Two shoulder tears, should I continue? Two shoulder tears, should I continue?

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Thread: Two shoulder tears, should I continue?

  1. #1
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    Default Two shoulder tears, should I continue?

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    I'm 30 years old 5'7" weighing 180 lbs. Today I had my uncle, who is an ortho doc, look at my MRI. Turns out I have a torn rotator cuff, right shoulder. I also have a very small labral tear.

    I'm certain this happened in January, though I'm not sure how it happened. The pain started one day when I was stretching/popping my shoulder a few hours after a training session. At the time this occurred In January I had pressed 110lbs for three 5rm sets that same day. For the month of February I did some world traveling and took a break from the novice SS program. Extreme pain set in after I began traveling.

    In April I started the novice program again with ALOT of shoulder pain, and started by pressing the 45 lb bar for 5rm sets of 3. I stuck to the program and reduced all pain by about 90%. Last week I pressed 122lbs 3x5rm for the first time ever not knowing I had these shoulder tears. I no longer have Chronic aches and pains throughout the day, though I still have slight pain when I stretch my right arm across my torso. I've definitely lost a little bit of overall mobility. I also still have slight pain while doing the exercises though not nearly as much as I used to.

    My question is:
    In your opinion should I back off on trying to make gains on the press or continue on and power through to the intermediate program? (Let's just assume I execute the lifts perfectly)

    I've made good gains these past months but I'm worried I could damage the shoulder further. I understand there is a seperate rehab protocol that is often suggested.

    In any case I'm amazed at what I've accomplished despite having the RC tear and Labral tear. I guess the human body can be resilient afterall.

    I'll be seeing a specialist next week to determine what rotator cuff exercises I could implement.. And also to see if I can try to recover 100% without any surgery.

    Thanks for taking the time to read.

    You must have great karma by now with all the help you provide to your readers.

  2. #2
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    Have you considered the fact that since you probably injured your shoulder doing a lot of admittedly very fashionable Mobility Work, that maybe you should just stop doing that, train the press, the bench, and the chin, and see what happens?

  3. #3
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    Let me get this straight: you do the novice program, get a lot stronger, relieve the chronic pain, and now the biggest impairment is mild pain occasionally.....and, you are seeking the services of a specialist to find out specific RTC exercises. Sorry bro, but I think you have already found your answer.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Have you considered the fact that since you probably injured your shoulder doing a lot of admittedly very fashionable Mobility Work, that maybe you should just stop doing that, train the press, the bench, and the chin, and see what happens?
    Thanks for the reply. I've bought and read all of your books, and I am looking forward to reading the new one from Sully.

    But to the point...

    Yes, I have 'considered' the notion that I should just train the press, the bench, and the chin to see what happens. That's why I ask the question--I am considering it. I pressed today. Another reason I ask is because I wanted to see if you designate different rehab protocols for different levels of trainee. You reference 'the rehab protocol' in Mean Ol' Mr Gravity but I didn't find the protocol in there. I also haven't found it in Practical Programming. Before I wrote that post last night I searched for ithe protocol in the Articles of the website and in the forums but didn't find it. I am sure its hiding somewhere right in front of my face, I've just missed it.

    I've talked to two Ortho's over the phone so far, both family of mine.. One said not to press. The other Ortho said two things. One, continue with the press as long as it doesn't hurt, and two, wait to get surgery until you tear your RC all the way.

    Unfortunately I didn't discover the Starting Strength material until I was 26, and by then I had already made a lot of stupid mistakes in the gym years prior. I am sure much of that contributed to the wear and tear of my shoulder.

    as far as 'the fashionable mobility work', I am not sure what you are referring to. I'll google it shortly. For the last two years I have not done a single exercise or stretch that wasn't outlined in one of your books. It probably had more to do with the giant table I was moving across town the day the pain began--that and the stretch mentioned previously.

    Again, thanks for your input and taking the time.

  5. #5
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    Do not stretch an injury, as I've said before. Let's say you cut your hand. There is now a separation between two pieces of skin that have to grow back together. Does it seem reasonable advice if I tell you to pull the edges of the wound apart every few hours? In the case of your shoulder -- most likely a partial thickness tear or your relatives would have scheduled your surgery -- it got better doing the lifts, right? This is why Will and I were being "rude", because you already know what works. But now, you're "deciding."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Morris View Post
    Let me get this straight: now the biggest impairment is mild pain occasionally.....
    No, the biggest impairment is that I have a lot of pain on the backside of the right shoulder if I try to move my arm across my torso. The pain feels as if it were inside the rear deltoid.

    For example, imagine I am standing in front of you with my back facing towards you. Then, Like a clock face, imagine that above my head is 12:00 o'clock, off to my right is 3:00 o'clock, below my feet is 6:00 o'clock. If I take my entire right arm and cross it over my torso with the elbow locked hand pointing at 10:00 o'clock, then I experience the rear deltoid pain previously mentioned.

    Another illistration is finishing the follow through during a golf swing (right handed). This is painful and difficult for me to do. The last 5 percent of the swing is near impossible after twenty or thirty swings in a row. I don't play much golf but I'm hoping it helps make the point.

    To me, this warrants seeking the opinion of a doctor.

    SS coach opinions are very valuable to me, and I am grateful that the coaching community offers it's advice and knowledge freely. However, it is important that I listen to ALL opinions and test them, even if those opinions conflict with one and other. If a doctor tells me that rotator cuff exercises are what I need then I will experiment with them. SS has already proven very effective as a solution and I will continue it. My goal is 100% recovery without surgery.


    Thanks for your reply and contributing to the discussion.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    you already know what works. But now, you're "deciding."
    That is a fair, and true statement, and you have me there.

    I would be lying if I said I had no fear of worsening the injury as a result of improper form or technique during the lifts. It just so happens that as I make these new personal all-time-records, the weight feels heavier than ever, I am also told my RC is torn.
    A new level of mental barrier for me. I guess all I can do is take caution in keeping the form perfect. I'm sure it probably needs to be fine tuned again.

    Thanks again for your reply.
    if I could, I would reach through the computer screen and pour you a glass of my 2015 William L Weller.

  8. #8
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    starting strength coach development program
    And that would be a handsome gesture from a true gentleman.

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