Shoulder issues

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  • #16924


    Been having shoulder problems for a while. Nagging stuff. My right shoulder has an impingement. All the classic signs. I have done every stretch and exercise I can find, but can never totally get rid of it. I do rock climb, so of course that can aggravate it, but I am pretty careful to avoid motions that make it worse.

    My left shoulder just sort of aches and it is related to the rotator cuff, especially after climbing. I try to warm up, stretch in between sessions, etc. but never really get any relief.

    Anyone have any tips, ideas, stretches etc? I feel like I have tried a lot of different things, but curious what others have done. Also I have yet to find a PT in my area that does anything other than suggest more stretching that I’m already doing and “stopping” my activities. No one seems interested in helping me achieve my goals or keeping me in the game. These are show stoppers at this point, but concerned they eventually will be.


Posted In: Injury & Rehab

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    pieterjan on #16926


    What exercises do you do? Impingement is usually due to underdeveloped rotator cuffs. Doing some max strength training (with dumbells, not just rubber bands!) should help with that (if you don’t have a tear of course). Great exercises are internal and external rotator cuff rotations, but careful not to overdo yourself, especially if you have a tear or inflammation. I wouldn’t advise too much resting since the muscles will weaken and it’ll just get worse.

    I have quite some imbalances myself, but whenever I do such a workout my shoulders always feels relieved and stronger.

    Good luck!

    cnikirk on #16929

    Mainly resistance bands to do the internal and external rotations. They feel fine, but don’t seem to help much??

    Back when I used to do a lot of bench press I would warm up with 5 or 10 lb weights by putting my arms up at 90 degrees then rotating the arms forward until parallel with the floor then back up if that makes sense. I stopped doing those when I got out of heavy lifting. That particular motion without weight actually produces a small amount of discomfort.

    I don’t seem to have a tear as I don’t have any kind of arm drop. More aching and creaky feeling, sort of like I am on the cusp of a major strain.

    I will add small dumbells into the mix. Anything that may work? Oh and dead hangs feel really good on a chin up bar, but not sure of the value.

    Pete Dickinson MS,PT on #16939

    Shoulder impingement, the compression and inflammation of the space under your acromion, can have multiple causes and treatment paths. Since I try to have experienced all of the injuries my patients have, I know this condition well! When the traditional rotator cuff strengthening approach you have tried doesn’t yield results, a different approach is warranted.

    Soft tissue fascial restrictions can affect the path of shoulder movement pushing you into an impingement. One of my ‘go to’ treatments is to roll out the posterior capsule of the shoulder. For strengthening I like to challenge the cuff in diagonal vectors with tubing resistance. Of course, the classic kettlebell overhead press is a fantastic shoulder strengthening movement that has nice postural effects, and is the key to a powerful pull up.

    For those that have difficulty finding a local therapist that doesn’t tell you to sit on your butt, the chat link on the lower right gets you talking to me and directed to my online treatment practice if appropriate. If I’m with a patient you can email me at, or visit my website at


    pieterjan on #17007

    What worked for me was training the rotator cuffs, along with the rhomboids and lower traps, which are common to be underdeveloped by climbers.

    Every time I’d train those last two, I felt my shoulders being pulled backwards and my shoulders always felt relieved after training the rotator cuffs. Like it freed up some space in there.

    The value of dead hangs can be great for shoulder strength. Some exercises can be found here:

    willoley on #18297

    I’ve had both rotator cuffs worked on so I have some experience with shoulder rehab and getting back.

    I agree with all that’s been posted already. I’d highly recommend a good sport physical therapist/- can work wonders with fasciae release/ASTYM/dry-needling, etc.

    A quick routine that I like as a warm up/mobility/strength circuit is this link rec’d to me by my PT—


    isaacshem32 on #19942

    Hello? are you exercising?

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