Twice in my life I’ve had small partial thickness tears of the supraspinatus, first in high school during wrestling and again shortly after joining crossfit in May '08. Did physical therapy for both and seemed to make a full recovery. As I got back into Crossfit I developed tendonitis in the shoulder. Learned about self-massage with a tennis/lacrosse ball, and finally fixed that. Still had issues with tension in my neck, would crack my neck countless times throughout the day. Would also always sleep on my left side, with my shoulder compressed pretty much up to my ear. I also experienced some pain on the inside of the shoulder blade, but when I went hunting with a lacrosse ball I never seemed to really find it. I also learned through seeing a chiro that my first and sometimes second ribs were almost always out of joint.
Came across the Kstar Mwod that talked about stretching out the scalenes and how they can cause referred pain on the inside of the shoulder. Started massaging the scalenes and that helped a lot; without the scalenes pulling on my ribs all the time they stopped being out of joint. However, it seemed like I was having to massage them all the time. Learned I am tricep dominant (weird right?) and sleeping on my side was shortening/tightening all of my muscles. Eventually taught myself to sleep only on my back and things got considerably better, but still had a lot of discomfort. I learned about hanging from a bar to help stretch things out. With the hanging from the bar I could feel the adhesions in my neck tearing and eventually everything learned to stay loose and supple. This stretch seemed to also help loosen up my tricep and chest.
It is at about this time I started to notice that I when I woke up I would experience temporary numbness in both of my ring fingers and pinky’s. Learned this was from my C7-T1 being out of whack almost constantly. Got some prolotherapy to tighten up everything and now I no longer have the numbness, but I still have the discomfort inside of my shoulder blade. After seeing a massage therapist I learned that the pain I’m experiencing is coming from a super tight Rhomboid. He tried releasing it first but it would not budge. So after a while he gave up and released my scalenes, then my tricep, and then the rhomboid released “almost too easily”. This granted relief for like two weeks, but my rhomboid slowly tightened back up. According to the massage therapist it seemed like the tricep and rhomboid were playing tug of war. This thought led me to start thingking these muscles are tightening up in order to try to protect some joint, but what joint or why I wasn't sure.
Saw a physical therapist for it and although there were some exercises that helped some, it did nothing to help the tricep and rhomboid relax. I even told my PT I thought there might be some damage to the shoulder joint, causing the muscles to tighten up, and he told me that everything looked strong so that was unlikely. I finally decided to see a Physician's Assistant and after some tests he ordered an MRI with an arthogram. That proved that I have a laberal tear in the back of my shoulder, probably from an injury I got in high school.
So now I know what is going on, and the question is what am I going to do about it. I am going to ask Dr. Hauser a ton of questions, and perhaps go the prolotherapy route since it helped out my hip so much. But for now, I'm just going to have to grin and bear it while I move to Dallas.