Lifting question: Torn ligaments in shoulder

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February 27, 2019

I tore at least 2 ligaments in my shoulder in 2003. Never got it repaired. I understand that ligaments don't magically reattach themselves. Plan to start SL 5x5 soon but am a little nervous about the shoulder. Will it get sore/have pain at some point or am I risking a situation where the joint fails and I drop heavy shit on myself? Or is that not really how it works?

Addl details: Basically lifted a heavy object from the ground to over my head to pass to someone in the back of a truck. Shoulder was sore after that. Doc said it was Bursitis and would go away in a few weeks. Fast forward a few months and there's no pain, but 100% of the time I got in the car and reached up for the seat belt to plug it in, shoulder would make a crunching/popping sound. After a few months I get it checked out because that's clearly not normal. Dr. injects a dye solution into Bursa sac in shoulder to take an Xray I think. Dr. says they'd have to take the ball of my arm out of the socket and reattach the ligaments and it would cost a shitload and have weeks of recovery time. I didn't have insurance and couldn't afford it and couldn't afford the recovery time anyways because I needed to work. Turns out injecting the fluid into the Bursa Sac must have shifted the ligaments around because the clicking/grinding stopped. Haven't done exercise of any kind in forever, so I haven't tested the joint in years.

Post Information
Title Lifting question: Torn ligaments in shoulder
Author Iseeitnow7
Upvotes 7
Comments 39
Date 27 February 2019 02:17 AM UTC (2 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
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[–]screechhaterRed Beret10 points11 points  (5 children) | Copy

Automobile accident on the autobahn at 130+. Lost 70 pounds from 260 to 190 in months. From a beast to a pussy Couldn’t wipe my ass with left arm.

Started with a broom. Pressing 185 for reps

Take your fucking time. Form first. Lots of time

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Was für ein Depp hahaha

[–]johneyapocalypseThe one that says "Bad Motherfucker"0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

Damn, I didn't know that accident occurred on the autobahn. That gives it a whole new twist. What city out of curiosity?

[–]screechhaterRed Beret0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

I honestly cannot remember where were headed. We had left Bitburg, been on the road sometime in a Volvo and fucking smoking it. Other than that, I woke up stateside.

I felt sorry for myself for about 10 seconds when I realized I could be fucking the nurse that was giving sponge baths, instead of having a pitty party.

[–]johneyapocalypseThe one that says "Bad Motherfucker"0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

God damn that's intense.

Well I'm glad you made it out in one piece bro.

I fucking love Germany.

[–]screechhaterRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy


[–]BobbyPeruRed Beret2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Start light, and pay close attention to your body

[–]red-sfpplusHard Core Red1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

IDK man but if you can get your hands on some pharma HGH it would for sure help.

Specific medical advice like this is past my brosciecne knowledge base.

[–]TaipanshimshonRed Beret1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Get an MR arthrogram.

That’s my medical opinion.

My bro opinion is start light and build your ligaments up.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Listen to this guy, OP.

[–]Reach180Red Beret0 points1 point  (5 children) | Copy

Can you throw a ball?

[–]Iseeitnow7[S] 0 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy

Yes. Like a girl because I last visited the gym when Clinton was president, but I can throw.

[–]red-sfpplusHard Core Red14 points15 points  (2 children) | Copy

So, so happy there is not a question as to which Clinton you are referring to.

America wake the fuck up, you barely dodged that bullet.

[–]WesternhagenWinner0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Amen to that. But we are certain to get a crazy lady at some point - if not Shrillary, then Liawatha or Occasional-Cortex.

[–]Morpheus_TNTB1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

OC would wreck us faster than Venezuela! This is Soros' wet dream btw...

[–]Reach180Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

If you can throw without pain, you're probably ok to try lifting.

Just get started and see how you hold up.

[–]phatphreak6660 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

i can relate. i just had shoulder surgery (rotator cuff tendons) in dec. start light and go through the range of motion re: OVP, Mil Press, clean/jerk etc.

if your financial or insurance situation has improved i suggest that you see a "sports medicine" dr. and find out if they will do an ulrasound (imaging cheaper than MRI) on the shoulder and find out what's really going on in there.

