One of the top 3, if not THE top injury to be found in any weights area of a gym, is a shoulder impingement
The most common of these would have to be shoulder impingement syndrome.
If you’ve ever felt pain in your shoulder when pressing overhead, you may very well suffer from shoulder impingement syndrome.
Lifters often get such an injury, and then ignore it thinking it’ll go away, or do exercises, which exacerbate the problem further. Bad move slick.
Shoulder Impingement Symptoms
- Aching in the shoulder which can radiate down the arm
- Sharp acute pain on sudden overhead movements
- Difficulty sleeping due to a dull ache on the affected side
It took me 5 trips to the sports physio therapy and about 9 months of correcting my form until the pain was completely gone. Needless to say, it was a complete pain in the proverbial.
My own shoulder impingement syndrome story
I myself, have suffered an impingement in the past. It was not pretty-Having let the pain go on for too long, I suffered severe inflammation, which continued for months.
How I did the damage to my shoulder
I remember being half way through my 3rd set of incline-dumb bell bench-presses when I felt a sharp ‘jolt’ of pain through my left shoulder. I rubbed it a little, and then continued working out as if nothing had happened.
It was of course, a lot more serious than what I had first thought. What had led me to the pain was years and years of incorrect form.
Managing shoulder impingement syndrome
As I found out, the best approach to managing the pain associated with the rotator cuff tendinitis was to treat the condition initially, then find the cause of the problem and manage that.
- Technique improvement (the most important here!)
- Remedial massage
- Anti inflammatory medications
- Applied heat to the region every 20mins for 2-3 hours.
- Corrective exercises to reduce the load on the traps (physio consultation needed here).
- Alternative therapies (such as fire cupping).
Depending on the severity of the damage done, technique improvement is the best way to prevent such an injury from happening again.
The key piece of advice I was given was to completely take the traps out of the movement on every exercise, from shoulder-press right up to chin-ups and bench-press. You’d be surprised how much you use your traps to lift weight on all sorts of exercises.
A book by Mike Westerdal recently came out called ‘Fix My Shoulder Pain’.
Disclaimer: The material contained on this page is intended as a guide only and does not constitute advice or treatment. For further information on shoulder impingement syndrome, please see your qualified health professional.