CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > In Sickness and In Health > Injuries
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Injuries Chronic & Acute

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-26-2008, 02:58 PM   #1
Bill Ennis
Member Bill Ennis is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Nashua  NH
Posts: 85
Does this Sound like a Shoulder Muscle Imbalance?

Hi Everyone;
I've been doing Crossfit for about 9 months and recently noticed a dull ache behind my left shoulder . It's not pain and most days it barely qualifies as an ache ; more like I'm just aware of it. I've read alot here about imbalances in the various shoulder muscles and wonder if that is what it is.
The ache is located behind my left shoulder about 2 cm above my axilla . I notice it after my workouts. It doesn't radiate and I really don't feel it during my workouts . It may have started after I did some Ring dips when I probably wasn't strong enough about 1 month ago . I've since been just working on holding a support position on the rings for ~ 1 minute.
Moving my arm into different positions doesn't seem to exacerbate it.
I may be making more out of this than it is but if I can do some strengthening excercises , hopefully I can avoid a serious shoulder injury. If this has already been discussed please give me a link to read up on it.
Thanks in advance for any help.
Bill
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2008, 03:24 PM   #2
Steven Low
Member Steven Low is offline
 
Steven Low's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: silver spring  maryland
Posts: 12,221
Re: Does this Sound like a Shoulder Muscle Imbalance?

Sounds like either your external rotators or possibly posterior delt.

See if any of these hurt:

wfs:
http://familydoctor.org/online/famdo...uries/265.html

1. Infraspinatus
2. Teres minor
3. Subscapularis
4. Supraspinatus

Also, try some bent over rows to see if your posterior delt hurts.

If none of these hurt, it might be teres major or possibly lats... but yeah. Let's check that out first.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2008, 07:58 PM   #3
Mary Everett
Member Mary Everett is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Decatur  Georgia
Posts: 7
Re: Does this Sound like a Shoulder Muscle Imbalance?

It could be one of the muscles listed in the previous entry... but if no specific muscle tests reproduce the symptoms, maybe not. How is your posture? It could be something to do with the capsule? Do you sleep on the side that hurts?
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2008, 08:42 AM   #4
Bill Ennis
Member Bill Ennis is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Nashua  NH
Posts: 85
Re: Does this Sound like a Shoulder Muscle Imbalance?

Steven-thank you for your answer .( I was hoping you'd answer ; you've helped me with my elbow problem and seem to be one of the resident shoulder experts here.) Do the excercise numbers in the linked page correspond to the numbered muscles in your post ?
Mary -thanks for responding. I'm going to test the muscles as directed by Steven but it could be a posture problem. I sleep on my back so I don't think that's the problem. What is the capsule you refer to ?
Another post talks about preventatives. I view this "problem" kind of as preventative maintenance-I feel something may not be right and I'm trying to see what I can do to fix it and avoid an overuse injury.
Thanks again for the answers.
Bill
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2008, 12:28 PM   #5
Steven Low
Member Steven Low is offline
 
Steven Low's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: silver spring  maryland
Posts: 12,221
Re: Does this Sound like a Shoulder Muscle Imbalance?

Yeah, the first one (picture) is infraspinatus, etc. That's why I numbered them.

The shoulder capsule is basically all the ligaments and things that surround the head of the humerus that form a "capsule" to grap onto it to keep it in place.

Also, doubt it's a bursa but it could be something deep in there as well. I dunno get back to us on the exercising thing.

(Good that you sleep on your back).
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2008, 01:06 PM   #6
Bill Ennis
Member Bill Ennis is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Nashua  NH
Posts: 85
Re: Does this Sound like a Shoulder Muscle Imbalance?

Hi Steven;
I tried the first exercise and found it almost impossible to do. All the others no problem/no pain using 5 lb dumbell .I was using a bar with 5 lbs on it . It doesn't hurt , I just feel like I have no flexibility or strength. I was wondering if it was my form so here's how I was positioned : I laid on my stomach on a desk with my left shoulder at the edge of the desk. From my shoulder to my elbow was horizontal/parallel with the ground. My elbow was bent at 90 degrees , thumb towards me with the dumbell in my hand , fingers towards the ground . As I try and bring my hand upwards , rotating at the elbow , I can only go to about 45 degrees and then I stop and my chest starts to lift off the desk.
It was very strange; it didn't hurt ; I just had no power to go any further.
Even without the dumbell I still stop around 45 degrees.
Is this the problem ? Is my infraspinatus very weak and my rotator cuff unbalanced ?
Also, should I incorporate these excercises into my warmup to strengthen and balance the muscles? I do the usual CFWU with ring support position instead of dips.
Thanks for your help.
Bill
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2008, 01:38 PM   #7
Bethany McCullough
Member Bethany McCullough is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hilo  HI
Posts: 19
Re: Does this Sound like a Shoulder Muscle Imbalance?

