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Old 12-06-2011   #1
Ottawa, Canada
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2
Shoulder pain

Hey everyone,

I'm a long time paddler and I have developed shoulder pain. I don't feel that I have lost strength however the pain has forced me to be more cautious on the river. This pain is not the result of any trauma that I'm aware of, most likely it's years of wear a tear. Any suggestions on what I should do to rehab my shoulders? Has anyone overcome a similar issue?

Thanks jim

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Old 12-06-2011   #2
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
check out a good physical therapist. Find one by word of mouth, recommendations.

I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 12-06-2011   #3
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 481
I had some nagging pain a couple years ago. I think it started with a rough day of playboating, but it took forever to go away. The thing that I found helped the most was probably backpaddling to build rotator cuff strength. I'd say 50-100 backstrokes at some point during your paddling day would help a lot.

My wife also had some shoulder pain, and hers was due to an impingement if I remember right. She had developed a muscle imbalance where the front part of her shoulder was stronger than the back part, or vice versa, and this pinched a nerve or something, or held her shoulder in a painful position a lot of the time. It was a while ago, and I can't remember the details. She saw a doctor and got a list of the specific shoulder exercises to strengthen the weaker parts of her shoulder. Once she did that, her problems cleared up a lot faster than mine had.
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Old 12-06-2011   #4
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
Ditto on finding a PT.

You've been paddling since 1970, you must be an old guy... The PT will give you some exercises to build muscle and strengthen tendons. Once the pain is manageable, go find yourself a Personal Trainer to get you on a weight regiment. It does not need to be anything fancy, but you will need to continue building muscle in order to do the stuff you want to do...
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Old 12-06-2011   #5
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Someone posted this link with some exercises a while back. Seems pretty comprehensive.
Shoulder Maintenance | Performance Video

If it were me though, I'd take advantage of that cheap Canadian health care I hear so much about.
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Old 12-06-2011   #6
Ottawa, Canada
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2
Great suggestions, as for cheap health car you first have to find a doctor, not easily done up here.
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Old 12-06-2011   #7
Front Range, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 75
I keep an EVS shoulder brace in my dry bag. My shoulder pops out several times a year. It might help ya out....
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Old 12-06-2011   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
I'd recommend seeing a doctor. Shoulder pain could be any of a number of things. Could be ligment tear, could be inflamation, could be impingement. PT can help some of these, but not all.

To me, its best to know what the exact problem is before you attempt to solve it.
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Old 12-10-2011   #9
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11
Rubber bands!!! do rubber band workouts three times a day, it did wonders for my shoulders

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