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Early Osteoarthritis of Glenohumeral Joint

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  • Early Osteoarthritis of Glenohumeral Joint

    Hello,

    I am 37 and a former baseball player (pitcher). I had shoulder surgery about 10 years ago (arthoscopic subacromial decompression). About 18 months ago I decided to get into weightlifting. About 6 months ago I hurt my shoulder on an incline press. I figured it was my rotator cuff, in which I previously had a partial year. After six months of scaling back, doing SSB rather than low bar due to pain, doing some PT, and ups and downs, I decided to see the doctor. MRI and Xrays, and eventually sent to the shoulder specialist who previously did my surgery. He diagnosed me with early osteoarthritis of the right glenohumeral joint. I was in shock--not what I expected to hear--and didn't ask enough questions. The gist of it is that he wants me to do nothing for 4-6 months so that the inflammation can subside while working with a physical therapist. After reading your arthritis article, I am more confused than ever. What is the point of physical therapy for this? Can I still bench press within a reasonable range (say up to RPE 7) or will I cause more damage? Will I ever be able to low bar squat again? It's not clear to me if the idea is to stop activities now in order to ramp back up, or if I should never do certain things (eg bench press, pull ups, etc.). Basically I find myself caught off guard by the diagnosis, and stuck between the advice of my doctor (do nothing, which I don't want to hear) and your article (training within a tolerable level of pain). Any guidance would be appreciated. Thank you

  • #2
    Originally posted by kflymceids View Post
    Hello,

    I am 37 and a former baseball player (pitcher). I had shoulder surgery about 10 years ago (arthoscopic subacromial decompression). About 18 months ago I decided to get into weightlifting. About 6 months ago I hurt my shoulder on an incline press. I figured it was my rotator cuff, in which I previously had a partial year. After six months of scaling back, doing SSB rather than low bar due to pain, doing some PT, and ups and downs, I decided to see the doctor. MRI and Xrays, and eventually sent to the shoulder specialist who previously did my surgery. He diagnosed me with early osteoarthritis of the right glenohumeral joint. I was in shock--not what I expected to hear--and didn't ask enough questions. The gist of it is that he wants me to do nothing for 4-6 months so that the inflammation can subside while working with a physical therapist. After reading your arthritis article, I am more confused than ever. What is the point of physical therapy for this? Can I still bench press within a reasonable range (say up to RPE 7) or will I cause more damage? Will I ever be able to low bar squat again? It's not clear to me if the idea is to stop activities now in order to ramp back up, or if I should never do certain things (eg bench press, pull ups, etc.). Basically I find myself caught off guard by the diagnosis, and stuck between the advice of my doctor (do nothing, which I don't want to hear) and your article (training within a tolerable level of pain). Any guidance would be appreciated. Thank you
    Hey - sorry to hear about your situation. The diagnosis of osteoarthritis in the shoulder joint of a 37 year old is not surprising and overall not meaningful in regards to management. We all age and as we age tend to show some grey hairs on the inside (like in your situation). Ideally you and the PT are working together to find tolerable entry points into the activities you want to be able to do (like bench press) and slowly building up over time. We have another guide that may interest you specifically on osteoarthritis, see HERE. You may also want a consultation with us so we can talk through some of these prior narratives, provide an individualized program, and ensure you feel comfortable self-managing. If you are interested in a consultation, please complete our intake paperwork HERE.

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    • #3
      I have a similar problem although I am a bit older. I will be 62 in August. I have been living with and/or struggling with a osteoporosis in my right shoulder for a few years. I found a book called "Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention " by J.M. Kirsch, MD. It will cost you about 12 bucks on Amazon. Basically it advises you to hang and stretch out your shoulders. I have been trying this for a few weeks and my shoulders have not felt this good in a long time. I managed overhead presses this morning without pain. I am very excited about my progress and I consider my daily "hanging routine " as important as my dead lift day. I hope this post helps someone. Cheers.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DrCrush View Post
        I have a similar problem although I am a bit older. I will be 62 in August. I have been living with and/or struggling with a osteoporosis in my right shoulder for a few years. I found a book called "Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention " by J.M. Kirsch, MD. It will cost you about 12 bucks on Amazon. Basically it advises you to hang and stretch out your shoulders. I have been trying this for a few weeks and my shoulders have not felt this good in a long time. I managed overhead presses this morning without pain. I am very excited about my progress and I consider my daily "hanging routine " as important as my dead lift day. I hope this post helps someone. Cheers.
        Thanks. This has been recommended to me by someone else as well. I'll look into it for sure. Happy to hear about your success!

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