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Old 08-31-2008, 04:31 PM   #1
Arien Malec
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Default shoulder pain on jerks

I've been experiencing, for a couple of months now, a pain in my right shoulder that only happens on jerks.

My shoulder is pain free through a full range of motion -- no pain when I do shoulder dislocates, I can grab my fingers both ways behind my back (although there is a slight ache when my right hand is the one reaching up), and I do not experience pain on presses, push presses, bench presses, etc.

It's only the rapid movement that triggers the pain, and only under weight (if I punch up, for instance, no pain).

The pain is intense, but not a sharp injury-type pain -- feels more like an inflammation-type pain, but again, it shows up intensely only at the jerk.

When I experienced it, I laid off jerking and overhead lifting for a couple of weeks (did bench pressing instead to save the shoulders -- somewhat ironic), but the pain returned after a week or so after going back to weightlifting.

Any clues as to what might be causing this?

And assuming I need to take a layoff from jerks for a while, what would be a good substitute? Pressing (or should I give my shoulders a total rest?) and 1/4 squat jumps?
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:23 PM   #2
Derek Maffett
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Test each shoulder for flexibility. Is the right any less flexible? Arm circles, etc... I'm guessing will be more difficult for that arm.
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:51 PM   #3
Steven Low
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Get a picture of where (circle area).

Any other exercises hurt it or just this one?
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:07 PM   #4
Arien Malec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Maffett View Post
Test each shoulder for flexibility. Is the right any less flexible? Arm circles, etc... I'm guessing will be more difficult for that arm.
No apparent difference. Perhaps if someone observed me do a mobility test, but there doesn't seem to be any limitations on the right arm.

As I wrote above, the only apparent difference is that, if I put my arm behind my back and push the hand up towards my head, I've got less range of motion on right (where it hurts).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Get a picture of where (circle area).

Any other exercises hurt it or just this one?
I'll do some jerks for science to make sure, by my memory is that the pain originates at the joint and goes up the arm behind the posterior deltoid (under the red area here:

http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/DeltoidPosterior.html)

I think I get the same or similar pain if I shove someone or something, but I don't do that enough to be sure. Again, even the push press doesn't do the same thing. It's something about the aggression of the movement that does it.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:27 PM   #5
Arien Malec
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One more either clue or red herring. I injured the same shoulder about 3 years ago doing lying dumbell triceps extensions (when I didn't know any better), and when I started doing dumbell presses, I had to start at 10# per arm, limited by the right arm. Now, when I do barbell presses at limit, my right arm is typically the limit on lifts (to the extent that the barbell is tilted towards the right, as that arm struggles to push the bar up).

I also have more trouble on lockout on that arm (which may be because of the injury or lack of lockout may have exacerbated it).

Also, the pain snuck up on me -- that is, no obvious trauma on one lift, more of a gradual ouch that is now a barrier to my lifting.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:58 PM   #6
Steven Low
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Check your internal and external rotation strength.

Lie on your side and internally rotate with a weight then do the opposite side with external rotation.. heaviest possible for 5 reps. If you don't know WTF this is then check out EXRX's nice shoulder articulation chart and/or google side lying external/internal rotation.

I want to see if there's a significant disparity.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:05 PM   #7
Derek Maffett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arien Malec View Post
No apparent difference. Perhaps if someone observed me do a mobility test, but there doesn't seem to be any limitations on the right arm.

As I wrote above, the only apparent difference is that, if I put my arm behind my back and push the hand up towards my head, I've got less range of motion on right (where it hurts).
I asked because I've had some left shoulder pain recently, aggravated seemingly by rounded shoulder olympic lifts (I know better now). The pain would also affect me at the beginning of the jerk. Turned out that my left shoulder was less flexible (perhaps due to gradual injury), but I've been managing it with extra warm-up time and mobility work for the left shoulder... I think the pain in the jerk was a result of the somewhat compressed, close-to-the-face press along with not coming back out of the way of the barbell enough. The other shoulder could handle it just fine, but after changing the points mentioned, I managed to set a PR in the split jerk without much trouble.

Your case sounds different and very "Steven's department."
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:17 AM   #8
Leo Soubbotine
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My shoulders used to wear out quickly from doing a bunch of jerks so for a while I added DB and KB overhead carries - one handed and two handed, and more Handstands. After a few weeks of that my shoulders were feeling a ton better and the jerk actually went up.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:32 AM   #9
Arien Malec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Check your internal and external rotation strength.

....

I want to see if there's a significant disparity.
Consistent both right and left:

Internal 32.5 lbs, external 12.5 lbs, each for 5 reps
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:55 AM   #10
Arien Malec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Soubbotine View Post
My shoulders used to wear out quickly from doing a bunch of jerks so for a while I added DB and KB overhead carries - one handed and two handed, and more Handstands. After a few weeks of that my shoulders were feeling a ton better and the jerk actually went up.
Good advice -- I did kb overhead holds today -- feels good.
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