The Shoulder Degeneration Saga + MRI

My shoulder starting hurting back around August. I took a week off from lifting and it didn’t improve. When it started waking me up at night, I knew I had a problem. I saw the physical therapist who helped me with my tennis elbow. He said my rotator cuff was weak. I told him that surprised me. I’m strong enough to do pull-ups unassisted! I thought if you did compound movements, working large muscle groups, in a variety of exercises, you would have good overall strength and not weaknesses in the smaller muscles.

He replied, essentially, ‘Yeah, that is true, most of the time. Except sometimes it’s not.’


So I started PT (Physical Therapy) for rotator cuff. After about 4-5 weeks, I actually had MORE pain. He said that while my rotator cuff was getting stronger, the posterior shoulder capsule seemed to be exacerbated. He suggested I go for an MRI.

The MRI Experience

Odd. Wow, just so odd. I had heard that it’s like being in a coffin & many people can’t stand it. I didn’t have a problem with the tight space. I’m generally not claustrophobic and, of course, I only had to be in until my waist. My brother-in-law also pointed out that it’s a much tighter fit for him – being much more broad in the shoulders. I hadn’t thought of that.

They are very noisy and, despite wearing ear plugs, it felt at some points like someone was banging pots together in front of my face – like the noise was resonating through my face. That was definitely the worst part, but I’ve always hated loud noise.


Results said “a little bit of arthritis.” Yes, a “BIT.” WTF does that mean? I don’t know. But I knew I wanted to discuss it with a specialist. Luckily for me my PT is awesome & recommended a great ortho, Dr. Richard Hinton. Some highlights:

“Dr. Hinton’s practice is concentrated on knee and shoulder conditions and involves athletes at the recreational, scholastic, collegiate, and professional levels of play. … Dr. Hinton began his sports medicine career as a physical therapist and certified athletic trainer. … Dr. Hinton has served as a team physician for the NFL Baltimore Ravens, Towson University, Loyola University, …” 

Next: What the ortho said about my shoulder arthritis.

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