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  1. #1
    Registered User DasBooten's Avatar
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    shoulder pain - supraspinatus tendon thinning??

    Hello,
    I've posted on this forum a few months ago in relation to consistent shoulder pain I've been having since the very start of my muscle-building journey (approx seven months in the gym, and some added time I've had to stay out of the gym hoping to recover somewhat from said injury - maybe 1.5 months). the last time I've posted in concern to this I could only speculate as to the problem, but I've recently undergone an MRI scan and the results have shown up thinning of the supraspinatus tendon, which I believe to be the source of the pain I experience when attempting any kind of decline/flat/incline chest presses (including DBs, but the pain is less so). ironically, I don't experience any of said pain when doing shoulder presses, from either the front or from the rear. the MRI report, which I only saw briefly as I was arranging an appointment to discuss it in detail with my GP, also showed up some other issues with the shoulder, mentioning the rotator cuff and the bursa and maybe tendonitis or tendonosis. I can't recall what the report said about these later mentioned issues as when I briefly saw the report, the tendon thinning struck me straight away as the most likely cause of the pain I've been suffering (although I might have been premature to suppose this). I have an appointment scheduled for early next week where I will receive the full report and to discuss my options.

    a little background. I'm a 23 year old male, somewhat of a newcomer when it comes to lifting as I've said above, and I've never had any serious shoulder issues before on either side that warranted intervention. I've had an impingement on both sides early on when I started lifting but this resolved itself quickly after proper rehab exercises were implemented. as far as I can remember, and I am pretty sure, this shoulder pain has been acting up from the beginning so I do not think it was caused by lifting, but most likely aggravated by it. I've been working through the pain for seven months, and have taken time off that I wouldn't have otherwise, hoping the injury might heal, but it is persistent, although lessening to insignificant degrees; but it has come to the point where I can no longer train with the same enthusiasm. also, the pain that I experience outside of the gym is very minimal, this injury only restricts my actions in the gym (the gym which I have grown to love).

    is a thinning supraspinatus tendon most likely to be the source of (unbearable at times) shoulder pain when doing said chest pressing?
    is there anything at all that can be done to rectify this problem? (I understand the cell turnover rate for tendons is very, very slow. and as to whether or not this natural healing process would actually alleviate the issue, I don't know, but I am doubtful)

    anyone have any similar experience, thoughts, advice?
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  2. #2
    Registered User DasBooten's Avatar
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    so I've received the full radiology report today and the results are as follows;

    Indication.

    Possible impingement.

    Findings.
    There is mild thinning of the supraspinatus tendon with lowgrade tendinopathy and very minimal subacromial bursitis.

    The remainder of the rotator cuff is intact. The tendon of long head of biceps is intact.
    Orientation of humeral head and glenoid is satisfactory with no osteochondral defect, joint effusion or loose body.

    There is no acute bony abnormality.
    The AC joint is preserved.

    so the results were not as bad as I had initially expected, but nevertheless still bad.
    my doctor has told me that everything listed above should be reversible, and that it can be put right given enough time (which she said would be a long time) through the right rehabilitation. she has recommended I see a local physical therapist, who happens to have a background in weightlifting, who will be able to put me back on the right track. I plan on arranging to see this therapist in the coming days. whether or not I will be able to train as I have been doing, alongside this rehabilitation, I am not sure as of yet.
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  3. #3
    Registered User backfixer's Avatar
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    Smile Thinning of the supraspinatus, time to look at your problem differently

    Originally Posted by DasBooten View Post
    Hello,
    I've posted on this forum a few months ago in relation to consistent shoulder pain I've been having since the very start of my muscle-building journey (approx seven months in the gym, and some added time I've had to stay out of the gym hoping to recover somewhat from said injury - maybe 1.5 months). the last time I've posted in concern to this I could only speculate as to the problem, but I've recently undergone an MRI scan and the results have shown up thinning of the supraspinatus tendon, which I believe to be the source of the pain I experience when attempting any kind of decline/flat/incline chest presses (including DBs, but the pain is less so). ironically, I don't experience any of said pain when doing shoulder presses, from either the front or from the rear. the MRI report, which I only saw briefly as I was arranging an appointment to discuss it in detail with my GP, also showed up some other issues with the shoulder, mentioning the rotator cuff and the bursa and maybe tendonitis or tendonosis. I can't recall what the report said about these later mentioned issues as when I briefly saw the report, the tendon thinning struck me straight away as the most likely cause of the pain I've been suffering (although I might have been premature to suppose this). I have an appointment scheduled for early next week where I will receive the full report and to discuss my options.

