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Old 04-14-2005   #1
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 43
Healing from shoulder injury


I suffered a shoulder injury 2+ years ago. It was diagnosed as a left rotator cuff strain and shoulder impingement.

Subsequent to that, I haven't paddled at all in the past 2 years (not really related to the injury). There's pain in my shoulder/arm area if I do too much lifting or stretching out my arm. Deep tissue massages seem to help a bit to heal the pain.

But now I have a new playboat and really have the itch to be on the water with full arm capacity!

Does anyone know of any good stretches or other helpful advice on strengthening and not re-injurying my shoulder (...and I hope not to hear "stay away from paddling!" )?

Thanks much and happy paddling!

anne_colorado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2005   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 12
I also had a similar shoulder injury a few years ago. I could not even throw a football without serious pain. I did not boat or stress (anything that hurts) the shoulder for two years. After a long period of low stress I started swimming. Swimming really helped! Now I do not have any pain or problems with my shoulder. Most stretches that moved the shoulder in a circular fashion did not help at all, they only added to the pain. This is my experience only, and I do not claim to be an expert. My best advice is to take it very slow. Make sure your roll is correct and do not brace too hard...flip over and roll instead. My rule #1 is "If it hurts a lot then stop doing it".

I hope you get it feeling better soon.

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Old 04-15-2005   #3
Alamogordo,, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 16
rotator cuff surgery

FYI - I had a partial tear of my anterior supraspinatus tendon repaired arthroscopically two years ago. I found the best, (or one of the best surgeons in NM through a paddling buddy who happens to be a physical therapist. I was paddling class 3, 8 weeks after the surgery, and class 4/5 within 12 weeks of the operation. It was well worth the ordeal of putting oneself under the knife in my case.
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Old 04-15-2005   #4
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 49
revisit dr. see PT and do the excercises; they work!

3 shoulder surgeries: Know well too much about shoulders. What I do know is that everyone's shoulder and injuries are somewhat unique. The reasonbale suggestion is that PT excercise, based on my experience and many other folks that have had shoulder problems, can often times be just the ticket. Many folks have remarkable improvement with the correctly diagnosed therapy and excercise. In some cases, it just doesn't work and then the options are typically surgical--but any good doctor will tell you that.

Spare yourself all the questions, see a good shoulder specialist (once), have them re-diagnose what's going on and then see a good PT that they recommend who specifically addresses what the dr. sees fit for YOUR shoulder. It tends to be a waste of time to listen to people like me and everyone else that has had a shoulder problem. Try the above and hopefully you will see great improvements within a reasonble time frame and you will be happy paddling.

As the other person suggested; you do need to protect your shoulders while paddling-so get that stuff firmly implanted!
good luck
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Old 04-15-2005   #5
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
I have a 3rd degree sep on the left shoulder and a right shoulder that is sore from over-compensating. Can anyone recommend a good specialist to see about this?
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Old 04-15-2005   #6
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 49
do a search on shoulder and surgery

this topic is come up before and you will get some info if you do these searches.
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Old 04-15-2005   #7
TimWalker's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 205
Along with the good advice of going to a good doc and PT, I had really good results from doing T-Bench rotations. You put two flat benches in a T shape, lay down and have your arms supported by the T, use very light weight dumbells and then rotate your arms so they are perpendicular to your body. Do high reps, low weight. There was an article in muscle and fitness about shoulder injuries years ago and that's where this excercise came from, this was the best exercise for me. It tightened up my shoulder which was popping and painful from a dislocation suffered while skiing, or crashing while on skis.
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Old 04-15-2005   #8
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,012
Tim, could you explain your exercise a bit more. Are you laid out on the benches like a cross and then lift tthe weights like your doing a fly? What's the purpose of the two benches? To prevent you from going too far down?
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Old 04-15-2005   #9
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 176
Used to have shoulder problems, not anymore!

So here is my story. I have been kayaking for ten years now, and about eight years ago I strained both shoulders in diffferent incidents, both were doing high braces into a hole. From then on when I would paddle my shoulders would hurt. In addition when I would do things like push ups, pull ups, and any other exercises involving the joint it would often make poping noises and cause a deep throbing pain. I was really getting down as I wanted to kayak but kayaking hurt and the pain also caused a positive feedback cycle so the more it hurt the less I did so the less strength I had in the joint when I wanted to do somthing so it in turn hurt more (you get the picture). Anyway about four years ago I finally got sick of the pain and decided to try and do somthing about it. I was uninsured at the time so surgery was not an option plus I was leary of invasive practices anyway. So I did some research and I came across a procedure called prolotherapy. What I read sounded positive but I needed to know for myself. I then contacted a doctor in the Denver metro area who did the procedure to check on costs and to get a better idea if it was right for me. After a long conversation I decided to try it as I felt like I was unable to live my life the way I wanted to so a three hundred dollar gamble was worth it if it worked. So I am sitting in the doctors office and he is doing an initial examination and after about thirty minutes of explaining the procedure he breaks out a large needle fill with a fluid he called a proliferant. HE explained that this type of procedure developed in ancient Rome with hot pokers instread of needles to fix dislocated shoulders on the battlefield. What came next is the hardest part of the procedure and I should warn this is not for the faint of heart. HE had determined from what I had told hime and the examination that the three ligaments in my left shoulder had all been strained and had never returned to their origional length. He explained that a ligament is like a cable if it streches it frays, this is known as a sprian. Liogaments are not suposed to strech however. when this type of injury occurs there is a window of healing around 6-8 weeks where the body attempts to retension the ligament and inthe case of the shoulder draw the ball back into place. What I had done was to not give adequate time to heal the joint so it had never returned to its origional position thus explaining the poping sounds and pain. now for the fun part he inserted the needle into my shoulder joint directly into the ligament and injected some fluid he then did it again and again into all three ligaments in my shoulder joint. I have to admit this is one of the most painful things I have ever had done to myself. After words it felt as if a horse had kicked me in my shoulder. He had told me to not come alone because I would not be able to drive afterwards. This was a very good recamendation. he had also given me a couple of percoset to dull the pain and a prescription for more. the next couple of days were tough I ate a few of the prescription pills and layed around alot. by the third day I quite taking the drugs and I was able to raise my arm to about shoulder height. after a week I was able to use my shoulder with minor pain. the full healing process took another 6 weeks or so but he recamended that I begin using it in any manor I saw fit once I was able to. so I was paddling within two weeks. by the end of the process my shoulder was better but not perfect. HE told me that it often took 2-3 visits depending on the sevarity of the injury. I returned 2 more times both times pretty well doped up for the procedure which deffinitley helped with the pain. That was around four paddling seasons ago and my shoulder is now better than before. The poping and pain are completley gone and I think it is stronger as a result. this procedure was worth the entire $900 I paid for it. IF going under the knife is not an option I recamend looking into prolotherapy. Yes it does hurt alot but it also helps alot more.
My 2 cents,
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Old 04-15-2005   #10
TimWalker's Avatar
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 205

It's not like a fly. It is for the rotator cuffs, so, imagine laying out on the benches like a cross. Start the weight at about 5 pounds or less. Bend your arms at the elbows, now your upper arm stays isolated on the bench. Basically, you look like Beavis when he does the Cornholio. The exercise is lifting the weight by just rotating at the shoulder, leaving the upper arm isolated. So the distal portion of your arm (forearm) goes from being parallel to the ground to perpendicular. Don't go past perpendicular. I started with about 2 1/2 pounds per arm when my shoulder was toast and progressed slowly. This excercise worked for me in tightening up the joint and feeling stronger. I can throw a ball now without crying like a sissy.

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