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Is there a Dr. in the house? Major shoulder pain....(12 posts)

Is there a Dr. in the house? Major shoulder pain....bikenj
Sep 12, 2002 7:48 AM
Never fails. At about the 20 mile mark, my shoulders start to ache big time. I've stretched before, during and afterwards, consciously making an effort to relax and keep a nice bend in my arms, but I can't seem to beat the pain.

I've confirmed I'm properly fitted by two different shops.

Anybody else exprience severe shoulder pain and what have you done to prevent it? Heck, what's the cause?


P.S. I'm 6'2", 185 and ride a 60cm Trek 5200 with a 120mm stem w/ 0 rise. Don't know if this helps!?!?
where in your shoulders? I've had periodic problems withbill
Sep 12, 2002 7:53 AM
rotator cuff pain that I do not believe is a fit issue but is more of a 43-y/o-shoulder, bumping-down-the-road issue. If your rotator cuff gets inflamed, your whole bursa sac can become inflamed. You feel it on the outside of the ball of your shoulder, or, if it gets bad, more into the joint itself.
Take alleve. Do some exercises for the cuff (although I never do - do as I say, not as I do).
It's on the inside...bikenj
Sep 12, 2002 8:16 AM
You've endured ten plus years more abuse than I have.

The pain is more towards the front. Lift your rt. arm up to your side, press your left hand (like a hand shake) into the base of your armpit with your thumb sticking straight up. At the point your thumb contacts the shoulder is the area that's giving me the pain. Did I mention it happens to both shoulders?!?!

As you can see Im not doctor.
Sep 12, 2002 8:55 AM
Could be any one of a bunch of things. A lot has to do with your bone structure and prior history. Could be something like impingement syndrome since you're getting it in both shoulders. Could be some over use type of injury to the bursa capsule from some prior activity like competitive swimming. You really need to see a *good* sports medicine doctor and maybe more than one, possibly get an MRI. Even then not everyhting is going to show up. the shoulder is the only joint in the body that's entirely held together by muscle. Damage any one of them, small or large, or injur the structure and you develop problems that just get worse with time. I'm not a doc, but rather someone who did a number on his shoulder and had surgery two years ago after five years of PT and trying to work with it. The bottom line is that it really isn't going to fix itself and you need to be proactive if you want to avoid things from becoming worse. The down time and recovery from getting surgery is a bitch. If you're in the SF Bay area I suggest you see the wizards at S.O.A.R. in Menlo Park - lots of excellent results on professional, world class, and weekend warrior athletes.
Sep 12, 2002 10:43 AM
sounds like your subscapularis muscle is cramping. This is the primary internal rotator of the shoulder and consequently it's what contracts to stabilize yourself when your standing and climbiing or to a lesser extent seated, probaby most involved when on the hoods or in the drops.
I don't know how much fit would influence this. I also get it but only when I'm dehydrated and have been doing some intense riding (usually alot of out of the saddle stuff throwing the bike around).
re: Is there a Dr. in the house? Major shoulder pain....cincy1
Sep 12, 2002 8:18 AM
I'm no doctor. I had shoulder pain that was localized to one side. I found chiropractic adjustments worked well. There are a lot of nerves that pass through the vertebrae in you spine where your neck bends upward while you are in a biking position. Go to a M.D. Make sure there isn't anything major wrong. Then see a chiropractor after the doctor tells you "It must be arthritis, take drugs". You will have nothing too lose and everything to gain.

Also consider strengthening your neck and trapezius muscles in the gym to help support your head.
re: Is there a Dr. in the house? Major shoulder pain....bikenj
Sep 12, 2002 8:31 AM
I see a chiro on regular basis...In fact I come from a family of Chiros...However, none are cyclists.

Want to stay away from drugs (Aleve, etc.)

It should be assumed that comfort is a component of being properly fitted by a knowledgeable professional. Hence, my position is comfortable.

Typically, the "shoulder" painWayne
Sep 13, 2002 3:29 AM
that riders get from too long/low of a stem is in the upper back or neck region and affects the upper trapezius, levator scapulae or muscles that extend the neck. What you are describing is not this pain so I suspect that your fit is not the problem.
"properly fitted"Steve_0
Sep 12, 2002 8:21 AM
everybodys different. just because your dimensions fit into a sizing template, doesnt mean your comfort level does.
re: I've had similar pain, but it's not been chronic.dzrider
Sep 12, 2002 8:39 AM
It didn't hurt while riding, but off the bike hurt so badly it was hard to sleep. Every time I rolled over the pain woke me up. I rotated my handlebars so the brake hoods are sitting higher than they were and haven't had any problem since including 4 centuries in 4 successive days last month. I've also been trying to spend less time riding with my palms on the outside of the bars facing eachother, one of my most natural positions. I don't know if either, neither or both make any difference since the pain only occurred once, but it hasn't happened again so I'll stick with the changes unless something else goes wrong.
Recheck your fitbigrider
Sep 12, 2002 9:43 AM
I would get around a bunch of experienced cyclists and ask them to look at you ON your bike while you are riding. My WAG is that your bike is to small for you in the top tube. Is your seatpost real high? If so, and your handlebars are low you will tend to hump your back and put mor pressure on your arms (shoulders). If I was a better I would say the 60cm 5200 which is a 58cm center to top is too small for you. I am 6'2" with a long torso and my 62cm 5200 is just about right with a 130mm stem.

You may want to try to raise the height of your stem and lenghtening it by 10mm if your body is in a proper position. This will give you the same distance from your shoulders to the bar but makes the angle less severe which transfers more weight to your saddle.

Good luck
The Blue Goo will cure you...graham101
Sep 12, 2002 7:42 PM
Mineral Ice, the blue jelly goo similar to many other pain releiving rubs. Any drug store, five bucks. Works great for pain plus cuts grease and will keep your hands warm too. The cure for cyclists after age 40. Other fixes would be a rise stem to elevate the bars.