG's Avatar
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    Lifting after a rotator cuff tear

    I tore my rotator cuff last August and had to stop working out. I had only been working out maybe 6 months or so but had been making some great gains and really felt stronger than at any time in my life. Now I am back to square one. I go to physical therapy 2 times a week to work on flexiblitiy for my shoulder and have asked my therapist about lifting and gotten a no from him. (judging from appearances, none of the therapists lifts) My question is this, have any of you had a torn rotator cuff and if so how long did you wait to return to the weight room? I have dropped 12lbs in the last 6 months and feel like a weakling and really need to work out if for nothing else the mental gain it gives me. Thanks
    Last edited by JAGJAG; 02-17-2009 at 11:09 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Xtcme's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JAGJAG View Post
    I tore my rotator cuff last August and had to stop working out. I had only been working out maybe 6 months or so but had been making some great gains and really felt stronger than at any time in my life. Now I am back to square one. I go to physical therapy 2 times a week to work on flexiblitiy for my shoulder and have asked my therapist about lifting and gotten a no from him. (judging from appearances, none of the therapists lifts) My question is this, have any of you had a torn rotator cuff and if so how long did you wait to return to the weight room? I have dropped 12lbs in the last 6 months and feel like a weakling and really need to work out if for nothing else the mental gain it gives me. Thanks
    That kind of injury is very huge when it comes to lifting, Every exercise uses that in one way or other .(excluding legs) I would work with 5 pound dumbbells and start doing arm raises, I tore mine 20 years ago. Just able to raise 25 pounds now with right arm. And kick up the leg exercises!
    "People will start Lifting For tons of reasons, But stop for only one"
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  3. #3
    Back at it! Capt_Lou's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JAGJAG View Post
    I tore my rotator cuff last August and had to stop working out. I had only been working out maybe 6 months or so but had been making some great gains and really felt stronger than at any time in my life. Now I am back to square one. I go to physical therapy 2 times a week to work on flexiblitiy for my shoulder and have asked my therapist about lifting and gotten a no from him. (judging from appearances, none of the therapists lifts) My question is this, have any of you had a torn rotator cuff and if so how long did you wait to return to the weight room? I have dropped 12lbs in the last 6 months and feel like a weakling and really need to work out if for nothing else the mental gain it gives me. Thanks
    I think this is something that only your doctor can tell you. If he thinks your ready start slow under the supervision of your PT.
    Thee Log http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=155283593

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  4. #4
    Registered User plmb1's Avatar
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    Smile

    Originally Posted by JAGJAG View Post
    I tore my rotator cuff last August and had to stop working out. I had only been working out maybe 6 months or so but had been making some great gains and really felt stronger than at any time in my life. Now I am back to square one. I go to physical therapy 2 times a week to work on flexiblitiy for my shoulder and have asked my therapist about lifting and gotten a no from him. (judging from appearances, none of the therapists lifts) My question is this, have any of you had a torn rotator cuff and if so how long did you wait to return to the weight room? I have dropped 12lbs in the last 6 months and feel like a weakling and really need to work out if for nothing else the mental gain it gives me. Thanks
    If you had only been working out 6 months or so then why such a hurry to train after not training all those years. Be smart and give it plenty of time to heal or you may really regret it later (as in the rest of your life) as far as training goes. I have had two shoulder surgeries. the first one I needed. The second one was because of me being stupid and going back to training to soon as you are thinking of doing.........And by the way, you do use your shoulders when working legs if you do squats. Stay away from free weights all together other than rehab work. If you want to do something in the gym now........do machine work for legs and cardio..........be smart and good luck.
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  5. #5
    The One & Only OTL! Old-Time-Lifter's Avatar
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    It has been about 5 years for me and I'm finally feeling like it's all clear.
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  6. #6
    "Snip it Doc,snip it hard LyingSac's Avatar
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    sorry dude

    i'm not going to tell you what you want to hear.......just therapy it out......good time to up your cardio......
    Land of Honalee
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  7. #7
    Registered User joed's Avatar
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    All the guys and LyingSac ain't lyin'. Your PT is working with you and knows your current condition; no means no. Once your rehab is finished you'll be stronger and making gains like crazy. Hang in there and don't let enthusiasm or boredom overrule your common sense.
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  8. #8
    Registered User gbg's Avatar
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    Listen to your Dr. and let the injury heal or your future in lifting can go from a continued progression to major pain in the ass.

