starting strength gym
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Numbness in upper arm/shoulder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Posts
    9

    Default Numbness in upper arm/shoulder

    • starting strength seminar august 2024
    • starting strength seminar october 2024
    • starting strength seminar december 2024
    Hello Mark,

    I've searched the forum and read a lot of discussion regarding this topic, but nothing that pinpointed what I'm experiencing (apologies if I missed it).

    After starting the NLP a couple of months ago, I started experiencing bad pain in my left arm just above the elbow. It was triggered as my squats got heavier and really inhibited my bench press afterwards (lot of pain), but I pushed through it. I watched your video regarding how to take the correct grip on a squat and the pain went away; thank you so much for that!

    Now......I squat and pull fine, however, my bench press and overheads trigger some pain after my workouts. Similar to before, it radiates from my arm just above the elbow and goes to the shoulder (deltoid) and sometimes continues to my back. On a scale of 1-10 it's like a 3, but you know it when it happens and it usually calms down after 24-48 hours. Another symptom is numbness in the arm. For example, if I'm holding a cup of coffee, my arm gets a little weak, not enough to drop the cup, but enough to make me recruit another arm muscle to stabilize it. It only lasts a second or two. I experience this maybe 2-3 times a day. My orthopedic said it was probably tendonitis (he seemed to rule out rotator cuff issues with a bunch of movement tests) and not to do any overhead exercises for a while. So I took a couple of weeks off from overheads, which helped, but the benching seemed to trigger it anyway. I went back to the ortho and he said I could get a shot or do an MRI. I guess I can do the MRI. But in lieu of that, do you think this is something that I can just work through? Or is the sporadic numbness concerning? I'll probably go through with the MRI, but wanted to see if you had experienced this in the past and what you did to overcome.Thank you very much for your time.

    I look forward to your podcasts. You and the guys do a great job.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    54,145

    Default

    You have a cervical disc injury, maybe at C5-6 or C6-7. Get an MRI.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thank you. I'll take a break until I get the MRI. Appreciate the quick response Mark. Take care.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Just thought I'd provide an update. So I got the MRI, which was for my left shoulder only. My ortho said it generally looks great, no surgery required, no impingement, no tears, little bit of arthritis in the collarbone, but otherwise nothing wrong. He said I could come back and see about treating it non-surgically with either therapy or a shot. I will say since I've taken a break from training, it does not bother me at all. Regardless, I think I'll go back for a visit and see what kind of therapy he means. Probably some physical therapy movements that I can probably find online. Anyway, I thought I'd post in case this helps others. Fwiw, I'm a 56 year old male who's weight-trained, in some form, since I was a teenager.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    83

    Default

    Hey there, Iím confused. Rip said you had a cervical injury - shouldnít the MRI have been focused on your neck, not your shoulder? Or maybe Iím interpreting your reply incorrectly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    54,145

    Default

    His orthopedic guy doesn't operate on the C-spine, so there was no need for a cervical study.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    497

    Default

    Get an MRI on your neck. I had the same thing and waited to long to get it looked at. I now have left arm/pec/lat/delt that are half the size of the right and all extremely weak.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thank you all for your questions and advice.

    Update: So I went back to talk to my ortho and ask some direct questions. Al Copersino: You did not misinterpret anything; I had the same question. To Mark's point, he is not a spine guy, but a shoulder guy. I explained my weightlifting routine (squats, deads, bench, o/h), which he knew from day one, and he basically says there is "no need for surgery, no need for physical therapy, you're good. Stay clear of the overhead pressing." I even tried to steer him towards my C-spine by insinuating it's a nerve issue perhaps caused by a disk and he really didn't answer the question. Gave me the old "Keep doing what you're doing. Call me if it hurts again and we can do a cortisone shot." I even reminded him again that during a previous visit (more than six weeks ago), they took my blood pressure, and that thing around my injured arm blowing up with air almost had me seeing stars. How the heck is that NOT a nerve issue? I guess since he's a shoulder guy, he didn't want to opine on a possible cervical vertebrae problem. Couldn't he have referred me to one of his many partners who specializes in the spine?

    Now back to today, I have not had much numbness or discomfort at all, so I decided to go back to the gym on Thursday and did some light volume work (5x5) to get used to things again. All went well. Maybe a little twinge here and there in my arm since the workout, but nothing what I would call serious. The numbness seems to have dissipated and I'm sleeping well. However, I am leaning on seeing about an MRI on my neck per Matt275 post. I may have find another ortho though. Semi-bummed because I've gone to these guys before and they always seemed pretty solid. I hurt my lower back about 18 years ago, couldn't walk, they gave me steroids that helped, sent me to therapy, and when that didn't help much, went for an MRI and it was clear as a bell that I had slipped a disk in my thoracic spine. Their response: no surgery, it will correct on it's own, live your life, lift your weights, run, do whatever. I've never had a problem in that region since.

    I'll do some research and see where I land. Thanks again guys.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    206

    Default

    Look into a neurologist, have him do a physical exam. A emg can detect nerve damage.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Posts
    731

    Default

    starting strength coach development program
    OP, are you in the US? If not, it's hard to say where you stand on the following.

    Your health care providers are your contractors. Their responsibility is to satisfy you with their examinations, their explanations, and their prescriptions. They (ought to) have knowledge that you don't, but the explanation needs to make sense to you. The goals for your care need to be yours. Make sure to manage them and your relationship with them as you would any other profession, like a plumber, a carpenter, or a mechanic.

    How would you handle this if it were an issue with your car or your house?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •