View Full Version : Shoulder Injuries
01-04-2005, 04:21 AM
I've posted in the past about my shoulder injuries. Initially it was only the left shoulder. I don't know how I initially injured the left shoulder, but recently I injured the right in the same way. It was while sparring, I believe I tensed my body AND pulled my right arm back (hikite) and felt it tear. I immediately hit the ground, right arm dead and very sore. My opponent was not touching me in either of these situations though they were moving towards me.
I've already had the left shoulder looked at with ultra-sound and the hospital told me there was nothing wrong with it. So I went to a physiotherapist.
I had the physio look at the right shoulder after I injured it as well. She believes I have stretched AND/OR torn the ligaments and they are no longer strong enough to hold the shoulders together. I only experience the injuries while sparring (that is, I reinjure them) so I no longer spar. The physio suggested I take up weight-lifting exercises designed to strengthen my shoulders so the muscles can do the ligaments job.
I'm not keen on the gym, or lifting weights, I can't stand mindless repetition. I know there is a lot of fear-reactivity and tension in my shoulders but I'm not sure how to get rid of it. I own a copy of Body-Flow and I have the fisticuffs series in the mail. I know I will have to take up weight training but i was wondering if there was some way I could stop myself from tearing my shoulders apart every time I spar.
Any suggestions would be fantastic. Thanks.
01-04-2005, 05:19 AM
Based on my own experience of shoulder injury, I'd say you must move through recovery and rehabilitation before stressing the shoulder again with sparring.
There are any number of exercise protocols for an injured shoulder, and your problem sounds similar to mine. The very simple arm circles from Warrior Wellness are key, as are strength exercises that are in no way painful to perform. Body work from a good practitioner can also help by clearing away any residual toxins left in your tissues from the injury. I hesitate to recommend a particular style of massage - its the practitioner who counts.
Finally, if you its in your skill set, Softwork style partner drills, like Taiji push hands can replace sparring while you recover. Just be sure to work with a partner you trust and who won't suddenly accelerate and put your bad arm into a lock.
You may have to accept a rather long rehabilitation process. I hurt myself in mid-July for instance, and I'm still far from able to take my whole body-weight on arm.
Hope it helps, and I hope you feel better soon.
01-04-2005, 12:07 PM
Thanks for the quick reply Dan. I was wondering, the shoulder circles in Warrior Wellness, are they done across the front of the body, or to the side eg freestyle stroke? I've had a lot of therapeutic massage done on my shoulders and it has helped a lot but there's always those few niggly points that are hard to get rid of. Thanks again.
01-04-2005, 02:39 PM
Warrior Wellness Basic incorporates shoulder circles in 6 planes of motion, and then sophisticates the movements.
My success with working from Basic to Intermediate eliminated my need for massage therapy on my shoulder and elbow, and my therapist finally had me put HIM on a program for his own issues. :D
I suggest you get Warrior Wellness and see how it works for those "niggly points". I believe you will find much benefit for the rest of your body as well, some of which will surprise you.
01-04-2005, 05:28 PM
I don't want to go giving away Coach Sonnon's source of revenue, so first off, I encourage you to get Warrior Wellness. Get the whole series. You will find that there while your bad shoulder will need to stay at Basic for a while, there's lots of other things in the more advanced programs for you to do sooner.
While you wait for your copy of WW to arrive, a little puzzle: figure out ALL the directions in which you can make circles with your arm, make a list of them and repeat 'em often! Go real slow, and as you hit the bumpy bits you'll doubtlessly learn a lots more about your friend the injury...
Rapid recovery to you sir!
01-06-2005, 01:14 PM
Ben and Dan,
Sounds like your shoulder injuries are similar to mine.
I have been following a rehab routine prescribed to me by my physical therapist. Yes, it includes weight lifting, for the purpose of strengthening the rotator cuff and the upper back area. It also includes work with elastic bands and slow limited ROM (as far as one can go without pain) drills with a broomstick. My PT and my orthpedic/sports doctor disagree on how much resistance is safe for me. The PT doesn't want me lifting anything heavier than 8lbs, while the doctor says I can do any lift or other drill I want, at any weight I want, as long as there is no pain during the movement. I realize looks can deceive, but the doctor is the one with the muscular physique (big biceps, big chest, etc.), and so I lean more towards his point of view.
The hardest part for me is remaining patient, because I miss being able to do my favorite exercises. But I do keep plugging away at the rehab routine and add to that what I can, pain-free (joint mobility, pistols, KB swings, deadlifts, selected Body Flow movements).
01-06-2005, 02:34 PM
Well, misery loves company! I'm glad you can still do a wide variety of exercises despite the shoulder. I played with 2 handed KB swings for the first time in a long while yesterday - I got to 7 before I felt pre-pain fear-reactivity in my right shoulder. I'm planning to do a few every training day to determine what's going on in there - am I feeling pain from fear of injuring the shoulder, or am I actually doing things beyond my capacit? I' m not sure right now. This has hit my morale hard, coming as it does at a time where I've elected to train by myself (apart from Shock Ability with Randall Lightbown) instead of attending gongfu and taiji classes. I so want to work on arm heavy Body Flow/Maximology/GTB stuff... But not yet.
