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Jamie_B


Oct 16, 2013, 3:23 AM
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Supraspinatus Injury-Conflicting Advice
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A while ago I hurt my shoulder, and after seeing a physiotherapist it was diagnosed as a minor supraspinatus tear/strain. The physio didn't help so I've seen a doctor to get a referal. The physio told me that I should not climb until my shoulder is better, but my GP said it would be fine for me to do so. Which one is right?

Also, anyone got any experiances with this, how long does it take to heal and what can happen now?


granite_grrl


Oct 16, 2013, 4:39 AM
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Re: [Jamie_B] Supraspinatus Injury-Conflicting Advice [In reply to]
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Jamie_B wrote:
A while ago I hurt my shoulder, and after seeing a physiotherapist it was diagnosed as a minor supraspinatus tear/strain. The physio didn't help so I've seen a doctor to get a referal. The physio told me that I should not climb until my shoulder is better, but my GP said it would be fine for me to do so. Which one is right?

Also, anyone got any experiances with this, how long does it take to heal and what can happen now?

Not know the background of either your GP or PT I would be more inclined to listen to the PT. In my experiance PTs are more knowledgable when it comes to soft tissue issues.

I've delt with many health care professionals in general who don't understand the forces that are really involved in climbing and your PT may also fall into this catagory. Good luck!


5.samadhi


Oct 16, 2013, 6:58 AM
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Re: [Jamie_B] Supraspinatus Injury-Conflicting Advice [In reply to]
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Jamie_B wrote:
A while ago I hurt my shoulder, and after seeing a physiotherapist it was diagnosed as a minor supraspinatus tear/strain. The physio didn't help so I've seen a doctor to get a referal. The physio told me that I should not climb until my shoulder is better, but my GP said it would be fine for me to do so. Which one is right?

Also, anyone got any experiances with this, how long does it take to heal and what can happen now?
are you sure your GP understood "climbing" to be something that you are lunging with your bodyweight sometimes on one hand only, inverted, heel hooking and deadpointing for a tiny crimp a few feet away from you?????

Sometimes I think they think "climbing" is like mountaineering or something.


Jamie_B


Oct 16, 2013, 12:13 PM
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Thanks for the replies, my physio said that I should stay away from all activities involving having my arm above my shoulder. I guess I should listen to her as she is probably more qualified than my GP. I'm getting a referal anyway so shoul get a quicker answer once more thorough tests have been done.


marc801


Oct 16, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Jamie_B wrote:
Thanks for the replies, my physio said that I should stay away from all activities involving having my arm above my shoulder. I guess I should listen to her as she is probably more qualified than my GP. I'm getting a referal anyway so shoul get a quicker answer once more thorough tests have been done.
Where you are now, it might take only 4-6 months to heal. Go climbing and you risk either reinjury or worsening the current injury, which may then not yield to PT and require a surgical solution and 12 months or more of recovery.

Can you reach over your head pain-free with the bad shoulder? Can you reach behind your back with the injured arm and touch the shoulder-blade of the opposite shoulder with your thumb? Pain free? There are some other range of motion tests, but if you cannot do either of those, you shouldn't even consider climbing on it.


brooklynclimber


Oct 16, 2013, 7:56 PM
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I'd err on the side of caution if I were you. I've had a supraspinatus injury on and off for about twenty years - gets better, gets worse. But that was only a strain, caused by some muscle imbalances.

But still, better to be safe than to injure further.


patto


Oct 17, 2013, 4:03 AM
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I had two physio indicate that I had injured my supraspinatus. It occurred in a static climbing move.

I ended up getting a MRI and it turned out I broke my scapula! Shocked


Jamie_B


Oct 17, 2013, 7:25 AM
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Thanks for the reply, I will hopefully be getting a scan of some sort (not sure what the nhs offers though), this does make me slightly worried about a miss-diagnosis.

On another note, is there anyting worth doing (climbing wise) without using my injured arm (luckily it's my bad arm)? I want to do something but obviously will not do anything to compramise my recovery.


JohnCook


Oct 17, 2013, 10:00 AM
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Look up Pete Whittaker doing Technical Master one handed in approach shoes (think it is a Black Diamond ad.) and any number of Johnny Dawes videos of one handed and no handed climbing. Do not despair!


5.samadhi


Oct 19, 2013, 5:43 AM
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patto wrote:
I had two physio indicate that I had injured my supraspinatus. It occurred in a static climbing move.

I ended up getting a MRI and it turned out I broke my scapula! Shocked
strained supraspinatus is their go-to answer. I am sure 90% of them don't have a fucking clue what to do with shoulder injuries. But they got those rehab band exercises down to a T!


5.samadhi


Oct 19, 2013, 5:44 AM
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JohnCook wrote:
Look up Pete Whittaker doing Technical Master one handed in approach shoes (think it is a Black Diamond ad.) and any number of Johnny Dawes videos of one handed and no handed climbing. Do not despair!
If I had to climb one-handed I couldn't imagine that would feel good. I'd probably quit and find an activity that would still feel good to do one-handed (maybe surfing).


