The Bench Press is one of the most popular exercises in any gym and that’s not going to change anytime soon. You should always make sure that you’re performing the press properly (see our article “How to Avoid Pain and Injury When Bench Pressing“). However, sometimes accidents happen. Here are some of the most common injuries that occur as a result of the Bench Press.
1. Glenoid labrum tear
The most common form of this tear is the “Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior Tear” or “SLAP” this type of tear occurs on the front of your upper arm where your shoulder meets the bicep.
Symptoms usually appear in the form of aching pain and struggling to utilize your shoulder’s full range of motion. Someone suffer from a SLAP tear may also hear a popping or clicking noise in their shoulder.
How to treat it
A SLAP tear is treated at home with heat and ice to the affected area for 15 – 20 minutes at a time, and with a series of physical therapy exercises and NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-Inflamatory Drugs) with a health care professional
2. Torn rotator cuff muscle
The rotator cuff (sometimes mistakenly called “The Rotary Cuff”) are a group of four tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint and form a “cuff” (hence the name) that keeps the arm in place. The application of excessive stress to this area can cause tears in these muscles and tendons
Signs and Symptoms include pain in the arm and shoulder (varies depending the severity of the tear), tenderness or weakness in the affected area, “crackling” or snapping noises, and an inability to sleep on the shoulder, or exercise full range of motion.
How to treat it
A torn rotator cuff is a serious injury (it has permanently ended more than one professional athlete’s career) and if you suspect that you are suffering one you should immediately seek help from a medical professional. Once you reach out to a medical professional they will order a thorough physical examination (often consisting of range of motion tests, however, may also include MRIs or minor exploratory surgeries) and treatments may range from intensive physical therapy to surgery
3. Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
This is when there is pressure on the bursa of the shoulder (a sack of fluid between joints that decreases rubbing and friction during movement). However, sometimes pressure is placed on the bursa with can cause it to wear away or become thinner which would increase friction and rubbing on muscles, bones and skins, and could potentially lead to a Rotator Cuff Injury discussed above
Signs and symptoms include difficulty reaching up or behind your back, shoulder muscle weakness, and pain with overhead use of the arm.
How to treat it
Shoulder Impingement Syndrome is usually treated with a 6 – 8 week course of an oral anti-inflammatory with the supervision of a medical professional. Consulting a medical professional is crucial because continued use of over the counter anti-inflammatories can cause stomach and intestinal bleeding.
Shoulder Pain? Get Relief from a Chiropractor
While the advice above will help an individual avoid injury, there is still a chance that you might get injured. In such a case, the ultimate recommendation would be to have a chiropractor assess the issue, and provide treatment.
Dr. Alec Khlebopros has over 10 years of experience in this field, and has been recognized as Charlotte’s best chiropractor on both Facebook and BizVotes. Learn more about our effective shoulder pain treatment, and contact us with any questions or to book an appointment.