Do let me know how it progresses - I hope you're back on your feet (shoulders!) soon.
01-07-2005, 08:17 AM
I too just started doing 2-handed KB swings this week, some with 2 16kgs, most with 1 24kg. I do 100 reps/session in sets of 10-20 and will probably keep doing these 2-3 times a week. One catalyst for the confidence I had to tackle swings was the Zhealth joint mobility work, particularly front shoulder circles and camshafts.
Last week, I started doing my L-fly rotator cuff lifts standing up instead of lying face down on the bench for the shoulder support. This may have helped as well.
I believe I will soon be ready to order a pair of 5lb CBs and the Mobilized Strength book to take my rehab to the next level. You will certainly hear from me afterwards. :)
In the meantime, I have been "making lemonade" by reallocating the time I would have spent on the exercises that I can't do yet to extra Zhealth practice, either by spine lengthening in the various positions, or doing selected drills as slow as possible while still remaining in sync with the breath.
01-16-2005, 06:03 PM
Sorry it took me so long to reply - I lost track of this thread.
I've built myself some homemade clubbells at 5lbs and I'm very pleased with them.
I did a couple of days where I did cleans, mills and swipes (oh so fun), but I've since calmed down a bit and I've been using them to do circles in all ranges of movement. I've been doing 5 reps each direction, 6 planes, 3 sets, with Be Breathed in my rests. I'm currently holding the bells by the heavy end and I'll start moving my grip down as I get stronger. I got the idea from Ryan Murdock, who also had to rehab his shoulder a while ago. I want to address this shoulder before getting into clubbell training proper.
Best wishes on the lemonade, and have a speedy recovery.
01-18-2005, 08:25 PM
As Daniel said, I had to rehab a similar shoulder injury a couple years ago. I believe the cause of this injury was repetitive stress, as I had been doing one-arm presses with the olympic bar (a la Power to the People) exclusively for a couple years when the pain started. No pain during training, but a cold ache at other times. Enough to wake me up at night if my arm was above my head.
I tried all of the standard rotator cuff exercises, with and without weight, with no noticeable results. When I returned to Canada after a couple years abroad (and 6 months on the road in remote stretches of Mongolia and Xinjiang) I focused on rehab for this area.
I first recovered the full range of motion through warrior wellness and zdorovye arm circles in 6 degrees of freedom. I then added weight as Daniel said in his post. I didn't have clubbells at that time. I used an adjustable ankle weight, the type that you can add or subtract one-pound bars. I held this in my hand and did the arm circles in 6 degrees. When this got easier I sophisticated to figure 8's. By that time the pain had completely gone away and it has never come back. It also seemed like good GPP for Clubbells (which I now use exclusively, no other weight work).
I think I did the weighted circles for 2 or 3 sets, about 10 reps each. I started with a couple pounds, and worked up to 15 pounds or so I think, before moving on to a new phase of training.
I hope this is of help to you. It seems to have totally fixed my problem.
01-26-2005, 04:20 PM
I did all the shoulder circles from WW at full ROM for the first time last night. After I did the first one with full ROM, I got excited and did all the rest with full ROM as well. My shoulder clicked a lot, but I ignored it.
I felt a little sore in the shoulder afterwards and am still feeling sore today. It did not hinder me from doing my PTP Bear style weighted rehab routine with dumbells. However, I'm going to cut back for now and limit my shoulder mobility training to the two movements I was able to do absolutely pain-free, and limit the ROM as needed. Basically, I will go back to the joint mobility training I was doing for my shoulder before (limited selection of drills, limited ROM) until the soreness dissipates. Before last night's WW session, my shoulder's pain-free ROM continued improving since the last time I posted to this thread. The combination of joint mobility and rehab routine under a higher volume set/rep scheme was working well.
I got excited and carried away. I need to be patient.
01-26-2005, 11:38 PM
I noticed you haven't posted on this thread for a while - with Jetstar and Virgin Blue flights so cheap at the moment, why don't you consider jumping on a plane from Rocky, and coming down here to Brisbane, for a couple of hours so we can evaluate what is happening, and I can give you some specific exercises from the wide range of CST to support your return to full speed.
( I also haven't been able to ascertain if you have been utilizing WW yet. )
01-27-2005, 03:08 AM
thanks for the offer but I am something of a pauper at the moment :oops: . I was only just able to afford the Fisticuffs series recently and am currently negotiating to move out of home to go back to univeristy (post-graduate secondary teaching, had a look at your brainworx sight. Very intrigued!), thus I am saving my pennies. Rockhampton isn't the best place to find well paying work when you are a uni student and because of that I am unable to afford a lot of things. Hopefully however I will be able to come down the short distance and see you soon. Maybe in February as part of a road trip.
My shoulders are going well with the weights and the fisticuffs has removed a lot of the kinks however I am still uncertain whether my fear-reactivity while sparring will cause me to tear my shoulders apart again...
Thanks again for the offer. Hopefully soon.
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