[–]Iseeitnow7[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Yeah. Good point. I don't have money to burn for a maybe necessary surgery, but I can swing an ultrasound to at least see if it's dangerous or not. Thanks

[–]RPeed0 points1 point  (7 children) | Copy

This is inbound bro-science but try a week or two of aggressive and frequent soft tissue work for rehab on the cheap.

  • Weighted stretches - provided no pain;
  • Deep tissue massages;
  • Rolling a lacrosse ball all over and around the joint;
  • Grinding out any knots with the ball or a theracane;
  • Combine with working weight up slowly.

All my own "snap", "crackle" or "pop" mystery injuries have been cured this way and a lot of others I've heard of. Some of them were pretty debilitating.

Disclaimer: do no harm dummy. If it hurts, stop doing it.

Fish oil and whatever is in those special vitamin packs you get for joint aches can't hurt either. Some people swear by it.

[–]Reach180Red Beret0 points1 point  (5 children) | Copy

No bro-science about that. Seems like that's how anyone would deal with their situation before the "please consult your doctor" culture.

98% of doctors don't know shit about performance. Going in for a pre-emptive scan is lighting your money on fire.

If you go and it hurts, stop. If you go and it doesn't hurt, progress.

weights isn't rocket surgery.

[–]RPeed0 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy

I agree personally. But there is a deep seated cultural bias to medical attitudes. On this sub. Everywhere.

Random aside. Check out point 30.

This changed my attitude to stuff that does need surgery. Anything looks detached, I'm headed straight to the doc.

[–]Reach180Red Beret1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

I've had two surgeries - one pretty major on my shoulder, one pretty minor on my knee - that I realize now were almost certainly unnecessary.

Maybe it's different now, but 15 years ago when I had them done, my thought was "go in, get fixed, get rehabbed, back to 100%". The reality was closer to "go in, get fixed, get rehabbed, back to 80% and that part where it used to hurt....well you just won't be able to move that far anymore. Sound good?"

I'm convinced that the 'labral tear' I got cut on for was shoulder impingement. I'm sure I had some labrum damage - I played football and threw heavy things all through college - but I'm convinced now that it wasn't the root of my pain. Because I still get the exact same symptoms and can usually fix them with a little extra attention.

Only now, I've got 85-90% functionality permanently....

Maybe technology is good enough now that they can actually 'fix' you. But if it's not an acute injury, I'll go to faith healer before I even consider a scalpel.

[–]RPeed0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Interesting - outside of Reddit I don't know many people that lifted or "sported" long enough to get accumulate much hard mileage.

[–]Kpwn880 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Surgery is different. Surgeons take pride in their work and have a reputation to keep. This is all western medicine is good for really, the rest has been so thoroughly corrupted by big pharma they don't even have a clue as to what health is all about.

[–]WesternhagenWinner1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

the rest has been so thoroughly corrupted by big pharma they don't even have a clue as to what health is all about

Tell me about it. My (elderly) mom has doctors who are basically licensed pushers. They keep prescribing SSRIs and diazepams even though she does not complain of depression or anxiety. She'd turn into a zombie if she followed their advice.

[–]WolfofAllStreetz0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Good post, all my joints crack and pop shoulders grind when I try to even curl a light dumb bell fairly certain I have some bizarre auto immune disease.

[–]SteveStJohn0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Similar problem here. Surgeon wants to surgery it, but I've been under the knife before (successfully for something unrelated), and decided not to this time.

Went to physical therapy and learned how to do exercises to strengthen. The exercises work, but there are exercises I can no longer do. Price of getting older.

[–]CrazyLegs780 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I have some similar issues as a 40 year old returning to weight lifting. I have previously tried strong lifts and I found that the progression was just a little too quick for some of my previous injuries. I'm currently following Wendler 5-3-1 with Boring But Big and i find that the slower progression and extra volume are much easier on the joints. FORM IS EVERYTHING!! And if its hurts, ice it.

