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For those of you with a history of shoulder problems
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By NickinCO
From colorado
Nov 11, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
I made a thread here a few months ago about shoulder issues I was having. To make a long story short I wasn't happy with the doc/therapist I was seeing and switched. The diagnosis stayed the same thankfully. (rotator cuff impingement and tendonitis) The doc basically stated too much climbing and not working my back out enough has caused my whole upper arm to move forward in the shoulder joint which is causing my rotator cuff tendon to be pinched between the head of my humerus and my collar bone. Now I have an awesome PT that I've been going to twice a week for the last 3 weeks and I'm schedule for 5 more appointments throughout november.

My shoulder has gotten a lot stronger over the last few weeks and the random aches/pains have almost 100% went away. My shoulder has also visibly moved back in the socket. I've noticed though that when I drive in the car for extended periods of time my shoulder gets really sore.

Has anyone else had issues with the arm moved forward in the shoulder socket? How did your rehab go? I'm moving the end of the month and hoping it's cleared up by then. I was just recently cleared to workout again but still nothing over my head.

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By Luigi
Nov 11, 2011
Could you post the details of the therapy interventions/exercises your new PT is putting you through? I am working thru some rotator cuff problems myself.

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By erik kapec
From prescott, az
Nov 11, 2011
enjoying the static, grappel and a smoke on Dana...
I just finished a few weeks of pt for my shoulder, and am having similar issues with my median nerve being pinched, and my joint being too far forward. unfortunately insurance wouldn't dish out for anymore than 4 weeks since its not preventing me from anything. Im seeing really slow progress doing the home exercises using the band and cams as weights. As well as some basic wall stretching. Nick how soon did you really start to see improvements? are you using machines outside of PT? Good to hear someone with the same issue has some positive results. I was starting to get a little worried there.

Also according to the othopedic much of my issue may be caused from too much looking up while belaying, and my shoulder is apparently being affected by straining my neck too much.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Nov 11, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
Luigi wrote:
Could you post the details of the therapy interventions/exercises your new PT is putting you through? I am working thru some rotator cuff problems myself.


Basics are as follows:


10 minute warm up on arm bicycle

10 mins stretching/rubbing, shoulder manipulation

Then varying exercises while keeping the shoulder down and back (really made a huge difference). Exercises include stuff like in the link below:

thecompletepitcher.com/thrower...

then ice for 10 min and I'm on nsaids. I'm also supposed to stretch twice a day everyday.

Obviously I'm not a PT or a doctor so this is what has been working for me, your situation might vary.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Nov 11, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
erik kapec wrote:
I just finished a few weeks of pt for my shoulder, and am having similar issues with my median nerve being pinched, and my joint being too far forward. unfortunately insurance wouldn't dish out for anymore than 4 weeks since its not preventing me from anything. Im seeing really slow progress doing the home exercises using the band and cams as weights. As well as some basic wall stretching. Nick how soon did you really start to see improvements? are you using machines outside of PT? Good to hear someone with the same issue has some positive results. I was starting to get a little worried there. Also according to the othopedic much of my issue may be caused from too much looking up while belaying, and my shoulder is apparently being affected by straining my neck too much.



I have access to workout equipment at work but I haven't really been doing anything because it was just last week my PT said I was allowed to do stuff again (just nothing overhead yet)

Basically my stretching is-
the towel stretch behind you where you are pulling your arm up and back. 30 seconds
trying to squeeze my shoulder blades together while keeping them down 3 sets of 10
lying on my back and punching the sky rotating arms 30 each arm
wall stretch 30 seconds

It's obvious my shoulder has moved back because now my left shoulder looks more forward then my right. I think the shoulder manipulation from the PT has a lot to do with that also though.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Nov 11, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
Eric,

I really started to see progress from the new PT so just the last few weeks. I've had this issue since April. She also said it's important to keep the shoulder down and back because by lifting it, it's keeping it constantly stretched in back and up which causes further aggravation.

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By Joe Huggins
From Grand Junction
Nov 11, 2011
mmmm....tree
Hey Nick-gettin' close to the move,eh? You guys are gonna love it here.
Anyway, I've had shoulder issues since I tried Clever Lever,like thirty years ago, and damaged my right. Didn't have it checked out at the time, just lived with it and eventually it felt ok.Did my left in a similar way on Boys Climb about twenty years ago. Finally got pt after the orthopedist told me I needed surgery that probably wouldn't work...(?!?)
Long story short-pt helped loads. Dynos are problematic, as I can't afford too much shock loading; but I can honestly say that at this point, the insanity is far more limiting than the shoulder issues that were pretty bad.
Seems like you're on the right track-expert advice and dedicated training will get you through.

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By Alicia Sokolowski
From Brooklyn, NY
Nov 11, 2011
Hanging out waiting for Die Antwoord to come on stage
My husband is getting ready for shoulder surgery now to fix a SLAP tear with bicep tendon involvement.

