Chronic shoulder pain - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-12-2004   #1
badkins's Avatar
Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 499
Chronic shoulder pain

When I raise my right arm I get pain in my shoulder joint. I had this last year, it slowly developes over the course of the season, and goes away in the off season, only to start again next season. This season is definately worse than the last... I have never had a singular accident where I messed up my shoulder, it usually is deep braces on my right side or rolling on my right side where I am putting a lot of stress on the joint that brings on the pain. A couple of weeks ago I had not paddled for a week and the pain had for the most part gone away, I went paddling after work on friday night, and was in major pain that night. So I skipped paddling that weekend, and the next... It has now been 2 weeks since that night and I still have shoulder pain. Looks like my season is done. Anyone have experience with this? Is this from over use or something else? Remedies? Thanks!


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Old 07-12-2004   #2
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
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Sounds all too familiar Brian. For me it has been an inflamed rotator cuff tendon, that was scarred from minor tearing. I have had this on and off with both shoulders for years now. I finally had whats called decompression surgery 2 years ago on the left side which has done wonders. What they do is shave a little bone off the head acromion to make room for the inflamed tendon to function pain free. I am having similiar issues with the right side this year (not for the first time) and have had pretty good luck with some herbal anti-inflammatory meds.

One called Kaprex, by metagenics seems to work pretty well. Bromelain, and curcumin are others I have been using.

Feel free to give me a call if you'd like to discuss it in more detail.

In short I have been really pleased with the one I had cut, but this is really a last resort. THat one had me out of commission for an entire summer, with no improvement in sight.
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Old 07-12-2004   #3
Join Date: Nov 2003
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I ripped a piece of something there about three years ago and it has only begun to relinquish it's hold on me. I was able to continue paddling by taking at least one Ibuprofen before putting in each day. the doc said it was an inflamed bursar sack, a small fluid filled cushion that your shoulder rotates on, it gets inflamed and swells. Ib actually reduces pain by reducing inflamation, so this is actually a decent way to reduce the effects of overuse... personally, I feel that it was what Dave had, where the tendon/ligament (whatever was torn) had to pass thru a constriction as it went from my back to my bicep. I could feel it squish up and sqeeze thru sometimes!!

another way I lessened the pain was to move my hands in closer together on my paddle, try to keep my elbows "pinned" to my sides, and NEVER HIGH BRACE!! (we hear that all the time, but when the river grabs ya, it never sticks!)
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Old 07-12-2004   #4
pnw, Colorado
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There are many different things that cause that and it depends on where the pain comes from. Mine is in front and is an inflammation of the biceps tendon. There are a ton of exercises that can be done to strengthen one thing to give relieve to another. I suggest that you go to a good shoulder guy and have him/her outline exercises and stretches to help with your problem. If I am careful with my workouts and stretching the problem goes away.
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Old 07-12-2004   #5
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Seems like the responses are getting warmer. But...I would 1st get opinion from good orthopedic/shoulder specialist (search recent archives on this topic); get diagnosis from them and PT reference; then--get some fine tuned excercises. PT's are great but still nice for them to have input from shoulder surgeon.

don't despair sometimes a fine tuned excersise program can be all one needs. Keep your head there, see if that works.
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Old 07-12-2004   #6
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Not to be a smart ass, but I'm guessing a good doctor will be able to help you with your problem. Self diagnosis from a paddling website is probably not the best form of medicine to practice when it comes to such important and delicate body parts such as the shoulder. Shoulder problems are very common in paddling. They also require many months of rehab after a repair is done. Although, many problems can be helped considerably with specific excercises to strengthen the tendons and joints. Try calling Dr. Roger Greenberg (303) 393-1000. Former Broncos surgeon and all around nice guy. He won't put you under the knife unless it's a last resort. Good luck.
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Old 07-12-2004   #7
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Surfpiper has the best advice - go to a doc!!!

I went to the MD and he gave me a rigorous PT regimin that i could do at home. He actually told me to start taking Glucosamine/Chondroitin for joint pain. The effects have really helped, but didn't take hold until about 1 month after i first started taking it. I guess it has a similar effect as Advil, but much less irritating to the stomach.

Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2004   #8
Join Date: May 2004
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Ditto on the Glucosamin/Chondroitin pills. Some also say that if you take MSM with it too, it helps with the lubrication of the joints.

I've been taking them on and off for the last two years after a stress frature in the shin--I think that, with aggressive PT helped the healing and bone strength as well as general all around joint issues.

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Old 07-12-2004   #9
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Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1992
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For what it's worth, I am poor (going to school and working parttime) and have no health insurance so doctors are not really an option for me. I was just interested in seeing was working for people out there...

thanks for all the input!
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Old 07-12-2004   #10
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Couple of things... could be some bone mis-alignment in your upper arm or possibly something out of whack in your back. You may want to check out a chiroprator. How do you know a good one? I have had some good success with Dave Barton at Sport Align Chiropractic. He's done some stuff for some Broncos and they keep coming back so they must be pleased.

Other thing... bent shaft paddle if you don't already have one. Best of luck, I have had issues with other parts of the body preventing paddling and skiing and am glad they are past.
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