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Shoulder injury

Original Post
Tardigrada s · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2019 · Points: 0

Hi!
I've had shoulder pain for the last two years, and I can't seem to fix it through PT.

If i keep still I'm OK, but on bad days I can't have my fingertips higher than my ear before I feel the pain. It was so bad that I had to stop climbing for a while, now I'm able to climb on good days if I don't raise my hand to high or put it in the "wrong" position. I'm also unable to sleep on the painful side.
Has anyone had the same kind of injury? Any advice? Have you tried cortisone?

Thanks

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

See an orthopedist.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10
Tardigrada s wrote: Hi!
I've had shoulder pain for the last two years, and I can't seem to fix it through PT.

If i keep still I'm OK, but on bad days I can't have my fingertips higher than my ear before I feel the pain. It was so bad that I had to stop climbing for a while, now I'm able to climb on good days if I don't raise my hand to high or put it in the "wrong" position. I'm also unable to sleep on the painful side.
Has anyone had the same kind of injury? Any advice? Have you tried cortisone?

Thanks

You probably have an "impingement" and it won't go away on its own. I have climbed with some pain for decades. Just use ice and NSAIDS as needed. The alternative(in my case) is surgery to repair a torn labrum. Long heal time for that, so I keep putting it off.

JaNinja B · · West LA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 0

dr JaNinja diagnoses you with shoulder inflammation, limiting your ROM.

Could be caused by impingement and/or labrum tear (slap tear) as noted above. Did you take a good amount of time off climbing while doing pt? How dedicated was your pt regimen? how is your posture?

Your pt has to be fairly intense to override your strong climbing muscles and change your posture/ movements. Yes avoid sleeping on your side. It forces your shoulder forward which is exactly what you want to avoid. If the shoulders are too forward, the impingement gets worst and the socket gets less stable. Another result of poor posture is the scapula "winging" which is pretty pronounced in ppl. Posture should be shoulders down and back! Also, might want to video yourself climbing and have a coach or other professional look at your technique.

Speaking of which, im no Dr. But my shoulders have gotten their fair share of problems.

Tardigrada s · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2019 · Points: 0

Thank you all for your replies.
Started climbing again this year after a year break, but only the easiest routes. At least it will improve my leg work as I cant't rely to much on my hand

Have done 2-3x sessions each week with exercises given by my PT. I have been reducing it now as I felt doing it after a long day at work only made it worse.
At least I know the exercises has worked muscle wise - my old shirts have gotten too small around the back and bicep area lol. But my posture can always improve! 

JaNinja B · · West LA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 0

Ooof. A year off climbing but on pt and nothing: sounds like a sports orthopedist might be in order then. Good luck.

BTW, apparently the shoulder is the most misdiagnosed joint of the body. So get a few opinions.

Amato Evan · · San Diego, CA · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 5

I have pretty intense shoulder pain like yours. A cortisone shot by the sports medicine dr (laced with lidocaine) makes a huge difference, for a few months. Shot placement was dialed in after an MRI. 

Cosmiccragsman AKA Dwain · · Las Vegas, Nevada · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 106

Yep. The first thing to do is get an MRI. That is important to figure out if you need surgery or if it can be handled by PT
or other non invasive methods. I've had 3 shoulder surgeries. and was able to get back to climbing.

What finally stopped me from climbing after 52 years was burst discs in the lower back and partially numb feet..
Tried to get surgery to clean up the discs but Insurance only wanted to cover epidurals and PT. and the MRI do show the damage.
so my climbing days are over. :(

FRIKKIN Insurance companies!!!

Idaho Bob · · McCall, ID · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 472

Do a Google search for an ART (Alternative Relief Therapy) specialist in your area.  My guy has vastly improved my shoulder and most recently fixed a nerve impingement problem in my thumb.

Tardigrada s · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2019 · Points: 0

I have made an MRI appointment, hopefully that will give me some answers on what to do next. Luckily I live in Norway where we don't have to worry about the cost of health care. I have some regrets that I didn't do it earlier, but I've usually been able to fix my aches and pains with the right exercises.
Thanks again everyone for your comments

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10
Tardigrada s wrote: I have made an MRI appointment, hopefully that will give me some answers on what to do next. Luckily I live in Norway where we don't have to worry about the cost of health care. I have some regrets that I didn't do it earlier, but I've usually been able to fix my aches and pains with the right exercises.
Thanks again everyone for your comments

If your health system has Doctors that specialize in Sports Injuries, make sure you get one of them. They can diagnose a problem so much quicker that a general practitioner. 

What I have is called a SLAP tear. It is generally an overuse injury from overhead movements such as throwing a ball. Making a conscious effort to keep your scapula's "Down and back" during certain exercises has helped me avoid further injury as well (I think).

sDawg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 0

Yes, get an MRI and an experienced shoulder surgeon to look at it and explain your surgical options. Surgery sounds bad, but it will be less than a year off from climbing and if you are in good health and do the recovery PT diligently, you can be stronger after surgery than before you got hurt. I had two labral tear repairs along with capsule stitching myself in my late 20s and I wouldn't be as strong of a climber as I am today if I had tried to avoid surgery.

Edited to add: I am not recommending surgery for you at this time. I don't know what your injury is or anything about other factors in that decision. Just saying it's worth having a conversation with an expert who is looking at your MRI and if they recommend it, consider it and ask lots of questions. 

JaNinja B · · West LA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 0
Buck Rio wrote:

If your health system has Doctors that specialize in Sports Injuries, make sure you get one of them. They can diagnose a problem so much quicker that a general practitioner. 

What I have is called a SLAP tear. It is generally an overuse injury from overhead movements such as throwing a ball. Making a conscious effort to keep your scapula's "Down and back" during certain exercises has helped me avoid further injury as well (I think).

Ya. I think most ppl have weak mid and lower trapezius. That's the muscles that keeps the scapula "down and back". When the shoulder creeps forward, the gap between the scapula (acromion) and numerous becomes smaller leading to impingement. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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