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Shoulder injury...going to gym anyway
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csiebsen


Aug 17, 2012, 3:15 PM
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Shoulder injury...going to gym anyway
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I tweaked my shoulder last week, but didn'treally feel too bad. I went back to the gym and climbed pretty hard and it felt pretty good until the end it got pretty sore. Since then it's felt like crap. I think I have a recurring rotator cuff like injury that shows up every other year or so.

From what I've read I'm supposed to stay away from climbing for a couple weeks, but I need to go to the gym anyway to take my kids and the temptation to climb is pretty strong.

My question is, why couldn't I do drills focused on the lower body, like no-hands climbing, and just avoid using my shoulder much? That's probably where I need to develop my technique the most anyway, so really it's working to my benefit, right?

Or am I just kiddding myself and I'll probably over do it?

Would appreciate hearing from anyone who's been in this situation.

Would also like to hear from any friendly folks with some insight.

Perfer not to hear from any grumpy hall monitor types, they're such a buzz-kill...


louBlissab


Aug 17, 2012, 5:19 PM
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Re: [csiebsen] Shoulder injury...going to gym anyway [In reply to]
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Be very careful with what you do with your shoulder. Everyone's situation is different. The shoulder is a delicate and complicated joint.

I am not a doctor, however, my wife had for a few years a recurring pain in her left shoulder, which was thought to be tendonitis.

She kept training and climbing and tried to avoid anything which would over-stress the shoulder, i.e. no over-hanging routes. Eventually, ended up with a full-on rotator cuff tear, which required shoulder surgery. It took an entire year to get back to 90 percent, with painful therapy and a lot of heart-ache.

I do not wish rotator cuff surgery to my worst enemy!


csiebsen


Aug 17, 2012, 5:32 PM
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Re: [louBlissab] Shoulder injury...going to gym anyway [In reply to]
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Wow, thanks for the warning, I'll take that to heart. My shoulder has held up pretty well through Tae Kwon Do and P90x but I've not attempted regular and intense gym climbing so I probably need to be extra careful.


(This post was edited by csiebsen on Aug 17, 2012, 5:33 PM)


sungam


Aug 18, 2012, 4:59 AM
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Re: [csiebsen] Shoulder injury...going to gym anyway [In reply to]
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I might be a buzzkill saying you need to serious the fuck and be careful, but I guarantee I'm being less of a buzzkill then a lasting injury will be.

But you can be pro-active about reducing your chances of injury and recovering from what sounds like a minor issue you have now. Nicros has some good articles about shoulder injury prevention http://www.nicros.com/training/# and I am sure other sites do as well.


csiebsen


Aug 18, 2012, 6:24 AM
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Re: [sungam] Shoulder injury...going to gym anyway [In reply to]
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Thanks for the link. I think it's a good call, long term, to get in a regular routine of doing exercises like that to strengthen the shoulder. The trick is to keep it up after it starts feeling better.


csiebsen


Aug 22, 2012, 11:40 AM
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Re: [csiebsen] Shoulder injury...going to gym anyway [In reply to]
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Well that was disapointing. Went to the gym last night and quickly realized rock climbing isn't much fun with only one shoulder, so I got to be the belay monkey and had to just watch people climb routes that I was dying to get up on.

Hoping to start up on some easy routes in a couple weeks and maybe be back to 100% by the end of the year. Not going to rush it though. doing some runing in the mean time to stay in shape.

Also need to face the reality that I have a 50 year old shoulder (on a 25 year old body Wink) Need to start climbing accordingly.

If you're healthy and climbing, count your blessings!


onceahardman


Aug 22, 2012, 3:35 PM
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Re: [csiebsen] Shoulder injury...going to gym anyway [In reply to]
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csiebsen wrote:

From what I've read I'm supposed to stay away from climbing for a couple weeks, but I need to go to the gym anyway to take my kids and the temptation to climb is pretty strong.

My question is, why couldn't I do drills focused on the lower body, like no-hands climbing, and just avoid using my shoulder much? That's probably where I need to develop my technique the most anyway, so really it's working to my benefit, right?

Would appreciate hearing from anyone who's been in this situation.
Perfer not to hear from any grumpy hall monitor types, they're such a buzz-kill...

Full disclosure: I have taken the liberty of deleting part of your comment, in the interest of brevity.

Also, I might end up sounding like a hall monitor.

I was a recurrent shoulder dislocator, one of several injuries which have led me into my current profession. Your post is (please forgive me for this) maybe a bit childish. Your answer to a shoulder injury is (really?) to not use your shoulder by climbing no-hands routes?

You have an injury. Rehabilitate it. Solve the problem. Go see a good, sports medicne doctor and/or PT. Learn how to strengthen your rotator cuffs. Don't assume you have a 50 yr old shoulder ( I WISH I had one of those!) in a 25 yr old body.

If you have no insurance, save up and private pay for a couple PT visits. Explain the situation, and ask to be taught how to progress a rotator cuff strengthening program. While it's not simple, it's not rocket science either. Do it soon, before you develop the more permanent bone spurs that are common to longstanding shoulder issues.