    a little background. I'm a 23 year old male, somewhat of a newcomer when it comes to lifting as I've said above, and I've never had any serious shoulder issues before on either side that warranted intervention. I've had an impingement on both sides early on when I started lifting but this resolved itself quickly after proper rehab exercises were implemented. as far as I can remember, and I am pretty sure, this shoulder pain has been acting up from the beginning so I do not think it was caused by lifting, but most likely aggravated by it. I've been working through the pain for seven months, and have taken time off that I wouldn't have otherwise, hoping the injury might heal, but it is persistent, although lessening to insignificant degrees; but it has come to the point where I can no longer train with the same enthusiasm. also, the pain that I experience outside of the gym is very minimal, this injury only restricts my actions in the gym (the gym which I have grown to love).

    is a thinning supraspinatus tendon most likely to be the source of (unbearable at times) shoulder pain when doing said chest pressing?
    is there anything at all that can be done to rectify this problem? (I understand the cell turnover rate for tendons is very, very slow. and as to whether or not this natural healing process would actually alleviate the issue, I don't know, but I am doubtful)

    anyone have any similar experience, thoughts, advice?
    You need to look at this differently. From your description, you have shoulder impingement syndrome. This is caused by the shoulder leaning forward and the supraspinatus tendon grinding in its groove. The question you need to ask is what is everybody missing and why you?

    In the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain, it discusses shoulder pain and you will be surprised that problems in the pelvis and your body style have quite a bit to do with your problem. I am assuming you are built asymmetrically and if your feet turn out, the shoulders will turn in and create impingement. The myofascia surrounding the core muscles will tighten and pull the shoulders forward creating the impingement.

    Unfortunately, most physicians are trained to look at where you hurt, but will not look outside the symptom box and look at why, since they are not trained to do that (note everyone is looking at your shoulder including the mri). Find a good sports chiropractor who understands myofascial release or Active Release Techniques. Also, when you lift, you should have foot orthotics in your shoes which helps level the pelvis.

    You can find Cheating Mother Nature on Amazon.com as well as other well known booksellers.
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  4. #4
    Registered User DasBooten's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by backfixer View Post
    You need to look at this differently. From your description, you have shoulder impingement syndrome. This is caused by the shoulder leaning forward and the supraspinatus tendon grinding in its groove. The question you need to ask is what is everybody missing and why you?

    In the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain, it discusses shoulder pain and you will be surprised that problems in the pelvis and your body style have quite a bit to do with your problem. I am assuming you are built asymmetrically and if your feet turn out, the shoulders will turn in and create impingement. The myofascia surrounding the core muscles will tighten and pull the shoulders forward creating the impingement.

    Unfortunately, most physicians are trained to look at where you hurt, but will not look outside the symptom box and look at why, since they are not trained to do that (note everyone is looking at your shoulder including the mri). Find a good sports chiropractor who understands myofascial release or Active Release Techniques. Also, when you lift, you should have foot orthotics in your shoes which helps level the pelvis.

    You can find Cheating Mother Nature on Amazon.com as well as other well known booksellers.

    thanks for the reply.
    my feet do turn slighyly outwards, and my shoulders do appear to be facing slightly inwards so you might be on to something! I just might follow up your advice as I am running out of options bar surgery. once again thanks for the thorough response.

    an update on my condition. I have been doing rehab with oversight from the sports therapist for two months now, with another month to go. rehab has focused on deep massage, acupuncture, stretching and correcting postural imbalances. while the pain has lessened and my posture has improved, it still catches at certain angles, while the shoulder also feels somewhat unstable at angles. my joints themselves are quite small and upon review of my MRI scan I can see my acromion is seemingly closer than average to the humeral head signalling a possible genetic cause of my impingement issues. I've come to love lifting so the dilemma I'm more than likely going to face when my rehab time is up, is a choice between limited ROM and exclusion of probably some of the best shoulder/chest exercises due to an inability to navigate pain, or to go the surgical route and see what's going on in the shoulder.
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  5. #5
    Registered User DasBooten's Avatar
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    **update**

    so I was going for an ultrasound-guided cortisone shot today to see if that would help but I was advised against doing so as upon a more thorough structural evaluation it seems I have motor issues with my scapula (not strength). this does seem to make sense to me so I will be following up on the recommended physio for a further three months before considering arthroscopic surgery.
    the ultrasound showed up quite significant thinning of the supraspinatus tendon (about half as thick as it should be in one area) which I can only imagine is from consistent impingement issues. I am wondering if this thinning of the tendon is on a par with a partial tear and if the structural abnormalities are corrected will the tendon regenerate somewhat. or is this a tear waiting to happen when lifting weights with a half worn tendon. time will tell
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  6. #6
    Registered User JohnSmeton's Avatar
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    I recommend find an art therapist (active release) I had an mri a few years ago and I thought mine was torn and it was only a pinhole tear. I got art done, do physcial therapy on it every week and it works. Something I believe helped it considerably is the shoulder horn
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    Disclaimer: The above post is my personal opinion and does not represent the official position of any company or entity. It does not constitute medical advice.
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