as a former collegiate swimmer with serious shoulder problems and a physical therapist my guess with examining you would be that your external rotators are weak - these very important little muscles tend to get overlooked. I would suggest lying prone on a bench and with your arm at 90-90 (meaning shoulder straight out - elbow bent at 90 degrees) and performing sets of 30 external rotations with no more than 3 pounds - if you are able to do this very easily you aen't isolating the right muscles- make sure you are lying flat on the bench and not using your back muscles - remember the goal here is high rep - low weight - no trying to max out on external rotation- you can also do this exercise with theraband or tubing tied at elbow level to a sturdy piece of equiptment although it can be a little easier to cheat this way
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2008, 02:02 PM   #8
Bill Ennis
Member Bill Ennis is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Nashua  NH
Posts: 85
Re: Does this Sound like a Shoulder Muscle Imbalance?

Bethany;
Thank you for the info. Just so I understand what external rotation is-with me in the position as you described , my hand goes up toward the ceiling while rotating at the elbow. Is that correct ?
I think this was exercise #1 that Steven posted which I couldn't do due to weakness , not pain .
I'll start working those into my warmup-I'll do both L and R since my right side isn't bothering me yet it would be a little preventative maintenance.
Thanks again for all your help . I was a water polo player in college many years ago so maybe my shoulders are a little worn.
Thanks again.
Bill
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2008, 02:28 PM   #9
Steven Low
Member Steven Low is offline
 
Steven Low's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: silver spring  maryland
Posts: 12,221
Re: Does this Sound like a Shoulder Muscle Imbalance?

Try this one. Works the same muscle (infraspinatus) rotating from the bottom position to the top (wfs):

http://www.netfit.co.uk/fitness/exer...uban-press.htm

If you're having problems with this you *might* have a shoulder imbalance. A weak infraspinatus (and/or teres minor) generally indicates that the subscapularis is probably short and tight.

More importantly here, how is your posture and scapular retraction? The weak infraspinatus may just be part of the cause as a tight chest area from rounded shoulders (well, weak retractions and external rotators go hand in hand) can cause pain in the anterior or lateral part of the shoulder from swelling and impingement and things get tight and sticky.


IF weak and long infraspinatus/tight strong subscap is culprit:

Go into this thread (wfs) and look at pictures #3 and #4 and my subsequent analysis. Basically if you have poor internal rotation (aka short and tight subscap) your won't be able to get much behind the back mobility with the arm. For example, you can see his left arm is pretty mobile in pic#3 behind the back whereas his right arm sucks in the stretch in pic#4:

http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=26091

The stretch you want to do if this is the case is grab a towel/rope and use the upper hand to pull the lower hand straight up your back. You should feel the stretch behind the shoulder around the scapular area.

Also, you want to work on your scapular retraction to strengthen the area. Since you had problems it seems with that lying down one (I don't really like that one) try to do high rep cuban presses kind of like what Bethany was saying about light weights high reps.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2008, 08:59 AM   #10
Bill Ennis
Member Bill Ennis is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Nashua  NH
Posts: 85
Re: Does this Sound like a Shoulder Muscle Imbalance?

Hello Again Everyone ;
Sorry it has taken so long to reply here , I've been working . I've been reading a fair amount and especially many of the posts you've written ,Steven , along with the links.
The bottom line of all this is that it is hard to diagnose exactly what is going on in my shoulder(s) without examining me . Nonetheless, it couldn't hurt to have a preventative maintenance program for my shoulders . I think Crossfit stresses and strenghtens our shoulders. But it may do so within each shoulder , asymetrically , and it seems in my case my infraspinatus may be under worked ( maybe). So what I've begun to do is high rep , low weight cuban rotations/presses each day as a healthy shoulder program .
I will also look into my posture/scapular position as you suggested , Steven .
Hopefully the shoulder strengthening excercises will protect my shoulders and maybe eliminate some of the ache.
Thanks again to all who answered my questions.
Bill
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Muscular imbalance due to shoulder injury Simon Austin Injuries 3 08-13-2007 09:01 PM
Pistols- Can they lead to muscle imbalance? Travis Hall Exercises 21 07-01-2007 03:54 AM
Muscle imbalance help... Will Roth Fitness 1 01-31-2007 07:18 PM
Muscle Imbalance - front to back Sandy Castle Fitness 13 04-12-2006 12:41 AM
Muscle imbalance Phillip C. Boyd Fitness 8 10-20-2005 09:07 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:31 AM.


CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.