The surgeon projects about three months he will be out, 12 weeks in a sling. Initially he was diagnosed with only an impingement, but after months of religious PT and no improvement, I hounded him into the MRI (I had an impingement at the same time, and simple PT fixed it entirely in about 6 weeks). Bad news on the MRI, but he has a better doctor and a killer surgeon now, so hopefully he will be back to 100% along the timeline predicted (just in time to kick of the 2012 season!)

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By Lee Smith
Nov 11, 2011
You can love your rope but you can't "LOVE" your rope! <br />(Back by Popular Demand.  There you are Mom) <br /> <br />
As one who has undergone Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and bicep tendon release (complete suprasinatus tear and 70% bicep tear) I can offer some advice:

1) Take it slow regarding the recovery times. 6 -- 8 months off from climbing is a small price to pay when you are talking about years of climbing future.

2) Be religious about your PT and the excercises they give you.

3) Take some supplements that will help your recovery.

4) Loved my surgeon -- Dr. Gottlob of Panorama Orthopedics in Golden, CO.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Nov 11, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
Lee Smith wrote:
As one who has undergone Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and bicep tendon release (complete suprasinatus tear and 70% bicep tear) I can offer some advice: 1) Take it slow regarding the recovery times. 6 -- 8 months off from climbing is a small price to pay when you are talking about years of climbing future. 2) Be religious about your PT and the excercises they give you. 3) Take some supplements that will help your recovery. 4) Loved my surgeon -- Dr. Gottlob of Panorama Orthopedics in Golden, CO.


What supplements did you take? I've tried to find something but it doesn't seem like there is really anything out there for it. I had an MRI reviewed by two different doctors so I'm fairly confident I don't have any tears. The second doc was actually surprised I was having problems because she thought there was very minimal issue with the tendon. I guess I'm a wuss lol.

Really hoping it's going to be back to normal for next year though. I think moving out there will help because I won't be climbing in the gym. I can't wait for the move, 19 days until we're on the road!

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By Alicia Sokolowski
From Brooklyn, NY
Nov 11, 2011
Hanging out waiting for Die Antwoord to come on stage
Lee Smith wrote:
As one who has undergone Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and bicep tendon release (complete suprasinatus tear and 70% bicep tear) I can offer some advice: 1) Take it slow regarding the recovery times. 6 -- 8 months off from climbing is a small price to pay when you are talking about years of climbing future. 2) Be religious about your PT and the excercises they give you. 3) Take some supplements that will help your recovery. 4) Loved my surgeon -- Dr. Gottlob of Panorama Orthopedics in Golden, CO.


Thanks Lee, and feel free to PM me or email me at my first name.my last name at gmail. I welcome any advice from one that has already gone down this road. We have some serious injury experience (hubby fractured 5 vertebrae in 2009 in a bad snowboarding accident) so whatever is needed for recovery, we're set on the long term, not the short term. Hubby is plenty nervous and hearing that anyone came back strong after this surgery will lift his spirits, no matter the recovery time. I'm just about to have our first baby (32 weeks tomorrow), so we'll both be home bound for a while anyway.

I would also be interested in the supplements if you happen to remember what was recommended.

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By lisa c
Nov 11, 2011
I had surgury similar to Lee's, my suprasinatus was 90% torn. Now just over a full year later am I feeling like I can hang for short amounts from straight arms.
I love using the Bodyblade and pt will/should be a habit most days per week for the rest of your life.
Ask your pt for different ways to do the same excercises, I find this very effective and it keeps me from getting bored.
I hope this is somewhat useful for you and I hope you heal soon.

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By Alicia Sokolowski
From Brooklyn, NY
Nov 11, 2011
Hanging out waiting for Die Antwoord to come on stage
Nick - sorry, I totally kidnapped your post.

Also, good luck on the move!!! :)

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By JFred
Nov 11, 2011
Getting surgery next month for a SLAP tear. John Hopkins' website says "most patients can return to their previous level of sports with no or few restrictions." Has anyone had this surgery?

But as for your case, make sure you get an MRI. That's what really got an accurate diagnosis for me.

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By Tombo
From Boulder
Nov 11, 2011
1/3 of the way up Spire, just above where my piece blew.
I to had a slap tear repair about 8 years ago and it was alongggg recovery period. Two summers ago both my shoulders started giving me problems similar to the slap tear injury but it ended up being out of balance muscles. Three weeks of working the opposing muscles (back) with rubber bands and stretching and no problems since.