JohnCook


Oct 19, 2013, 6:25 AM
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I managed it for a short while when I had a broken collar bone (I really did walk into a door!) Found that after a week or so that as long as I kept my hand low it didn't hurt, and then just worked on it from there. It did mean that I didn't lose any fitness, and I believe it actually helped my technique, by stopping me from using my (very) long reach, and made me more aware of using my feet to keep the load off my arms/shoulder.


5.samadhi


Oct 19, 2013, 6:35 AM
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JohnCook wrote:
I managed it for a short while when I had a broken collar bone (I really did walk into a door!) Found that after a week or so that as long as I kept my hand low it didn't hurt, and then just worked on it from there. It did mean that I didn't lose any fitness, and I believe it actually helped my technique, by stopping me from using my (very) long reach, and made me more aware of using my feet to keep the load off my arms/shoulder.
but how did you climb anything steep? climbing slabs the rest of my life would make me disinterested in climbing pretty quickly Tongue


JohnCook


Oct 19, 2013, 2:53 PM
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Initially I was stuck on slabby stuff, then found that pressing down was not painful, and I also learned to supplement hand pressure with heel and toe hooks, bodyposition and foothold pressure and foot underclings etc. Managed up to 5.10a/b in the first two weeks (before injury was at 5.11bish) and built up from there, experimenting with different techniques. Depending on what movement hurts or further damages your injury you can mostly learn a way round it. It is individual to each injury type. Get to the wall and start on really easy slabby stuff and experiment, gently. If you really enjoy climbing and want to carry on you will find a way. Now I am much older I have arthritis in some of my fingers but can still manage my 5.11 grade, by working around the problem. This will not get better only worse, but I love my climbing so am prepared to put the effort in. It will not stop me.


5.samadhi


Oct 19, 2013, 2:57 PM
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JohnCook wrote:
Initially I was stuck on slabby stuff, then found that pressing down was not painful, and I also learned to supplement hand pressure with heel and toe hooks, bodyposition and foothold pressure and foot underclings etc. Managed up to 5.10a/b in the first two weeks (before injury was at 5.11bish) and built up from there, experimenting with different techniques. Depending on what movement hurts or further damages your injury you can mostly learn a way round it. It is individual to each injury type. Get to the wall and start on really easy slabby stuff and experiment, gently. If you really enjoy climbing and want to carry on you will find a way. Now I am much older I have arthritis in some of my fingers but can still manage my 5.11 grade, by working around the problem. This will not get better only worse, but I love my climbing so am prepared to put the effort in. It will not stop me.
Thats inspiring, John. Sounds like you are working through your pain issues in a positive way. I've had shoulder problems in the past with climbing so I know how it is to work with limitations.

Strength to you, brother Smile


onceahardman


Oct 19, 2013, 5:20 PM
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patto wrote:
I had two physio indicate that I had injured my supraspinatus. It occurred in a static climbing move.

I ended up getting a MRI and it turned out I broke my scapula! Shocked

Not to get defensive, but supraspinatus originates from the supraspinous fossa, which is located on the scapula.

A fractured scapula does not rule out supraspinatus pathology. In fact, it would probably be expected.

In the USA, PTs cannot directly order x-rays or MRIs. Only MDs or DOs can do that. Without imaging, diagnosis of fracture is pretty difficult.

Back in the olden days, before x-rays were invented, a tuning fork was the most reliable means of testing for fracture.

A fracture occuring during a static move is very unusual. I'd suspect osteopenia or worse. I hope you have no such problems. Are you certain you had no direct trauma, like a bouldering fall, before the final injury?


patto


Oct 20, 2013, 4:37 AM
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Thanks for your comments onceahardman. Smile

onceahardman wrote:
Not to get defensive, but supraspinatus originates from the supraspinous fossa, which is located on the scapula.

Quite true. And my comments were not meant to denigrate physiotherapists, one physiotherapist was a friend the other was my sister. They both did a better job than the doctors who simply X-Rayed it and said it wasn't broken or dislocated.

onceahardman wrote:
A fractured scapula does not rule out supraspinatus pathology. In fact, it would probably be expected.

In the USA, PTs cannot directly order x-rays or MRIs. Only MDs or DOs can do that. Without imaging, diagnosis of fracture is pretty difficult.
Following the comments of the physios, combined with the strong pain and lack of mobility I contacted a shoulder surgeon who was the father of a friend of mine. I got the MRI order from him.

The fracture was good news. As you probably know bones breaks normally heal better than badly torn ligaments and tendons. Following 6 weeks rest it was back to normal.

onceahardman wrote:
A fracture occuring during a static move is very unusual. I'd suspect osteopenia or worse. I hope you have no such problems. Are you certain you had no direct trauma, like a bouldering fall, before the final injury?
Absolutely certain. I am aware how bizarre the injury was. I was going to ask for a bone density check but I was advised that this was unnecessary given my age and health.

I was quite stretched and over trained from the previous day and I have little doubt that this contributed to the injury. However there had been no falls or anything. At the time of the injury I heard and felt the pop.


Since this injury I have broken a hand (mountain biking big crash) and a toe (biking topple in sandals resulting in dislocation)


(This post was edited by patto on Oct 20, 2013, 4:39 AM)


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