Avoiding re-injury w/rotator cuff- tricks?
I have a recurring rotator cuff injury--most likely an old partial tear, or just inflammation issues. It's 90% under control, but can get tweaked...if it gets tweaked. Repetitive motions (like too many jabs), shoulder locks (kimura, americana) and even a seoinage has caused it to flare up.
How do other people address their shoulder issues? My method is working but I wonder if anyone has particular gameplans.
EDIT: Forgot to include the "dangerous activities" list: I do continuous karate sparring, some limited tachi-waza randori, white-belt-BJJ-style (in terms of skill and leglocks) ne-waza randori, bag work, standing jointlocks, Okinawan weapons and forms. Each of these I will do once to three times a week.
Last edited by 1point2; 7/17/2008 6:31pm at .
one time in a tournament i tore my left rotator cuff, which resulted in my shoulder dislocating in training the first time i put it under any strain,
for a long time i did this exercise where you bend over and let your arm hang relaxed and then gently swing it in a circular motion like a pendulum. this always helped me with the pain when it flared up, eventually i was able to do light weights on the shoulder again. and now it is completely healed and i am able to push heavy weights.
i don't nkow whether a physio would advise the weights but the pendulum motion was particularly helpful for me.. hope it helps.
That 'pendulum' exercise is a general warm-up for the shoulder
joint, and may be beneficial, dependant on the particulars of the
nature of your injury. You should check with a doctor, or at least
a physical therapist, first.
And, there are a lot of stretching exercises you can do. Some you
can do alone, and some need a partner. Some will need a therapist
to get the 'inside' of the joint stretched out.
You didn't mention how old you were in your post, but if you are in middle age your repeat injuries could be caused by an impingement -- bone spurs growing on the acromion and/or the collar bone.
I ended up having surgery on both shoulders due to rotator cuff problems, and couldn't be happier. I haven't had a tear since the surgeries. My ortho said he couldn't prove it, but my 30 years of karate probably caused the bone spurs and eventually the rotator cuff problem.
I would urge you, if you haven't already, to see an ortho and have MRI's done to see what level of impingement might exist. If your shoulder bones are rubbing on the rotator cuff, any activity where you raise the arm repetitively or attempt to exceed your comfortable range or motion (such as a lot of karate or being put into an armlock), will abrade the cuff against the bone and cause an injury. The surgery is called a release -- they grind off about 1/2 inch of the end of the acromion and about 1/3 of its outside edge. In one of my shoulders they also took 1/2 inch off the end of the collarbone.
External rotation, either with elastic tubing or a dumbbell.