    Look at the long run.
    Being a real lifter is not about a number, or a medal, or somebody else telling you that you are a real lifter. It is about commitment to the iron and strength of purpose.
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  9. #9
    Registered User erod13's Avatar
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    In May of 08 I got operated on for a rotator and laberal tear, and had a bone spur filed down. I have been lifting consistently now for about 5 weeks now, strength is coming back for all pressing movements. The only issue I have is that I cannot extend my arm comfortably on the bar whem doing squats. Take your time and start slow.
    Ed
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    Loose Weight? Put less in one hole than what comes out the other hole
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  10. #10
    Registered User JAGJAG's Avatar
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    ...I hadn't said I was currently working out, just wanted to see if anyone had a similar experience and if so how long they were down and out. I won't be lifting until I get the all clear from the Doctor. Thanks for the replys
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  11. #11
    Registered User beachguy498's Avatar
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    Mine has been torn for years, probably needs a good cleaning out too. I work through minor pain, but give it a rest when I have to. Deltoid exercises are impossible at times. I drop the weight down and do more reps just to keep it moving. I get a good massage once a month which does help quite a bit. I found a lady who is licensed and knows shoulder injuries.

    I did get a formal diagnosis about 10 years ago with the MRI. I still have the films in the closet. My orthopedic doctor says that I can live with it if the pain is manageable.

    BG
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    Swim

    My MRI confirmed that I torn my rotator cuff. Doc gave me a choice: 1. Surgery/therapy 2. Swim

    Yes swim. I joined the local YMCA morning old farts early morning lap swimming session. First day a pinful slow 2 laps. 90 days later one mile every morning. Meanwhile I kept up my lower body weight routine. I am 110% healed and heading back into competition.

    F the knife.

    Baldie
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    Tore both my right and left RCs in the last three years. Healed them both with natural supps like USP's Super Cissus, 3 caps 2X ED, Omega 3s 2 gms ED (careful I did not say fish oil)and Celedrin as much as you can get. In each case I could raise my arms again in weeks, began lifting in less than 2 months and lifting heavy weights within just a couple more. In each case I got back to very competitive lifts in less than 1 year.
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    I tore both supraspinatus tendons from the bone. One in my left in 2005 and the other in my right in 2006. Had to have them surgically reattached on separate occasions. Each time I had to start over from square one but it was worth it.

    I tried everything before the surgery including ice, heat, medications, massage, acupuncture, stretching, RC strengthening exercises, REST...You name it - I tried. I wanted to get back into lifting in the worse way. Surgery was my last resort but it worked. My shoulders are 100 % now.

    OP....ALL RC tears are not created equal. Some respond to more holistic methods and others need more aggressive approaches all depending on the severity and location of the tear. I believe in starting from the least aggressive to the most aggressive. Surgery being the most and rest being the least. Of course only you and your doctor can determine the best course of action for your UNIQUE circumstance. I hope you find an answer.

    Plenty of sound advice in this thread. Good stuff folks!
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  15. #15
    ɹəsn pəɹəʇsıƃəɹun CaptChip40's Avatar
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    Had surgery in September 08 after PT did not help. Took time off after surgery, did mostly cardio and legs since everything else was out of the question.
    I responded really well to the PT. Doc gave ok to lift 10-15 pounds end of OCt and of course I pushed it and did a more and more stopping at the first sign of any pain.
    ROM is almost back to normal still get stiffness now and then. But last night was able to get 235 on the bench press with no pain I am phscyed to get back to where I was before the injury.
    Like other said, everyone is different, took me about 5 months after the knife to get back to pre-injury levels.
    Good Luck
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  16. #16
    Registered User RDFinders's Avatar
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    sorry to hear about your tear. i had one many years back when i first started training. i was out 8 weeks and still wasn't able to train fully probably for about 1 year. everything would cause it to flare up. bad news - rotator cuff injuries are persistent and just like a woman, they will tell you when you have F$%Ked up. take it slow, very slow once you have been cleared by your physical therapist. i still have issues when benching. i have to warm my shoulders up on the elipitcal first. then do my rehab exercises. then i get to lift.
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  17. #17
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    I had a minor tear in my rotator cuff.

