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  1. #1
    www.bestmastersfitness.co jwshumate's Avatar
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    Anyone With Shoulder Arthritis?

    Learned recently that I have osteoarthritis in my left shoulder, probably from an old (non-lifting) injury many years ago. Still managing to lift pretty well, but the issue is likely to progress.

    Anyone out there dealing with this? Any special approach that's worked for you?
    John Shumate
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    Bootless Errand ironwill2008's Avatar
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    I was diagnosed with RA in my shoulders back in '88, and for the past several years, it's been creeping into my wrists and hands. For the past 20 years since I found bodybuilding, I just continue to do as much as I can do, any way I can do it. For me, the mantra has been, "Use it or lose it."
    No brain, no gain.

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    Registered User fitcop74's Avatar
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    Ive had surgery on both shoulders, the first was in 2001. I ripped the ligaments where the collar bone attaches to the shoulder. Then 2 years ago I had a torn rotator cuff in the right shoulder. Guess what, now I have a tear in the left. It hurts sometimes, but I push through, and the training has actually helped the rotator cuff. Im sure your taking anti-inflammatory already. Maybe a stronger prescription anti- inflammatory will help to keep it in check. Good luck..
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    3 on 1 off / 365 jcpeyton's Avatar
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    I have Bursitis in my left shoulder. This came on the heals of a herniated disc C6/C7 that I rehabbed over the course of the past year. Much of my rehab was in fact shoulder work. So it was a surprise and then again I suppose it wasn't because of all of the work. I've found through my own trial and error as well as talking with a couple of others with the same issue that simply changing a pressing angle for example can be the difference between pain/weakness and no pain/tolerable pain and more strength. I also take prescription strength ibuprofen when I'm flared up as well as icing the area after working out.
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    Registered User jimcelia's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jwshumate View Post
    Learned recently that I have osteoarthritis in my left shoulder, probably from an old (non-lifting) injury many years ago. Still managing to lift pretty well, but the issue is likely to progress.

    Anyone out there dealing with this? Any special approach that's worked for you?
    John, I was just diagnosed with it yesterday. I went thinking I had a rotator cuff, bicep tendon, impingement or some bone spurs. I was surprised by the x-ray that showed total bone on bone contact in my left shoulder. He said there wasn't really anything he could do to fix it, short of replacing the ball and socket. Said I could keep lifting (but much lighter) and avoid overhead presses and bench presses. Said I can still do Bis and Tris and try and stretch it to keep as much mobility as possible. Can take Motrin and Tylenol for the pain and ice it and use moist heat. Is this about what you were told as well?
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    Registered User nomad2159's Avatar
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    I've had arthritis in my shoulders for a while and I fond since switching to a 5x5 program its eased up considerably. When I first started I was doing way too much the wrong way and it didn't take long to catch up with me. Now I'm lifting more weight but not for 10 or 15 reps at a time and I did my research on how to lift properly. I still have some pain but its nowhere near what it was and I have more mobility.
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    🅾🅼🅴🅶🅰 🆆🅴🅰🅿🅾🅽 EjnarKolinkar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jwshumate View Post
    Learned recently that I have osteoarthritis in my left shoulder
    Mine is in my right. If it's giving you trouble you could see a physical therapist. I just try and pay attention to how I am feeling, lift as heavy as I can without having any setbacks. I continue to do regular work that was assigned by my DPT to keep the shoulder strong in general.
    The most important aspect of weight training; whether for the athlete, bodybuilder, or average person is to better ones health and ability without injury. - Bill Pearl
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    Registered User jellodirt's Avatar
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    I had it in both shoulders but was able to get rid of it.
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    Registered User RickDA's Avatar
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    Heat worked for my shoulder...

    Originally Posted by jwshumate View Post
    Learned recently that I have osteoarthritis in my left shoulder, probably from an old (non-lifting) injury many years ago. Still managing to lift pretty well, but the issue is likely to progress.

    Anyone out there dealing with this? Any special approach that's worked for you?

    I recently was diagnosed with a mild case of weightlifters shoulder (AC joint), plus bursitis and a popping rotator. My collarbone was in so much pain, i couldn't press anything. Tried to lay off for a few weeks, that didn't work. Tried PT for a few weeks, and that didn't work. Tried topical NSAID, but didn't work much.

    My AC joint was popping reaching for anything and at times with pain.

    Finally, I decided to try sleeping with a heating pad on my shoulder. After about 3 days, the popping went away and so did the pain.

    I now have virtually pain free mobility in my AC Joint.

    Post workout is key...you must keep the inflammation down.

    Ice after every workout would be best, but I don't always have the time.

    I take 600mg of advil if iv'e done a strenuous workout.

    And sleep with a heating pad on my shoulder a couple times a week. I think it must increase the blood flow and somehow that helped me.