[–]helaughsinhidden0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Just put some lavender essential oils on it.

Just kidding. I tried to lift through some pretty rough tennis elbow and rotator cuff pain. I didn't improve until I started take two days off between lifting and deloaded. I was dumb and didn't take it easy or warm up enough while listening to my body. Also my gym has a water massage bed and shiatsu chair. I use them a lot now and it helps.

[–]nantucketghost0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

So I tore the muscle from my bicep and my pec in an accident on my left shoulder. Bad. I mean stopped lifting bad. I went from benching ~250 all the way down to not being able to lift just the bar.

So much scar tissue.

I'm back up over 200. But it is slow slow slow going. Don't push it on the weights. To start out, low weight and high reps. I mean 30 rep shit. You need to slowly get through all that scar tissue.

I tried to be bold and just go heavy and grin and bear it. Set me back huge again. Take your time, but it is possible.

[–]boy_named_su0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I had a rotator cuff impingement from a mountain bike racing accident years ago. Tire slid out at 50 kph :(

Started lifting. Shoulder started hurting big time. Physiotherapist fixed it in two sessions. I needed stronger rear delts to balance my front delts. A few days of reverse flyes fixed months of pain

Hit the 1000 lb lifting club in December


[–]Iseeitnow7[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Another good point. After reading the responses, I'm just going to go for it until I encounter a problem. Lots of responses so far and no one has said anything about the joint failing or it being dangerous.

[–]Non_Merger0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Some recommendations/feedback: If it gives you any problem now, I would have it examined by an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulders. They would be able to do a physical exam and determine what's actually wrong (if anything).

If it isn't bothering you or a doctor visit isn't an option, I would consider doing at home physical therapy using eccentric loading of the various rotator cuff tendons. There is info on the web about this. Normal physical therapy of is of less benefit IMO.

When you start SL5X5, pay careful attention to hand and arm positioning during the overhead press. The description of OHP on the SL website really sucks. Watch some videos on youtube.

Finally, increase slowly and concentrate a shitload on form. Better to increase slowly over injuring yourself and having to recover from that.

[–]helaughsinhidden0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

u/Iseeitnow7 In addition to the good advice here, I'd recommend starting in a Smith Machine so if you ever feel like you are going to fail you just rotate the bar forward 10 degrees and rack it anywhere and don't need a spotter there 100% of the time.

[–]RedPillCoach0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

am I risking a situation


5 X 5 is a heavy weights lifting program that is practically optimized to exacerbate an old ligament injury like this.

However, your story doesn't even suggest a ligament injury. Bursitis is not a ligament injury.

This is largely confirmed when you claim the die cured you. Most likely they injected steroids which relieved the inflammation of the bursa (Itis = Inflamed so Burs-Itis is inflamed Bursa. Nothing to do with ligaments, and commonly treated with a Steroid injection into the Bursa which often cures the patient.

Get the damn thing checked out by an Orthopedic surgeon before you start a lifting program or at least get the records and have your primary care doctor review them and approve you.

[–]Iseeitnow7[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I take your points about the lifting and bursitis, but I always viewed the bursitis diagnosis as faulty since the scan showed something jacked up enough for the surgeon to recommend surgery. Some others have suggested that surgery is over prescribed. Are you taking that stance also?

[–]RedPillCoach0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Absolutely, positively yes. They continue to do a particular surgery even after studies clearly show patients do better without surgery.

They do surgery on the Bursa but that is not what your doctor proposed. There were probably some bone spurs that he wanted to scrape off and smooth out inside the joint. That's probably not a problem to lifting heavy now with a few reps but it is a bigger issue with repetitive motions.

[–]Iseeitnow7[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Ok. For some reason I didn't see the last paragraph the first time I read your response.

[–]JessedGriffin0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Don't wait until you tear your labrum and fracture you bones like me. I'm getting surgery soon.

Get it checked, don't do lifts that hurt or feel weird

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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