View Full Version : Question about Rotator Cuff Issues

Andrew Simonis
01-20-2010, 08:06 PM
My left rotator cuff has been nagging me quite a bit lately when ever I Clean and Jerk or press. I have started icing a lot, working with the athletic trainer at the high school I coach at with rehab exercises, and laying off and overhead movements and cleaning.

Before it starting bugging me I was really starting to make some serious progress. I would like to continue to train but I obviously need to avoid the previously mentioned movements. I was wondering if any one had some ideas how I can continue to train while laying off those things.

Steven Low
01-20-2010, 08:10 PM
How's your scapular mobility?
How about soft tissue quality?

The most important things for RC health is maintaing extremely good scapular mobility, soft tissue quality of the shoulders, and proper posture.

As you lose mobility and tighten up that's when you get injury conditions such as impingement, bursitis, etc. Especially as posture degenerates. Improper ability of the shoulder to slide and roll causes all sorts of muscle/connective tissue/etc. dysfunction.

Garrett Smith
01-20-2010, 08:40 PM
I quit jerking for a while due to similar stuff. I started standing presses instead, finishing up my sets with a push press and a push jerk (just to hopefully keep some of the speed).

I've been doing lots of shoulder prehab after my gymnastics stuff, working on my posture, and I do have good thoracic mobility.

My shoulder has only been "speaking" to me a very little bit during presses now. Things are moving along, IMO.

I will also be trying some Cissus to finish getting any "-itis" out of there.

Steven Low
01-20-2010, 08:56 PM
Okay, I just reread my post and maybe I didn't elaborate enough.

Usually overhead work is limited by poor external rotation of the glenhumeral joint (tight internal rotators -- subscap, lats, pec major, and pec minor to an extent). Stretch all of these out extensively.

In addition, poor posture and lack of scapular mobility especially in retraction is very important to reclaim -- youtube "wall slides" especially.

Thoracic mobility as mentioned by Garrett is another one. If there's too much khyphosis in the T-spine, the shoulder has to compensate with greater mobility which it often cannot do thus leading to instability overhead.

Instability coupled with poor mobility, tissue quality, and posture lead to injuries

Dig in with your hands and loosen stuff up. Use foam rollers, tennis/lacrosse/golf balls, etc. Heat for particular tight stuff. Deep tissue massages.

Andrew Simonis
01-21-2010, 07:01 AM
This is starting make sense I think. I get quite a bit of tightness beween my left scapula and upper thoracic vertebrae that can frequently move up into my left cervical area. I have no idea which is the initial cause however. I have been foam rolling my upper back as a whole, so I am going to now try being a little more specific in those areas. Thank you for your help!

Derek Simonds
01-21-2010, 07:58 AM
I used to have a similar problem and it turned out in my case that I was extremely upper trap oriented. My rhomboids would knot up so tight that I couldn't get them relax. I thought that they were my problem, they weren't. My stabilizers for my scaps were virtually non existent so my rhomboids were overcompensating to try and maintain integrity in my shoulder joint. I spent 30 days with a physical therapist going 3 days a week to get my issues squared away. Now I use the Diesel Crew shoulder pre-hab routine + the band work that I learned at PT every week. I am pain free overhead for the first time in my life. Just the slightest bit of misalignment from a compensation pattern is enough to create an ungodly amount of pain in any overhead movement.

It is amazing what a major role the smaller stabilizer muscles play in keeping shoulders healthy. Do you have any scapular winging when standing relaxed? Does the scap sit flat on your back or does it lean forward with space under it at the bottom? Or does it tilt to either side? If so that is an indication of what you can work on.

As usual Stevens and Garrett advice is spot on.