EstimatedEst. Read Time: 4 minutes
SHOULDER PAIN – THE WORKOUT CRUSHER

shoulder pain trainingOne of the fastest ways to find yourself out of the gym and on the shelf is with an injury that just makes it flat out impossible to train.  Sure, we’ve all probably tried to train around an injury before…only to make it worse and wind up costing ourselves even more days in the long run. Sometimes the stubbornness (or stupidity depending on how you look at it!) can work in your favor…with your achy joint feeling better and better with each subsequent workout.  Other times…it’s quite the opposite. You feel pain, you work through it and get your workout in…and then can’t move the next day.

Perhaps the most common joint that is susceptible to these kind of extreme highs and lows is the shoulder. Why is that you ask?  Well…by its very design, the shoulder is one of the most mobile but unstable joints in the body.  That tradeoff of stability for mobility is like a reenactment of the Civil War with North battling South for control.  The key to understanding whether or not to push it or give it a rest in these cases comes down to the following key points.

Question 1 – Does it hurt when you move it?

When answering the first question…what you’re looking for is to see whether you’re dealing with just instability or some kind of actual muscle tissue or joint problem.  If you answered that you have pain….proceed to question 2.  If you answered no to the first question….consult a PT about receiving an evaluation looking for potential hypermobility.

Question 2 – Does it hurt if someone else moves it for you?

The second question will reveal a lot, especially depending on how you answered the first question.  Let’s say you answered yes to the first question….well, the second is going to tell you most likely if the problem is muscle related or joint related.  If your shoulder hurts when you move your shoulder it can either be attributed to the muscles that are working being in distress during the movement….or the joint itself being compressed or strained in some way during the movement.

By removing the muscle contribution from the equation (by having someone else move the arm for you while you rest it) now you’re trying to rule out the joint surfaces as the sole cause of pain.  If it hurts when your arm is moved by someone else then you’ve now confirmed that (with the muscles not involved) the joint surfaces are contributing to the pain and you might need to have an arthrogram or MRI to check for impingement issues, bone spurs, etc.

If it didn’t hurt when the arm was passively moved by someone else, you could comfortably look back to the muscles (rotator cuff, biceps tendon, etc) as the inflammatory suspect. In this case, the usual treatment is a few days away from the gym….or just avoiding the aggravating movement, ice after workouts and some anti-inflammatories.

Question 3 – Is it Weak and painful?  Or Weak and Painless?

Finally…If the pain doesn’t seem to subside and significant weakness sets in…then you’ve got to ask yourself one final question.  The first is…is there pain AND weakness or just weakness?  If you’re looking at a potential rotator cuff tear the presence of pain would indicate a partial tear (due to the fibers that are still intact being asked to hold on for dear life pretty much) while the absence of pain would ironically usually indicate a complete tear (no pain nerve endings intact to elicit the pain).

So am I advising you to become your own doctor or physical therapist every time your shoulder aches?  No.

But it does help to have a bit of an understanding of what you might want to be looking for as a potential cause, should your shoulder ever start to get in the way of effective training.  Knowing how to troubleshoot the cause, while not curing the issue all the time, may at least help you to avoid doing something that will only hurt you more in the long run.  And that folks, is where potential missed months of training become just missed workouts or exercises.  More like tapping the brakes instead of slamming your foot on them on your road to new muscle growth.

Stay Strong,

Jeff

 

If you’re looking for the best workout program that not only doesn’t create or aggravate shoulder problems but in fact helps to prevent them (through it’s carefully selected exercises by former NY Mets physical therapist Jeff Cavaliere) then you should look into the AthLEAN-X Training System. 90 days to a better body.  90 days to a healthier body.

 

 

 

 

Popular & Trending
stop doing face pulls like this facepull mistake
1
How To Do Face Pulls
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
September 9th, 2019
Face pulls are one of the best corrective exercises to help offset poor posture and shoulder dysfunction.  They help strengthen the chronically weak...
how to identify your body fat percentage with images for men
2
Body Fat Percentage
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
May 1st, 2013
There are many ways to measure body fat percentage; some wildly expensive and most inaccurate. It's time to give you an alternative method that...
2 reasons your biceps aren't growing and 3 ways to fix it
3
Why Your Biceps Aren’t Growing
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
August 22nd, 2019
Have you ever felt that no matter how much you trained your biceps you’re left saying… “My Biceps STILL Aren’t Growing?” I believe I know...
The PERFECT Abs Workout
4
The PERFECT Abs Workout
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
July 31st, 2019
We’ll be following my ‘Six Pack Progression’ sequence as we choose each of the beginner and advanced ab exercises for each abdominal movement...
incline bench press avoid mistakes for upper chest
5
How To Incline Bench Press Correctly
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
June 21st, 2019
The Incline Bench Press is one of the best upper chest exercises there is, but there's one major problem preventing us from getting the maximum...
best dumbbell exercises for chest
6
The BEST Dumbbell Exercises for CHEST
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
October 9th, 2019
Today I’m going to share my favorite chest exercises… but there’s a catch. We can only use dumbbells! I’ll show you what to do whether you...
how to construct a complete chest workout
7
The PERFECT Chest Workout
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
July 25th, 2019
The classic theory of "Upper, Middle, and Lower" chest exercises is a good start, but, it's not enough!! The solution to this problem is to not...
best dumbbell exercises for shoulders
8
BEST Dumbbell Exercises for SHOULDERS
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
October 5th, 2019
You want to build big shoulders and you only have access to a few pairs of dumbbells. What do you do? I’m going to show you what to do whether...
how to construct a complete biceps workout
9
The PERFECT Biceps Workout
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
July 15th, 2019
The classic theories of “just do curls” or “it’s not necessary to train your biceps directly” are both flat out wrong! Why? Because it’s...
Home Chest Exercises UPPER, MID, LOWER CHEST!!
10
Home Chest Exercises
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
March 25th, 2020
Being able to effectively hit your upper, mid and lower chest from home with NO equipment may seem impossible. But, I’m here to show you it’s...