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Old 05-15-2011, 10:58 PM   #1
Antun Karlovac
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Yet another shoulder thread

Hi all,

For the last few weeks, I've had some tightness/soreness in my left shoulder. I don't want to risk making things a lot worse, without better understanding what is going on. Because of the symptoms, I'm not really sure if it's something serious or just a bit of a lack of flexibility from growing stronger.

Symptoms
  • When I lie on my back with my arms in a sort of "hands-up" position (palms up, with my elbows on the floor above the level of my shoulders, and my forearms pointing upwards) I feel it the most. My left shoulder feels like is not flexible enough for me to lie in that position for very long. The pain seems to come from somewhere inside. It's like a dull ache. It goes away if I lower my elbows to the level of my shoulders. The reason this is really noticeable for me is that I used to sleep comfortably in this position. Now, I can't in this position! My left shoulder aches, and I have to keep adjusting it.
  • Walking around during the day, I don't feel a thing. What does trigger it is when I'm reaching with that arm in an awkward position. e.g. if I reach round from the driving seat in the car to move something in the back seat.
  • Doing most WODs, I don't really notice _much_ ache, but there is a bit. e.g. doing handstand walks this morning was mostly fine. There was a little soreness, but nothing severe. If I press a light weight (I've been avoiding heavy weights) I feel virtually nothing, until it's locked overhead, and then I feel the tightness/soreness a little when it's locked overhead and swaying a little. Only when locked overhead.
  • When I did a pullup WOD, I started to notice the tightness/soreness a lot when locked-out at the bottom of the pullup.
  • I can't seem to "get to" the soreness by massaging the shoulder with my hand. I've tried pushing in every direction, but can't seem to find any knots.
What I've been doing so far:
  • Stretching, mostly, and avoiding overly-heavy overhead lifts.
  • I've been trying to stretch the shoulder by doing the fingers-locked stretch from the Samson stretch throughout the day.
  • I've been doing the skin-the-cat stretch on rings/bar.
  • I've been doing dislocations with a broomstick.
  • I confess, I have not iced it yet. I haven't been motivated to since I can't really pinpoint a muscular area that the ice could get to.

Better/worse:
It's really hard to say if it's improving or not. It's been at least 2 weeks since I started really taking notice of it, and trying to stretch more.

I'm trying to determine if I should keep stretching it more, or avoid stretching. Also, should I continue to avoid any heavy lifts (since the act of pressing doesn't seem to make it sore) or should I stay off them? Should I be off any upper-body stuff?

Thanks for any help,

Antun
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