Shoulder Pain

Ripper

Hall of Fame
I have a pain in the right (I'm a righty) shoulder area. Actually, it's towards the front, around the area where the arm connects to the shoulder. I'm assuming it's because of tennis, eventhough I didn't start to feel it until several hours after I last played (the day before yesterday). It's very painful when I try to rasie my arm. What could this be?
 

jackcrawford

Professional
That sounds like it could be tendonitis. A trip to the doc is indicated, who probably will prescribe Motrin or similar drug and some time off from tennis.
 

TheShaun

Hall of Fame
i have a similar problem. it seems to be the little muscle in the front. if i go out and hit without serving it's fine but when i serve the problem starts. i probably have crappy technique.
 

Ripper

Hall of Fame
i have a similar problem. it seems to be the little muscle in the front. if i go out and hit without serving it's fine but when i serve the problem starts. i probably have crappy technique.
No man, mine is worst, since I wouldn't, even, be able to play.
 

JesseT

Rookie
Before assuming the worst (tears are possible, but unlikely) some considerations.

One, your age. If you're older (40+), tears are more likely. If you're 16, a tear is only likely if you've also been overdoing other things (like weightlifting, pitching, throwing footballs and hauling hay all in the same day, 6x a week)

Two, conditioning. If tennis serving is the only exercise your shoulder/back muscles are getting, you could be imbalanced. It's common with weekend-warrior types. PT's will have you do "opposite motion" exercises, like arm lifts and lateral pulls. Think of it this way. Joints have 2 major muscle groups controling motion; back and forth. Serving is "forth". Over-exercise this, you'll quickly outpace "back" and the joint will soon hurt because of this imbalance.

Three, stroke. If you can rule 1 and 2 out, have a teaching pro watch you and look for obvious mistakes you're making in your stroke. Example: hitting a 70mph serve with just arm motion. Makes my shoulder hurt just thinking about it.
 
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JesseT

Rookie
Oh, and on a personal experience note...

avoid going to a high school reunion, have a few too many and challenging the guys to an arm wrestling match; especially if your old classmates outweigh you by 70lbs+ and do construction.

I'm still paying for that one.

One of the more embarassing things in life is telling your doubles partner that we're risking losses for the next 2 weeks cause you were dumb.
 

Ripper

Hall of Fame
Before assuming the worst (tears are possible, but unlikely) some considerations.

One, your age. If you're older (40+), tears are more likely. If you're 16, a tear is only likely if you've also been overdoing other things (like weightlifting, pitching, throwing footballs and hauling hay all in the same day, 6x a week)

Two, conditioning. If tennis serving is the only exercise your shoulder/back muscles are getting, you could be imbalanced. It's common with weekend-warrior types. PT's will have you do "opposite motion" exercises, like arm lifts and lateral pulls. Think of it this way. Joints have 2 major muscle groups controling motion; back and forth. Serving is "forth". Over-exercise this, you'll quickly outpace "back" and the joint will soon hurt because of this imbalance.

Three, stroke. If you can rule 1 and 2 out, have a teaching pro watch you and look for obvious mistakes you're making in your stroke. Example: hitting a 70mph serve with just arm motion. Makes my shoulder hurt just thinking about it.
Oh, and on a personal experience note...

avoid going to a high school reunion, have a few too many and challenging the guys to an arm wrestling match; especially if your old classmates outweigh you by 70lbs+ and do construction.

I'm still paying for that one.

One of the more embarassing things in life is telling your doubles partner that we're risking losses for the next 2 weeks cause you were dumb.
Thanks for taking the time to answer me. I really appreciate it.

Edit: Anyway, I'm 40 and the pain started 48 hours ago. It, progresively, got worst (in part, because I kept on trying to do normal everyday things with my arm). Now, it's, progresively, getting better, but there's still some pain, specially if I try to raise my arm (stopped trying that, lol). Obviously, I won't play any tennis until it stops hurting. Also, I have an appointment with a specialist for next week, because I want to know, exactly, what happened, etc. Hopefully, I can get back to playing soon... I was playing my best ever :sad:
 
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Forehand Forever

Professional
How old are you? If you're still growing it might be something totally different than what you think it is. I had a stress fracture in my growth plate because my body was still growing and the growth plate couldn't keep up with my tennis playing and a small fracture started. Back in March when I started tryouts for the high school team I could warm up perfectly and light serves felt fine but when I started to put more on it I got this burning sensation and it hurt like hell.

Sorry I didn't see the post that said you were 40. This probably isn't much use to you but it might be to someone that's like 15 or so like myself :)
 

Hokiez

Rookie
Very, very likely something in the rotator cuff. I had that exact pain and I had it for 6 months and through 4 weeks (3X/week) of physical therapy. It would get better with 3 weeks of rest, but the first time I used it again, it would hurt like bloody hell again.

Mine was a combination of what was believed to be 2 issues, a possible small labrum tear and some inflammation of the shoulder tendons. The PT fixed one of the issues, but not the constant swelling/inflammation. A cortisone injection after strengthening the shoulder completely fixed it in 2 days.

First they will likely do an x-ray to determine if it's structural. If that's clear, an MRI will tell for certain what the issues is but they may recommend straight PT.

Tuesday = no pain
Wednesday = pain from injection but very little pain from actual injury
Thursday = pain free
 

Ripper

Hall of Fame
It's been 5 days and I'm 99% pain free. Have swung the racquet at home a couple of times and I think everything's cool, but am scared of actually going to the courts and hurting myself again. Tomorow, I'm going to the doc ;)
 

Ripper

Hall of Fame
Ease back into it, stretch before hitting and hit 20-30 serves at a slow pace before hitting with pace.
Today is a complete week since the pain started. It's gone away by now. Still feel a pinch when I do certain movements, though. Like lifting my arm to my side.

Good thing is, yesterday, I went to the doctor. He's showing me some excercises for strengthening the unbalanced muscles. He said he doesn't want me serving or smashing, for the moment. Hitting groundstrokes is ok. So, I'll do that tommorow and see how it goes.

Edit: And thanks, I'll follow your recommendations :)
 
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Hokiez

Rookie
My pleasure. Get some 5 pound weights (I laughed until I did the actual exercises) and some bands. There are a bunch of exercises illustrated on the internet that are exactly the ones my PT had me doing. I still do them and no pain. I think you got to it early but be sure to follow the directions for not smashing/serving. Also stretch in the shower, the shoulder apparently loves damp heat to add flexibility and help prevent future injury.
 
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