View Full Version : Cortisone Shot in the Shoulder

getting there
02-23-2010, 02:25 PM
I though I'd post this here since I am a powerlifter and since the general health forum seems to get less traffic.

I've been having pretty decent pain in my left shoulder for the last month and a half. At first I though it was biceps tendonitis so I just eased up on any pressing movements or direct shoulder work, and did the standard ice/advil/stretching to give it a chance to rest. Fast forward to yesterday. It had not been getting much better with rest so I made an appointment with an ortho MD specializing in shoulders and saw him yesterday. Thankfully he is almost 100% sure I don't have a RTC tear and thinks it is just a really bad case of tendonitis. I got a cortisone injection and aside from feeling a bit sore my shoulder does not hurt at all anymore. He wants to see me in 3 weeks to see how things are progressing but right now I feel 100% better than I did.

My question is has anyone else had any experience with cortisone shots?

Beverly McD.
02-23-2010, 03:00 PM
Cortisone shots address inflammation and they work well. They soften the tissue in the surrounding area. I would strongly suggest you keep to lighter weights for about 2 weeks. It's not at all uncommon for serious tears to occur shortly after a cortisone shot.

02-23-2010, 03:10 PM
Been there twice. After a year of shoulder pain causing me to make changes to training (narrow grip bench, safety squat bar, no incline/military) I got a shot. I also started supplementing with fish oil, sissus, and joint tabs. The pain went away and I returned to heavy training. After trying a new bench template from the 100 raw forum I reinjurred the shoulder and had an MRI. The Doc said he believed it to be a labrum tear (mri was inconclusive) and recommended surgery. Because I am not competing yet and playing guitar out a lot I decided for a shot again. This shot didn't work and the pain remained. I stopped all upper body work and worked on my squat and deadlift. After 3 months I have started benching agin with just the bar and don't have any pain. Hopefully it will be ok. Moral: be very careful. If something feels wrong it probably is wrong. Better to lift another day than be out. After hitting a pr 345 raw bench I am back to 45lbs.

02-23-2010, 06:47 PM
Take atleats 2 weeks off. Cortisone doesnt fix anything. It just makes it feel better. You still have the injury in there. I had 3 shots in 4 weeks time span and they didnt help me train any more then not getting them.. They did help me start to rehab though.

Bicep tendonitis in the shoulder is how my injury started out. Then I ignored it, would take 10-15 ibuprofens a day and train around it. All that did was leave with with a torn bicep tendon.

let it rest for 2-3 weeks then jump into a rehab program for another 2-3 weeks. Indian clubs helped me the most with this. I made some out of lead pipe from lowes.

02-23-2010, 06:53 PM

If you are not competeing and don't plan too then drop the bench and use dumbbells or incline. I have had bicep and ac tendonitis and had cortisones in both of them, best thing I ever did for it was to stop benching. Sucks but if health is the main aim and not competeing it's worth it.

I compete strongman now (cause there is no bench) and am healithier than ever.

02-23-2010, 07:10 PM
I have had a cortisone shot in my shoulder with great success. Take two weeks completely off. Let the cortisone work. Indian clubs definitely help out the shoulders.

Travis Bell
02-23-2010, 09:13 PM
Another vote for taking it easy.

Look into a shoulder horn as well.

Recently I had a guy who came to me already with some pretty good tendonitis. We used h-rolls and the shoulder horn and he took two weeks away from any heavy upper movements. Anything that bothered it at all, we just avoided and stuck to doing the shoulder horn and h-rolls about 3 times a week.

He saw really great progress very quickly.

We also had him icing his shoulder after every workout, squat with the saftey squat bar for a month and then began to work on his bench technique so as to prevent this from happening again in the future.

02-24-2010, 07:26 AM
i have had a lot of cortisone shots, but they were for arthritis. the amount of time you have to take off depends on where they put it.

most docs will NOT shoot cortisone into a tendon because it will temporarily weaken the tendon. they often shoot it into the joint space to address arthritis. i have had cortisone shots in shoulder joint space, knee joint space, and hip joint space. if you are sure that is where you had it shot, train normal in 5 days or so. if you suspect it may have been into a tendon or close to a tendon, take a few weeks @ 50% or so or totally off although given a typical powerlifter this is hard.

often they are effective at breaking an inflammation cycle that sometimes takes many months to go away. you may have to get a few though.

hope you heal up.

Tommy Fannon
Tampa Barbell

02-24-2010, 07:46 AM
Tommys right. I had my first one put in the AC joint and I could do back exercises the next week. The thirs one I had they put right in the tendon and my arm felt like dog **** for 2 weeks.

getting there
02-25-2010, 01:54 PM
Thanks for all the info guys. It really helps when you can get real world testimonials. I am going to lay off benches and OHP until next Monday and then I am going to slowly work my weight back up. Also I am really going to pay attention to warming up and stretching my shoulder girdle more than I have in the past. Until then it is ice, stretching and some very light RTC work for me.