Typical shoulder injuries from weightlifting

Every now and then, shoulder injuries are known to occur among those who engage in weightlifting. The shoulder is one of the joints in the body and surrounded by tendons, muscles, ligaments, nerves, bursa and blood vessels. Damage to any of these structures can trigger pain and loss of function in the shoulder joint.

Close look on different types of shoulder injuries


The bursa is a small-sized sac filled with fluid that functions as a cushion and lubricating factor in between the ligaments, tendons and bone. There are several bursas surrounding the bigger joints in the body. Shoulder injuries due to direct trauma can irritate the bursa and make it swell. In most cases though, the bursitis develops from overuse or constant strain from weightlifting and poor management of existing shoulder injuries.

Shoulder injuries

A strain occurs when a muscle fiber is ripped apart while a sprain is a torn ligament.


A strain occurs when a muscle fiber is ripped apart while a sprain is a torn ligament. Both injuries are categorized as grades or degrees with grade 3 as the most severe which involves full rupture of the tissue.

These shoulder injuries can occur from abrupt stretching or change in direction of the tissue once the body is tired. In addition, lifting weights that are too heavy can lead to injury to the soft tissues in the shoulder. Remember that both pain and fatigue in the area are the warning indications that it is time to take a break before an injury occurs.


The tendons are quite durable and capable of resisting up to twice the force of the attached muscle. Overusing of the tendons including those in the shoulder can produce friction in the sheaths which results to the buildup of heat.

The unwarranted strain or carrying weights that are too weighty can lead to disrupted tissue alignment, inflammation and erratic movement. These tissues will not enable the tendon to smoothly move and trigger pain in the involved region.

Thoracic outlet syndrome

When it comes to thoracic outlet syndrome, it develops from early trauma, repetitive overuse, sports injuries or an imbalance of the muscles close to the front and back of the shoulder. Once this condition develops, the blood vessels and nerves are pressed in the area in between the clavicle and the first rib.

Even though this is not directly part of the shoulder, the pain can radiate into the shoulders and arms. This condition can be aggravated or initially noticed while weightlifting. In case the nerves or vascular system are compressed, the numbness and tingling are quite evident during overhead lifting movements and if the arms are extended in front of the body.



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