I can assure you, the answer is NOT to just avoid using your shoulder. Fix it. Good luck.


shimanilami


Aug 22, 2012, 11:29 PM
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Re: [csiebsen] Shoulder injury...going to gym anyway [In reply to]
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It is virtually impossible to self diagnose a shoulder injury. It could a simple strain, or it could be something much more serious. If you have the means, get yourself to a sports orthopedic to get it checked out.

For the record, I am currently recovering from arthroscopic repair on my right shoulder, after MRI's revealed bone spurs and a massive hyaline cartilage defect. The doctor said that it was a good thing I came to him when I did, because the injury would almost certainly ended my climbing career if it had been left untreated.


csiebsen


Aug 24, 2012, 7:57 AM
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Re: [onceahardman] Shoulder injury...going to gym anyway [In reply to]
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"onceahardman wrote:
Full disclosure: I have taken the liberty of deleting part of your comment, in the interest of brevity.

Also, I might end up sounding like a hall monitor.

I was a recurrent shoulder dislocator, one of several injuries which have led me into my current profession. Your post is (please forgive me for this) maybe a bit childish. Your answer to a shoulder injury is (really?) to not use your shoulder by climbing no-hands routes?

You have an injury. Rehabilitate it. Solve the problem. Go see a good, sports medicne doctor and/or PT. Learn how to strengthen your rotator cuffs. Don't assume you have a 50 yr old shoulder ( I WISH I had one of those!) in a 25 yr old body.

If you have no insurance, save up and private pay for a couple PT visits. Explain the situation, and ask to be taught how to progress a rotator cuff strengthening program. While it's not simple, it's not rocket science either. Do it soon, before you develop the more permanent bone spurs that are common to longstanding shoulder issues.

I can assure you, the answer is NOT to just avoid using your shoulder. Fix it. Good luck.

Thanks for the response, I appreciate it. No, I don't think anyone here is being a hall monitor for giving me honest and helpful feedback to a question I asked, even if it's not what I wanted to hear. My issue is with those posters who seem to be perpetually grumpy and looking to start an argument. Nobody here is acting that way.

Also, I've given up the thought of an adaptive lower body climbing regimen excluding the left shoulder It took me about 5 minutes to realize that wasn't going to work. Right now I'm staying completely off the shoulder as you all have suggested.

I would love to get some PT but finances are a bit in a bind now. What I am doing is icing it regularly and avoiding using it as much as possible and learning all I can over the internet on diagnosis, rehab and climbing specific issues. I plan to ease back in with light shoulder exercies then yoga and maybe some weights before starting on some very easy routes. I plan to focus most of my training on technique to take pressure off the shoulder, which will make me a better climber in the long run anyway.

BTW, I'm chronoligically 50, but haven't adjusted to the idea that my activities need to start adapting to changes in my body. I plan to be as active as I've ever been for as long as I'm able, but it's slowly sinking in that I can't do it the way a 25 year old does.


NCPT05


Aug 27, 2012, 5:03 PM
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Re: [csiebsen] Shoulder injury...going to gym anyway [In reply to]
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If I may, I'd like to give you the advice that I pass on to my fellow climber patients. Yes, I'm a PT that climbs : ) I also have a BA in Exercise Science and was a former personal trainer.

Rest is essential, but that doesn't mean you're ready to get back on the wall as you have found out. As most PT's will tell you, big "phasic" muscles = strength and smaller "tonic" muscles = stability. Phasic muscles (biceps, pecs, deltoids, upper traps) will help pull you up a route, while tonic muscles(SITS-supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis, as well as serratus anterior) help you keep your balance and stabilize the rotator cuff and shoulder joint while performing both static and dyno moves. Also, it is important that your spine has normal range of motion in all planes-forward/backward, sideways, and rotation.
I'm a proponent of working muscles like you will use them. This means closed chain(hand is fixed to the surface) exercises for climbers. While I can't give you specific exercises b/c you are not my patient, I can recommend yoga and pilates type regimines.
Good luck!


csiebsen


Aug 28, 2012, 6:43 AM
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Re: [NCPT05] Shoulder injury...going to gym anyway [In reply to]
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NCPT05 wrote:
If I may, I'd like to give you the advice that I pass on to my fellow climber patients. Yes, I'm a PT that climbs : ) I also have a BA in Exercise Science and was a former personal trainer.

Rest is essential, but that doesn't mean you're ready to get back on the wall as you have found out. As most PT's will tell you, big "phasic" muscles = strength and smaller "tonic" muscles = stability. Phasic muscles (biceps, pecs, deltoids, upper traps) will help pull you up a route, while tonic muscles(SITS-supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis, as well as serratus anterior) help you keep your balance and stabilize the rotator cuff and shoulder joint while performing both static and dyno moves. Also, it is important that your spine has normal range of motion in all planes-forward/backward, sideways, and rotation.
I'm a proponent of working muscles like you will use them. This means closed chain(hand is fixed to the surface) exercises for climbers. While I can't give you specific exercises b/c you are not my patient, I can recommend yoga and pilates type regimines.
Good luck!
Thanks for the response, I plan to start up Yoga once my shoulder feels good enough. I'm also starting the low weight rotator cuff exercises that are recommended.

