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tennisdad65
10-09-2008, 12:08 PM
I recently noticed a pain below my shoulder (posterior) around the armpit of my right arm (I am right handed in Tennis).

I poked around and found that if I press hard enough there is some pain on the right side but not on my left. It seems like a tendon is being stressed. I looked up shoulder anatomy pics and it seems to be the Teres Major, just below the rotator cuff.

Funny thing is there is no pain doing any shoulder motions.. no pain at all during tennis or serving. I can lift weights, and have full range of motion , with no pain.

I have started icing it. It seems better already, but will stop tennis till the pain completely goes away (probably less than 1 week)

anyone have something similar?

Japanese Maple
10-09-2008, 12:20 PM
Tennisdad65-did you change anything with your weekly playing/workout schedule to bring this on-more serving practice, new motion, new weight lift, ect. How do you think it came on? By the way the teres major muscle is part of the rotator cuff.

tennisdad65
10-09-2008, 12:55 PM
japanese maple: Thinking back.. I did try to reach up more on serve on advice from a training partner about a week back.. maybe hit about 10-15 serves this way..

I played 2 days later and I did try to reach up more on serve when I remembered to do so. But I had no pain, during or after tennis.

About 2 days ago I noticed this pain which occurs only during probing/poking..
In any case, safety first and no tennis for me till the pain goes away completely, especially since you say that it is a part of the rotator cuff.. heard enough horror stories about rotator cuffs..

TonyB
10-09-2008, 01:49 PM
Can you lift your arm behind your back, as if you were scratching your back, without pain?

Try touching your opposite shoulderblade and see if it causes any pain.

I had either a major strain or a tear in my Infraspinatus (similar in function to the Teres Major) and it was very scary. I literally couldn't use my arm at all for about 6 weeks.

I'd recommend letting it heal completely before you play again. I ignored the warning signs for about a week, just chalking them up to "playing too much" before I was forced to stop due to tremendous pain and limited range of motion. I never thought it would be debilitating, but it did indeed turn out to be.

Luckily, I avoided surgery, but I was close. Too close. Best bet is to take it easy and make sure you're fully healed before starting up SLOWLY again.

tennisdad65
10-09-2008, 02:04 PM
TonyB: yes, I can scratch my back from the top and from behind (bottom) without any pain. There is no pain or flexibility loss in any shoulder motion. I can even lift 5 lbs in all directions/motions without any pain.

No pain while serving or swinging a racquet either.

But If I probe/press the area, there is definitely some pain. If I raise my arm straight up and probe the area, I feel the pain even more.

I will stop playing tennis till the pain completely goes away while probing it. Better safe than sorry.

TonyB
10-09-2008, 05:06 PM
TonyB: yes, I can scratch my back from the top and from behind (bottom) without any pain. There is no pain or flexibility loss in any shoulder motion. I can even lift 5 lbs in all directions/motions without any pain.

No pain while serving or swinging a racquet either.

But If I probe/press the area, there is definitely some pain. If I raise my arm straight up and probe the area, I feel the pain even more.

I will stop playing tennis till the pain completely goes away while probing it. Better safe than sorry.


I'm surprised, but glad, to hear that you have no pain during extreme range of motion exercises.

However, that leads me to believe that it might not be due (solely) to tennis. Perhaps there are other causes. Maybe you have a slight tear due to some other movement that tennis does not duplicate. Have you seen a doctor or specialist?

Japanese Maple
10-09-2008, 06:37 PM
Chances are you have inflammation of your tendon in the rotator cuff by way of reaching up on your serve. Take 4 advil every 6-8 hours and ice 20 minutes 2-3 times each day or whenever you can. Also, do some stretches and start weight training the rotator cuff at least 2/wk-easy to do and doesn't take very long. You probably can play tennis if pain is mild, your call. Just be sure to ice after playing. I wouldn't be too alarmed, just strengthen the rotator cuff to handle your increased work load of extension on the serve and be sure to stretch the area before and after playing, and ice area after too.

zacinnc78
10-10-2008, 02:16 AM
i had this same thing happen to me last weekend....mine was caused from doing the pattycake serves so i could keep my shoulder down(rotator cuff injury) ,all the sudden something kinda popped or tore i cant explain it but i couldnt hit any shots with my right arm after that.....4 days later its feeling better again .....the pain was on the outer edge of armpit heading towards the lat muscle and it was sharp

tennisdad65
10-10-2008, 07:58 AM
Update:

I agree with JapaneseMaple that it is a tendon inflammed in the cuff.

The last 2 days I have been icing it for about 20 minutes about 6-7 times a day (icedown is really great btw). This morning, the pain is almost gone :). I have to probe/press the area quite hard to detect the pain. i.e. if I did not know the pain is supposed to be there, I would not notice it today.

I am gonna continue to ice / massage it today, and start some light weights tommorrow on. I will go easy on the serve for a couple of weeks and no reaching up more on serve for now. :)


thanks all :)

Japanese Maple
10-10-2008, 09:08 AM
Tennisdad65-be careful when you start weights for the cuff do not use more than 3lbs. The exercises will appear that you could easily handle more weight but don't-as you get stronger in the cuff area don't use more than 5lbs. Also, elastic bands and tubing are good for the cuff. You should be fine. You probably got the inflammation from the area not being stretched out or strong enough to handle the new work load you gave it by extending on the serve. Most inflammation for us tennis players come about by increases of workload for areas that are not stretched out or strong enough to handle. Thats why a proper warm up and pre match stretching is so important. When we do get inflammation- ice, advil, rest, stretch, and strengthen to handle new work load! If the injury doesn't seem to get better in a few weeks than the next step would be getting into rehab with a professional who can apply pulse ultrasound among other things to heal injured area. Good luck!

tennisdad65
10-10-2008, 10:47 AM
japanese maple:
thanks on the weights advice..
I have 3,5,10 lbs sets of dumbells.
I would have tried 5, but I will stick with the 3 as per your recommendation.

Japanese Maple
10-10-2008, 12:31 PM
You will definitely feel mild discomfort even with 3lbs. First time doing the exercises do only 2 sets of 8-10 reps of 3-4 exercises and wait to see how you feel the next day-be careful first time around because you can easily over do it! Also, be sure to ice the cuff after you do the exercises! One more thing, be sure to do both sides for balance.

futuratennis
10-10-2008, 10:37 PM
yea i used to have it... but then my coach told me it was because my serve didnt flow as it should have which put alot of unwanted strain on my arm

heycal
10-10-2008, 11:16 PM
I have to probe/press the area quite hard to detect the pain. i.e. if I did not know the pain is supposed to be there, I would not notice it today.


For Godsakes, stop poking the area already!