    I never had surgery on it.

    Often when I would lift with it (non bb) I would get a sharp pinching pain.

    It took about 8 months for that 2 stop and about 16 month before I could lift weights again.

    I still am carefull not to push it.

    I would rather break a bone than tear a ligament!!!!!!

    Had torn ACL MCL surgery.. that SUCKED!!!
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  18. #18
    Potestas Mod Iceman1800's Avatar
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    Did you get it repaired or just rehab it? I had a full tear and surgery in july 2007 and was back lifting full by january of 2008
    Masters Nationals. Las Vegas 2014. It starts now.

    I didn't just wake up one day and decide to get stronger. I wake up every day and decide to get stronger.

    I don't train to beat my competition, I train so they don't beat me.

    268# on Feb 1, 2014
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  19. #19
    Lean Bulking 67fastback's Avatar
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    Without surgery full repair is unlikely, however that does not mean surgery is the best option.

    My surgery was 30 years ago. It's never 100%. I was doing lat pull-downs and I let the bar up a little too fast, and could hear the tearing (like a chicken leg being pulled apart) - this was last weekend.

    I am 3000% better since I've been doing weights. Shoulders are good and stable. Never like new and that rotator cuff never heals itself.
    New trainer July 2014
    Working hard on my macros and dialing in the diet

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    Registered User gyrofoil's Avatar
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    Rotator Cuff Tare

    Can you rub the back of your neck with your bad arm over
    each shoulder if so your mended but take it easy.
    I work heavy construction, fell tore my cuff.
    Did MRI, they wanted to operate to repair, ai said no
    and let it heal on it's own. I still work construction and lift
    Go easy and take care. gyrofoil
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    Originally Posted by 67fastback View Post
    Without surgery full repair is unlikely, however that does not mean surgery is the best option.

    My surgery was 30 years ago. It's never 100%. I was doing lat pull-downs and I let the bar up a little too fast, and could hear the tearing (like a chicken leg being pulled apart) - this was last weekend.

    I am 3000% better since I've been doing weights. Shoulders are good and stable. Never like new and that rotator cuff never heals itself.
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    1st Dan Chito-Ryu tonester's Avatar
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    How did you tear it? From working out? Do you work at a desk job?

    Impingement and scapular dysfunction are usually the culprits here. If so, you have to deal with these issues first or you will always reach a weight ceiling and re-injure.

    After my rehab (partial thickness tear of the supraspinatus) I started in on bodyweight progressions to get all the stabilizers strengthened before going back to weights. It's amazing how much difference a stable scapular structure makes. These become difficult or even painful without that stability http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YidzZW74T2M

    Here are some research starters

    http://www.t-nation.com/article/perf...and_shrugs&cr=

    http://www.t-nation.com/article/perf...s_part_iii&cr= the links to parts 1 and 2 are at the top of the article.
    Last edited by tonester; 02-23-2009 at 03:45 AM.
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    I messed mine up about a year and a half ago. Did $3500.00 of PT and they said it was as good as it would get without going under the knife. Went out and bought a used bowflex 'gasp' for about 1/3 of the cost of a new one. I started doing shoulder exercises once a week for a month with very light resistance and slowly built up resistance over the next 3 months and then started doing it twice a week. After 6 months it was much better then they said it would be and it cost about 1/10 of what the PT did. I guess a bowflex is good for something after all???????? Do the PT and get out of it what you can. When the Dr. lets you start lifting again start out slow and don't push it to hard and you should be ok.

