View Full Version : Supraspinatus tendonitis not healing, what to do?

10-10-2012, 03:56 AM
I haven't benched heavy in 10 months. I was going really great and even managed to get up to a 145kg bench even though I'm a shitty bencher.

Silly me decided to do a Sheiko CMS routine even though I wasn't ready for it.
Started to feel pain in my shoulder after a week. Then I was obviously overtrained so I did westside for 3 weeks already on a bad shoulder.

Anyway I've completely fucked up my Bursa and Supraspinatus. I let it go a few months but it didn't get any better. So I went to the doc who refered me for an ultrasound. It's then when I got my diagnosis. Inflamed Bursa and Supraspinatus tendon. There are no tears thank god.

The doctor had me have an ultrasound assisted Cortisone shot into the Bursa. It really halped but only lasted about 5 days.

So then he refered me to the physio. She put me on one of those electrical current machines and that really helped for that day. However she also told me to do a rotator cuff strengthening exercise for which she gave me the strongest band.

Been do the exercise for 2 weeks and my shoulder is MUCH worse now.

I know I can't have surgery because that'll only make it worse. So that leaves me out of options. I won't bother going to a chiro because my 2 experiences have convinced me it's an abolsute joke and fraud.

So what should I do guys? This is really making me sad because I was progressing so nicely and what's the point of working out if you can't train your upper body.

What should I do?

10-10-2012, 02:52 PM
The good news is you're already had it diagnosed... it's not torn and you know what the problem is. As you probably know supraspinatus impingement occurs when the acromion process rubs on the supraspinatus tendon where it crosses underneath the acromion. Decreased subacromial space due to poor posture, strength taining, and individual genitic differences (see type three acromion) can all be factors.
Any rotator cuff exercise that causes you more pain may be creating more rubbing, therefore extending the rehab process. This is especially true if you are using too much weight and therefore less than optimal posture during the exercise.
In the case of supraspinatus impingement it may be more important to train the scapular retractors (middle-low traps, rhomboids) and lengthen the internal rotators (pecs, lats, teres) than train the external rotators heavily. The best thing I ever did for my shoulders was to make an concerted effort to lengthen pec minor, when it gets short and tight my left supraspinatus starts to flair up again. So pec mob drills, scap retractor drills, and maybe even soft tissue work on your pecs/delts/teres/scalanes, ect...

Eric Cressey has some exellent stuff on his blog - http://www.ericcressey.com/tag/shoulder-impingement. If you need more resources let me know, I think I have a bunch of good stuff bookmarked.

*Note, I am only a massage therapist and PT student. You should take all this information and consult with your PT and come up with a more comprehensive treatment plan. If your PT is unreceptive (they are not all created equal, nor have equal skill with rotator cuff rehab) than you should find a new PT. Also, some evidence based sports Chiros are excellent.... they are just hard to find.

10-10-2012, 08:05 PM
Pretty much agree with most of what Mitch said. I am a PT, and in my experience everyone wants to work the rotator cuff, when honestly, most people need scapulothoracic work (meaning, rhomboids, low and mid traps, etc). Hammer Ys, Ts, and Is, and use very light weights with PICTURE PERFECT TECHNIQUE on any benching in the future (after your therapy is over of course). Meaning have someone who knows how to bench really really well take you through and make sure everything is perfect. Watch Tate's "So you think you can bench" videos etc. And if you do the rotator cuff exercises, make sure to lock your shoulder blade down and back (think perfect posture etc).

My guess is its most likely 70-80% technique problems, and then 20-30% weak upper back. Just my opinion here. I may be wrong, but this is what I see a lot of

10-10-2012, 10:35 PM
Thanks guys for your advice. Great to get knowledge from a physio and future physio.

Would facepulls with scapula retration work well for me?

Funny thing you said about the weak upper back. When I could bench 145kg I could only row about 90kg.

The front of my upper body is too strong compared to the rear. Should I start doing some Rows and Pullups while doing my rehab? I have the classic slouched forward shoulders.

Do you guys think I'll even be able to train my bench heavy in the future? Since I don't have any tears or anything like that. It just amazes me even after almost a year it hasn't healed. :( :( :( :( :(

10-10-2012, 10:43 PM
Also I notice when I take Ibuprofen that it feels HEAPS better.
Should I do like a 2 week course of them?

10-10-2012, 10:46 PM
Also would it be worth the money to get some massage therapy on my traps, because my traps are very hard and stiff and I've heard neck issues can cause shoulder issues.

And maybe some on my pecs and delts?

Travis Bell
10-11-2012, 08:47 AM
Face Pulls are good but get in a lot of lat work. Start very light and super high reps to get the blood flow in there and as the weeks progress you can slowly increase the weight.

Ice the area post workout to take down the inflamation.

10-11-2012, 09:59 AM
Crush your upper back and lats two times per week. Do this for 15-20 sets per workout for a month. During this time I wouldnt bench at all. When I tore my shoulder upI didnt bench or do any pressing movements for 7 weeks once. After months and months of failed rehab rest was the only thing that worked.

Dont try to fix this over night. You spent years building this injury and there isnt a quick fix. Rest and heal then comeback stronger.

10-11-2012, 01:00 PM
You could also do rhomboid activation exercises multiple times a week outside your regular training sessions. Here is a good one-


I would probably do that everyday along with pec stretches and thoracic mobility work.

I do these before every training session as well-



If you can find a good ART (active release technique) or other qualified practitioner to do some soft tissue on your pecs and neck/upback that might be worth a try too. Just make sure they know a good pec minor release:)

10-11-2012, 07:16 PM
I 100% agree with the PT advice above.... but could add that it might help to run a course of NSAIDS

also, if the electro-stim machine helped you just buy your own. I got a TENS-7000 from overstock . com for around $35 and it is every bit as powerful as the one my PT has......

10-11-2012, 07:42 PM
Getting great advice here. Nothing more to add, other than yes, you will be able to bench heavy again. Get the posture/upper back upper issues taken care of and then work on technique with all pressing.

10-12-2012, 09:03 AM
What's the point of training if you can't work your upper body?????????????????? I read the whole post but forgot it when I read that bullshit!

Squat, Deadlift, Clean - do the man lifts.

I probably have some great advice about tendonitis (ice, ibuprofen and patience) but I forgot it because of that assinine statement.