My Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain is a common and nagging discomfort that many people may suffer at one point in their life. It is the number 1 injury for people who work out, but it can be caused by a number of other factors that occur during your everyday life including improper lifting, repetitive strain and sleeping on your side. For most people it can be minor in nature and with proper rehabilitation, it will heal and go away. For other people it can be acute and require surgery and subsequent long-term rehabilitation.
Rarely do I get shoulder pain, but in September 2011 I experienced slight pain in my shoulder around the deltoid area. I am not sure how it happened but it coincided with the time period when I was not working out much at the gym resulting in muscle atrophy and susceptibility to injury. Shoulder injuries can happen be it at the gym or during your everyday activities, even to athletes. Anyway, this minor inconvenience forced me to make some adjustments in my weight training workouts – primarily, I was not able to do shoulder presses on the HammerStrength machine, nor with dumbbells. Fortunately, I was able to do all other types of weight training exercises, including shoulder exercises. I was determined to get rid of this pain naturally, without seeing a doctor and without interruption to my workouts. Plus the longer the pain lasted the worse it would get.
I am no doctor nor am I trained in the field of medicine, but then again, the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, the Chinese (to name just a few highly advanced civilizations in the field of medicine) did not have the expensive and big-name medical schools we have today yet they were able to figure out and come up with natural treatments and cures. A lot of it is plain logic and understanding one’s body and just being careful.
Here is my approach to how I got rid of my minor yet nagging shoulder ache situated around my deltoid muscle, as best as I could figure it out.
The first thing I did was to first isolate where the problem pain was originating from. It was around the deltoid area.
Next, I was able to easily figure out which exercises were causing me discomfort at the moment. The way I looked at it, I would cut out those exercises temporarily from my workouts. The pain is there for a reason and you do not what to aggravate or worsen the pain or situation. Also, there was no way that I was going to miss my weight training workouts. Sitting around at home, or wherever, wasn’t going to make the situation any better.
I decided that since any type of overhead shoulder press bothered me, especially a wide-grip shoulder press on the HammerStrength machine. I decided that I would for a couple of weeks not do this exercise. On the other hand, a close-grip shoulder press on a cable or pulley-machine did not affect that area nor cause any pain. So I decided that I would still do the close-grip shoulder press on the cable machine but at a much lower weight . By the third week I had started doing the HammerStrength overhead shoulder exercise but with extremely low weights, I am talking about 25lbs, with low reps and a reduced number of sets. At this resistance I did not feel any pain nor discomfort, which was good. I wanted to build strength and at the same time encourage the healing process. The rest of the exercises that I did for my shoulders, I continued to do at the normal weight since they did not bother me. By still working out I figured that this would build help heal the affected area faster and build strength in the area around the problem where the pain originated.
Simultaneously, I introduced into my workouts additional stretches for the shoulders which I would do in-between sets helping to keep my muscles loose as well as paying attention to exercise form and technique.
Over the next couple of months I would slowly increase the weight on the HammerStrength shoulder press machine and any other shoulder press machines that I used. I timed this by gauging the progress in the healing process. As I felt I was getting and feeling better I would slowly increase the weights, reps and sets to the point I am now. This process took me about 3 – 4 months. The shoulder pain is totally gone now and it has not reappeared. Part of this is also due to the fact that I have continued to train that area and keep doing the extra stretches that I now do to keep that area loose. It’s important to stretch during and after a workout.
This healing process may sound like a long time and it is, plus in the interim I had yard work and other work around the house to do which didn’t make the situation better. By determining the nature of the pain, adjusting my workouts, paying attention to technique and being patient such nagging little injuries can be self-cured and also, prevented from getting worse. Of course, if you suffer a severe shoulder injury, the advice of a doctor or specialist should be sought.
I have given you an example of how I deal with minor aches and pains without the use of doctors or pain medication while still continuing with my workouts without making the situation worse. In my opinion, preventing injuries has a lot to do with exercise selection and form in performing certain exercises. This article represents my opionions about how I deal with minor injuries and discomfort.
Article by: Peter Kudlacz of popularfitness.com