Crunchy shoulder

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Crunchy shoulder
11
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 8:34am
Hi guys, I have a question about shoulders. My right shoulder has always been very crunchy -- lots of popping and clicking when I rotate it, but not particularly painful. I've always thought it was due to HS softball. It's never really been a problem for me.

Since I've started going heavier with the weights, I've noticed that it gets more noisy and sore after doing certain exercises. During my last chest/shoulders/tris workout, I really felt it during bench press, military press, upright rows, and dips. For a day or two after the workout, it was a little sore and made lots of noises when I rotated it. I could also feel things popping around if I put my left hand over my right shoulder when I rotated it. I also could feel my scapula popping when I shrugged my shoulder.

Of course, I rotated it A LOT trying to pinpoint exactly where it hurt, which I'm sure didn't help. It's more noise and popping than pain, but there are some twinges, and if I sleep on it a certain way it feels a bit off the next day.

Given my experience with my knees, I'm worried that if I ignore it now, it will really become a problem and could mess up my shoulder for life. On the other hand, it's not really very painful, so I'm not sure how worried I should be. I know you can't really diagnose over the internet, but I'm wondering if any of you know anything about shoulders and if any of the exercises I am doing are particularly harmful. I would get it checked out but the medical care is so poor here that I doubt I'll find someone who knows their stuff. Some of the stuff I've been reading says that crepitus (noise) is nothing to worry about as long as there isn't pain... but I have a little bit of pain.

Any ideas? Thanks!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2003
In reply to: habsatu
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 10:32am
I used to have a "crunchy" shoulder too. Mine is the result of a dislocation years ago. What you're probably hearing is a spot in your joint where the cartiledge has worn down. So, you're hearing bone-on-bone. If you're noticing some weakness, you may have some tendon problems. I have an electric stimulation unit that has helped me. You can also get the electric stimulation treatment from a chiropractor.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
In reply to: habsatu
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 10:45am
Thanks for the input. I'm not noticing weakness, per se, more like a pinching feeling and today, after rotating it around a lot to figure out exactly where it hurts (smart, right?), I'm noticing a tingly numbness in my hand and wrist. That can't be good.

Sadly, there are no chiropractors in Kosovo. That should be the next humanitarian organization -- Chiropractors Without Borders!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2003
In reply to: habsatu
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 10:58am
Yeah, sounds just like mine. Do you know what kind of electric stimulation pack I'm describing? It has the little pads on it that you stick to your skin and then increase or decrease the amount of electric stimulation around the muscles. If you can find one of those, you will probably notice great improvement after just a few applications. If not, you should work on strengthening that shoulder. Elastic bands are good for this type of strengthening - at least, that's what they use in physcial therapy. My shoulder doesn't pop and crunch as much as it used to and I think it's mostly due to the electric stimulation unit.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
In reply to: habsatu
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 11:05am
I've heard about a book called "The 7 Minute Rotator Cuff Solution" that apparently has a whole bunch of exercises for rehabbing and preventing shoulder injuries due to strength imbalances. Have you seen it? I won't be able to get it here, of course, but I'm looking for descriptions/photos of the exercises online.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2003
In reply to: habsatu
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 11:19am
No, haven't seen it, but I bet it contains the kinds of exercises you need to do. Hope you find something...
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: habsatu
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 11:27am
It sounds like rotator cuff to me, too. I had one trainer tell me how important it is to do specific rotator cuff exercises and that's it's often neglected. She's the only person who's ever talked about it to me. She said to use light weights (under 5 pounds, I think). One I remember is you hold a weight in each hand, arms extended straight out. Hold them up and down (like holding a full a cup), thumbs on top. Turn it 180 degrees so they're pointing the other way and your thumbs are on bottom (like you've poured out the cup). She also did one with elbows bent 90 degrees, upper arms parallel to the floor, lower arms pointing to the ceiling. Keeping arms bent, lower the lower arm so it's level to the upper arm. Before doing these, you might check with a doctor to make sure it's safe. The glucosamine/chondroitin might help with this, too.





iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
In reply to: habsatu
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 11:31am
yeah, i got to get me some of those supplements! this is really making me mad, since now i feel like i can't do anything in upper OR lower body!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: habsatu
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 11:34am
I'm feeling the same way about not working upper or lower. I've been taking it easy on both from the wrist and tailbone. I'm going to try step tomorrow. How's your bf and his grandfather, btw?





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: habsatu
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 1:28pm
Argh, without pictures and a great deal of time to explain them I'm not much help. I'll go searching in a bit and see if I can't find some link. My shoulder did the same thing when I first started working out. Hurt like the dickens whenever I did any overhead anything. Beth broke down working the muscles of the shoulder individually with bands and within four weeks I was fine. I still have the crackling sound sometimes, but without the pain. My shoulders were under-developed compared to my arms/back and chest and it was the reason for the pain, it was like an intense pinch, just the way the muscles burned when stressed, it really, really HURT. I had never had any shoulder injury at that point, the left one was pretty bashed up in the accident, so I have now, to explain the crackle sound. Beth said as long as it doesn't hurt and I don't have other symptoms not to worry. However, the tingling thing you have is indicitive of something bigger, I'd really recommend going to a doctor. I know, I know, doctors are hard to talk to, don't always figure out the problem, are expensive and to get in to see them is a pain in the butt, but they are also your second line of defense against serious debilitating injuries, and it seems your first line (exercise and living clean) has failed to prevent a problem in this case...

~Kiervin~

Co-author of:  MONSTER'S INK HORROR ANTHOLOGY By Cyber-Pulp Press

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: habsatu
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 3:00pm
i don't know about vanessa's crunchy shoulder but jean's trainer is correct, most people have underdeveloped rotator cuffs and should do specific exercises for them to prevent injury. bands are good for these exercises. one good one is to hold a band in both hands, anchor your left fist against your left hip, hold your right arm with the elbow tucked in to the body and the forearm extending in front, like you are holding a soda can in it. keeping the right elbow tucked in to your hip, rotate your forearm out so you are holding the can out to the side, don't rotate more than 90 degrees (i.e. don't let your fist go behind your shoulder). repeat for the other side.

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