If I could trouble you with a follow up question, the one that bugs me the most, after I'm able to get back on the rock and start climbing again, I'm going to have this nagging fear that my next move could wreck my shoulder again. I'm sure I'll start cautiously, but at some point you want to start progressing to harder routes and this nagging fear of reiinjury can really take the fun out of it.

Got any advice for this? Can I make that shoulder bullet proof?

TIA


rhei


Aug 28, 2012, 5:15 PM
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Based on the information that youíve received from a couple of practicing PTís, I suspect that you already have an inkling of what the answerís going to be to your ďbullet proofĒ question.

Iíve injured both of my shoulders (separate events) and had surgical repairs on the rotator cuff in each. Along with those surgeries came learning PT exercises, which I dutifully did and, after a time, got back to climbing at about the level Iíd previously been at. (Iím an older guy and I donít expect to get better. Iím just not ready to stop.) But I wondered how long I had to keep up with the rehab exercises. Every professional I asked pretty much came back with the same reply: ďHow long to you want to keep climbing?Ē Stop one and the other stops. So I still do Ďem. My shoulders arenít bullet proof but they donít bother me and that means climbing is still fun.

I heartily endorse OnceaHMís suggestion. Do what it takes to get in to see a PT and learn the proper way to do your rehab exercises. You sound like a pretty good candidate for lifetime membership to the broken (but repaired) wing club.


csiebsen


Aug 29, 2012, 6:22 AM
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rhei wrote:
Based on the information that youíve received from a couple of practicing PTís, I suspect that you already have an inkling of what the answerís going to be to your ďbullet proofĒ question.

Iíve injured both of my shoulders (separate events) and had surgical repairs on the rotator cuff in each. Along with those surgeries came learning PT exercises, which I dutifully did and, after a time, got back to climbing at about the level Iíd previously been at. (Iím an older guy and I donít expect to get better. Iím just not ready to stop.) But I wondered how long I had to keep up with the rehab exercises. Every professional I asked pretty much came back with the same reply: ďHow long to you want to keep climbing?Ē Stop one and the other stops. So I still do Ďem. My shoulders arenít bullet proof but they donít bother me and that means climbing is still fun.

I heartily endorse OnceaHMís suggestion. Do what it takes to get in to see a PT and learn the proper way to do your rehab exercises. You sound like a pretty good candidate for lifetime membership to the broken (but repaired) wing club.

Your tenacity is an inspiration. Not a lot of people would still be climbing and loving it after blowing both shoulders.

The other day I saw a photo in a climbing mag of a 70 year old climbing a 5.12a, so I'm hoping for another 20 years (or more) of good climbing.

One last question, anybody had a good experience with a physical therapist and/or a orthopedic doc in the Minneapolis area? Perferably north metro?

Happy climbing!


csiebsen


Jan 31, 2013, 7:43 AM
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I thought I'd wrap up this thread with a final update. I attempted the "self-treatment" approach and got my shoulder feeling a ton better, but shortly thereafter I was pushing hard on some climbs and reinjured it.

I finally gave in and saw a sports med doctor who diagnosed my shoulder as a classic rotator cuff problem that is very treatable with PT. I saw a PT specialist that afternoon and he prescribed an every other day routine for strengthening the stabilizing muscles of the shoulder. I'm half way through the PT and my shoulder feels almost good as new. I've started climbing pretty hard again without any issues.

I was attempting some of the PT exercises on my own prior, but I was using too much weight and wasn't consistent enough to do any good. Also, not being sure of what I was doing always left lingering doubt that I was doing the right thing.

In short, I can pretty much endorse all the advice given in this thread. For shoulder issues get a professional diagnosis and professional PT.

nuff said....


donnie


Jan 31, 2013, 8:38 AM
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as the recipient of a torn rotator cuff (non-climbing related) i can only say to play it really smart. it took almost a full year to be pretty well healed and able to climb decent grades again. baby your shoulder, treat it well, get it looked at if possible, and if there are any lingering doubts in your mind, dont climb on it. sucks, i know, but in the long run youll be glad you took it easy. look up rotator cuff/ shoulder strengthening exercises and build it up stronger and keep it in good shape. as a side note, when i used to help teach emt classes we used to drop a single sheet of paper on the floor and have students bend over to pick it up and show them the strain on their backs and that a single sheet of paper picked up wrong can ruin a back. a single climb with a weird movement or tad bit too much strain can ruin a shoulder, so get it healed and let it live to climb another day, haha.


shockabuku


Jan 31, 2013, 9:06 PM
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Meh...you have two shoulders so what's the big deal?


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