    P.S I don't lift any where near what some of these guys lift so maybe that's why I'm still doing ok with my shoulder?
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    hi folks!
    first of all I'm sorry for my bad english

    I have a shoulder pain for a while. I went to doctor and he wanted to me take an MRI.
    My MRI result is:

    "Partial tear at insertion localization of supraspinatus tendon"

    I think that means "my rotator cuff have a tear"

    Doctor gave me exercises and he said "stop lifting" to me. I'm very upset. what do I do? anyone have experience and suggestion about it?
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    Registered User Macar's Avatar
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    I had 2 surgeries on my shoulder last one was rotator cuff tear labia tear bone spurs and a good cleaning. Rotator cuff tears don't repair themselves unless you go under the knife. Had mine in August and going to pt now. The shoulder is the worst joint in the human body to screw with. I haven't worked out since the beginning of June and I don't plan on working out for at least another 2 months. A shoulder will never be the same after a surgery. Range of motion is the first to go. Strength does come back in time but if a shoulder injury can last a lifetime if you don't take time to make it heal completely
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    This reminds me to strengthen my rotator. There's a "bulletproof your rotator" sticky. I read on the boards that everyone should be working on rotator strengthening and I was doing it but blew it off. Not blaming the OP for that -- just thought I'd post because until I read it on the boards I would have never thought to include some rotator strengthening and I bet 80% of the newbies don't strengthen it directly.

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    Tore mine about 5 years ago and stopped working out. The only exercise which gave me a lot of pain was incline bench. Flat bench was completely unaffected. I have just started working out again and it has flared back up after a few weeks. There are only a few things you can do for sure:

    1) Don't do exercises which aggravate it. (From experience, it will only get worse. Use machines or different angles if they don't hurt.)
    2) Work on slowly strengthening the rotator muscles with very light weight. (rehab)
    3) LOTS of ice. It feels much better with anti-inflammatories like olive oil also.

    When I stopped working out, and started the rehab and ice, the pain was gone to the point I thought it was healed which took about three months. But truth is, if it is torn, it will never heal. There is not enough blood circulation next to the bone to heal those muscles and the tendon. Surgery is not always an option either, especially if you've "worked through" the pain. The tendon could have retracted into the shoulder making a surgical repair impossible. Surgery also doesn't always fix the issue. Ask any MLB pitcher who's had it done. They're never the same again. I'm not a doctor but this is what I've been told by medical professionals.
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    I tore mine and some other stuff in my right shoulder 3 yrs ago . today I can only bench about 150 for a few reps shoulder press db with 20 lbs cant press with bar...it sucks
    It seems there's always something. Tryin' to bring a good man down. I have no fear of falling. But I hate hitting the ground ...
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    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it took me almost two years to get decent at the gym after a slap lesion and torn cuff surgery. I still don't have full range but strength is back.
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    I ripped my shoulder labrum May 2013. After looking at the MRI the doc said I needed surgery if I wanted it back to 100% then sandbagged like crazy about the odds of 100% healing. Long story short I focused on legs for a while, looked up the PT exercises and did them religiously and kept the weights light and didn't do things that made my shoulder "pop". Right now (Feb 14) I am finally almost back to full strength and there are times when it doesn't even ache so I think it going to finish healing fine. I have no limits to my range of motion which was my major concern starting out. In May I couldn't put a bowl in my microwave over the stove to give you an idea of where I was at that point.

    That is just my experience and I'm not sure if that helps you or not but I'm sure glad I didn't get it operated on. Everyone is different and you should listen to the docs but get a second opinion.

    Originally Posted by JAGJAG View Post
    I tore my rotator cuff last August and had to stop working out. I had only been working out maybe 6 months or so but had been making some great gains and really felt stronger than at any time in my life. Now I am back to square one. I go to physical therapy 2 times a week to work on flexiblitiy for my shoulder and have asked my therapist about lifting and gotten a no from him. (judging from appearances, none of the therapists lifts) My question is this, have any of you had a torn rotator cuff and if so how long did you wait to return to the weight room? I have dropped 12lbs in the last 6 months and feel like a weakling and really need to work out if for nothing else the mental gain it gives me. Thanks
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