    Here is the adjustments I made to my workout:

    -Warm up for a 15min , get your shoulder nice and warm
    -Reduced number of reps - I was super setting every workout which was just more than my shoulder could handle
    -No more overhead barbell - needed to find a shoulder press machine that frankly just didn't hurt when pressing
    -Reduced weight on bench
    -Dips are gone forever....
    -Had to stop incline dumbbell for now

    But, I was able to get back to about 90% and hitting the gym 5 days a week again.

    I'm not 100%, but back in the Gym and feeling great.

    The key is to reduce inflammation!
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    Registered User haynewp's Avatar
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    I have fairly signficant arthritis in my right shoulder and am very limited in what weightlifting I can do. I had surgery about 4 years ago to clean out the pieces of cartilage floating around.

    Voltaren gel is the best anti-inflammatory I have found.
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    Registered User startingat56's Avatar
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    I'm 61 and like my name states I (re)started at 56

    I got back into lifting because my hands were arthritic. AT 56 I could not make a tight fist, and I had trigger finger. It did not take long before it went away. Today there is a storm coming in and i can feel it in my hands, but at 56 my hands would be screaming

    I have OA and RA but not really bad in my shoulders, and I have always dealt with bicep tendonitis and bursitis. I am through that now and pushing harder and making gains

    You have to be cautious about adding weight. Don't be in a hurry. I warm up my shoulders with bands for 30 min

    I can't do front raises or side lateral raises with more than 15 lb DB, upright rows close grip are out of the question, but wide grip with moderate weight (last sets). I'm doing military, arnold and overhead presses no problem and making gains.

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    Registered User Revivalarc's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jellodirt View Post
    I had it in both shoulders but was able to get rid of it.
    How did you get rid of it?
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  13. #13
    joe joewattie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jwshumate View Post
    Learned recently that I have osteoarthritis in my left shoulder, probably from an old (non-lifting) injury many years ago. Still managing to lift pretty well, but the issue is likely to progress.

    Anyone out there dealing with this? Any special approach that's worked for you?
    I had to tap out from lifting about 40 years ago after an accident. I tried coming back a few times but reinjuries always knocked me out after just a few months.

    So now I'm an old man of 75 with arthritis and an inventory of injuries. An injury last year knocked me for a loop. Couldn't even raise my right arm to brush my teeth. X-rays and MRIs showed arthritis, tendon and ligament damage and several torn and severed muscles. Surgeon said surgery wasn't a realistic option. Physical therapy helped and even led me to joining a gym.

    This time I said to myself, "no free weights". I think free weights are superior to weight machines but weight machines help with form, keep you stabilized and reduce mistakes. With free weights a lapse in concentration can result in a messed up lift but if you have injuries it can result in reinjuries.

    So weight machines it was and 15 months later ... no injuries.

    I do a full body workout. In general my first set is light and high rep. If there's no pain and the joints don't sound like popcorn (every day is different) I do a few working sets and move on to the next body part.

    With specificity to my shoulder I looked at the seated shoulder press machine. Two handles connected to one stack of weights. I lifted it with my one good arm. Then I had an idea. With my good arm I took my bad arm and placed on the other handle. I then lifted with my good arm and my bad arm going along for the free ride. It was uncomfortable but after a few weeks I could sense my bad arm was actually doing a little pushing.

    There is another seated shoulder press machine with a separate weight stack for each handle. I put 25 lbs on the good side and "nothing" ("nothing" is about 5 or 10 lbs) on the bad side. That actually worked and, overtime, I found myself adding weight ... to both sides.

    Best of luck to you.
    joe Henry
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    Registered User MoondogSpot's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=jimcelia;1537958131]J Said I could keep lifting (but much lighter) and avoid overhead presses and bench presses. /QUOTE]


    I've got the same diagnosis as you. Did you get any recommendations as to how to target your chest if bench presses should be avoided? Thanks.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    [QUOTE=MoondogSpot;1653538693]
    Originally Posted by jimcelia View Post
    J Said I could keep lifting (but much lighter) and avoid overhead presses and bench presses. /QUOTE]


    I've got the same diagnosis as you. Did you get any recommendations as to how to target your chest if bench presses should be avoided? Thanks.
    use dumbbells that way you can turn your Hands to a position that feels more comfortable on the shoulders. Sometimes chest dips don’t hurt and IMO is a better chest exercise anyway.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Registered User MoondogSpot's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Tommy W.;1653540363]
    Originally Posted by MoondogSpot View Post
    use dumbbells that way you can turn your Hands to a position that feels more comfortable on the shoulders. Sometimes chest dips don’t hurt and IMO is a better chest exercise anyway.
    Makes sense, thanks.
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    Registered User Darkius's Avatar
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    I feel pain where I think my left medial deltoid connects to my upper arm. It can be the liiting factor in some exercises that I would not think even use it.

    I just stop when I feel pain and do other exerises. Just got to find ones that work the target muscle more than the injured area.



    I also do high rep light weight. Failure is not needed. Just go till your pace is forced to slow diwn and you get a burn.
    Last edited by Darkius; 01-02-2022 at 11:04 PM.
    Novice lifter who sticks to the basics 3x per week but likes to theorize about improvements while recovering.
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