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By Bruno D
From Boulder, CO
Nov 12, 2011
Just a comment to add to the shoulder issue. I went through months of weird shoulder problems which i finally figured out was a pinched nerve due to my shoulder being too rotated forward in its socket. It was a really weird injury and clearly was due to nerve pain, sometimes when it was bad I would have trouble lifting my arm up at all and especially up and across my body. What helped me a lot was a combination of a few things. I saw a chiropractor who did a lot of muscle work on me using the active release technique. I have been seeing a rolfer who does unbelievable manipulation on my shoulders. I felt the nerve starting to get pinched again and I went and saw here and she completely realigned my shoulders. The rolfing work has been the most effective so far. In terms of stretching I try to stretch in a way that opens up my chest as much as a can.

REALLY EFFECTIVE SHOULDER STRETCH THAT EVERY CLIMBER SHOULD DO!
Its a bit hard to describe but basically you take a stick thats long enough where you can hold it on either end in front of you horizontally. You then raise it above your head and behind your back, keeping your arms straight. You want to start off really easy. The wider your grip is on the pole or stick the easier it is so get a stick thats long enough. To increase the stretch put your hands closer together. So basically you repeat this process about 10 times just raising the stick above your head and behind your back and then back in front of you while keeping your arms straight. It really opens of the chest and I have found to be really effective for the shoulders in terms of keeping them aligned and also getting a lot of blood to them, which causes healing. Another variation of this exercise is to hold the stick in the same manner but drop the left hand and rotate it downward while the right hand rises above the head as the stick goes behind the back the right hand will then drop and the left hand will rise and youll be back in front again. I know its a bit confusing but you can do this the other way. Its basically rotating big circles. I'll try and find some pictures online. But this is a really great exercise to open up the chest and get some movement in the shoulders.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Nov 12, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
Alicia Sokolowski wrote:
Nick - sorry, I totally kidnapped your post. Also, good luck on the move!!! :)


no worries, thanks!

Good info here everyone!

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By Bruno D
From Boulder, CO
Nov 12, 2011
also strengthening exercises where your pulling out instead of in have been great for my shoulders. I take a red thera band and tie one side to a door hand and then while pinching a towel between my side and my bicep and keeping my elbow at a 90 degree angle I pull outward slowly with just minimal resistance and do a few sets of ten on each side.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Nov 22, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
Had my last PT session this morning. My injured shoulder is now stronger than my uninjured side. The last 3 or 4 days the aches have went away completely. I hope to do some climbing next week and I'll see how it feels. I haven't climbed since august and I'm going crazy, not sure how you guys and gals with more prolonged recovery times get by. I think my biggest issue now is going to be keeping up with the shoulder exercises.

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By Christopher Barlow
Nov 29, 2011
The Turkish Get Up (check it out on Youtube) is an excellent exercise for building shoulder strength and stability. It forces the shoulder back, in a "packed" position, which is where it should be, and strengthens it in that position. It also works the larger system of movement between the hips, chest, shoulders, and arms to function better together. Just thought I'd mention it as another option for those asking about good exercises for the shoulders.

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By Josh B
Nov 29, 2011
I am 8 months post op after a pretty serious surgery. I just started climbing again a few weeks ago which is a blessing because I was told I would never climb again. My favorite exercise involves using a bench press. I lay down and grab the bar like I am going to do the bench press but instead do half a pull up keeping my body horizontal while focusing on pinching my shoulder blades together. The key is to not go too far up on the pull up and to really pinch the shoulder blades together. This is an advanced exercise so make sure your PT is okay with you doing this at your stage. I also like planks as a good warm up. Raising one hand to the touch the other elbow while in the plank position makes it a bit more challenging. Good luck with your rehab!

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By sDawg
Dec 21, 2011
I had two labral tear repairs and have had the impingement problem you have, partially because my shoulders have always been lax and easy to get out of place.

First, the one thing that really helps the impingement for me is pulling down to failure, focusing on using the muscles behind my shoulder blades. When I really tighten those up, everything is in it's right place and not pinching the next day. Nick, I know you're not allowed to do that now, but it may help prevent recurrence. I'm female, so building size and pushing everything forward is not really an issue. Also, I've had problems for close to 5 years now and I know I need to do PT (rubber bands, rows, stretches, light-weight lifts) every week after "full recovery". I feel it if I don't, then I go to the gym and do it and I feel better. I expect to do that for the rest of my life.

Second, according to my diagnosis, I had basically the same surgery on both shoulders just a year apart (I'm under 30, so young and healthy). But my two experiences were very different. The first time my recovery was relatively fast and easy. I had very little pain and was always getting stronger faster than expected. The second one (I'm at 5 months now) has been much slower and harder, lots of steps back and delays and not feeling strong. So even within the same person, age, and diagnosis, the timeline has been much different. Go at your own pace and based on how you feel and discuss openly with your PT. Don't worry about the specific timelines you hear from other people.

Finally, I do expect to fully recover. I didn't hesitate at all to get the second surgery based on how I had recovered from the first in 9 months.

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