How do you take care of a bad shoulder?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Cindysphinx, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I am having some trouble with my shoulder. It has been going on for maybe 9 months. I haven't seen a doc or anything because it is not super bad. I think I can manage it on my own. I suspect it is your garden variety shoulder tendonitis.

    My question is this: How do you manage a mild shoulder problem and still play?

    Mine responds to NSAIDs pretty well, but I don't want to use them too terribly much. I have had my pro work on my form so I use my arm less and body more, but it is hard to go out and practice and groove a new service motion while I am at the same time trying to rest my shoulder. I am also worried that when I start playing matches again in September, I'll start abusing my shoulder because I will be consumed with the desire to Get My Serves To Go In.

    Does anyone have a "system" or routine that they use that tends to keep their shoulder oiled and working well? Do you go out and practice your serve, or do you just save your shoulder for matches only?

    I figure there must be a routine that would help. It took a while, but I finally found an exercise regiment that keeps my knee happy, so I want to find the right routine for a shoulder. I just have much less experience with shoulders than knees.

    I could go see my OS, but I feel pretty confident he'd say I should just rest, ice and take NSAIDs. I'd rather use the $25 co-pay to buy some sushi.

    Cindy -- starting to think she's going to have to start pushing her serves in if this problem keeps up
     
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  2. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    http://www.performbetter.com/detail.aspx_Q_ID_E_3956_A_CategoryID_E_352
    just about every tennis player uses these. there are a ton of prehab workouts you can do with them and there cheap. i agree if you can serve through the pain and its not getting worse a doctor probally isnt needed however if you do prehab exercises and it doesnt go away then maybe you need to see a doc.

    heres a list of exercises for them.
    http://www.thera-bandacademy.com/ex...tValue.asp?cat=bodypart&id=6&valName=Shoulder
     
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  3. FedererISBetter

    FedererISBetter Rookie

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    I have rotatory shoulder problems all the time from service motion of the kick serves. Takes like a whole week to get me back into serving nicely, but during that time... I would still hit... work on fitness... but no serving at all. Usually do stretches and stuff learnt from tennis season with trainers. Mild shoulder problem = mild rehab lol.

    PS, no serves means no serves... doing more serves may hinder your recovery or makes it worse.
     
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  4. dcottrill

    dcottrill Rookie

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  5. xnarek

    xnarek Rookie

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    It started minor for me too but then changed some of my style. Made me fall back for the serve, etc. I also cant serve well because it started to hurt serving. Its kind of weird though....before i took a break i could of served with pain for only the first couple of serves...but now, it hurts on all of my serves.
     
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  6. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    Rest, NSAIDs, Ice after use/Heat the next day, strength/flexibility training - see a trainer so you can get a plan that's right for you.

    same for tennis elbow.

    Make sure you loosen your arms/shoulder before you start clubbing the ball upon arrival on the court. I do these things while waiting for the court.

    I tend to arrive at the court about 15-20 min. early to do dynamic and static stretching so that when I walk on the court I'm not cold.

    Those are pretty good exercises. Good job.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
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  7. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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    As a result of my failing to stretch both before and after playing, I have developed a frozen shoulder. My PT said at the start of rehab that women who have had this described it as " more painfully than childbirth."

    Being a guy, I have no idea about that but the PT for frozen shoulder, HURTS.

    See a Dr, STRETCH AND STRETCH AGAIN. make sure you are doing the proper stretches.
     
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  8. Julieta

    Julieta Guest


    Buy this months issue of Shape magazine with Venus on the cover. Her killer trainer (I would love to work with her) has some fantastic workouts in there. You need a foam roller. There is one strech on the foam roller in the article that involves basically having the foam roller on your spine while you have you arms opened up over your head. This totally opens up the chest and shoulder area. A bunch of us were trying it out one day and everyone loved it for stretching all of the upper body muscles used in tennis.
     
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  9. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Did you ever try the various anti-inflammatory foods and spices I recommended some time back? I think that my shoulder (rotator cuff) is in worse shape than yours -- my range of motion and speed of movement for external rotation of the shoulder is poor. However, I've been able to manage the pain and inflammation very well w/o resorting to NSAIDs (except for the occasional headache). Altho' I've only seen minor improvements in ROM and speed OM with the external rotation, my shoulder flexion problem has improved quite a bit.

    I also ice or ice massage several times a day. Before I head out to the court, I'll run the shoulder under a warm/hot shower and/or apply heat packs.
     
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  10. stician

    stician Semi-Pro

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    For consideration purposes my shoulder story is pain in the follow through portion of my service motion. I'm a 4.5+ player so it's not an issue with mechanics but an issue with overuse and not working on my flexibility, shoulder stability and strengthening. I’m 31 years old and fall into a mindset in my 20s that ache and pain go away but this time it was different. Rest helped but as soon as I played a couple of matches the pain came back. It’s my fault because I stopped weight training and used tennis as my primary form of exercise to stay fit.

    After dealing with this for 1.5 years I met with an orthopedic surgeon for help earlier this month. He suggested an arthrogram followed by MRI to make sure nothing is torn inside since I’ve never had a traumatic injury and my range of motion is good without any pain. My MRI showed a frayed labrum and I chose to undergo a series of physical therapy in lieu of NSAIDs and cortisone shot. My PT trainer introduced me to exercises and movements I've never bother to seek and I'm sold. I now believe more than ever that proper weight training to work on major muscle groups and light weight training to work on minor/stability muscle groups are essential to staying competitive in league play.

    If you have insurance I encourage you to seek help before it gets worse.
     
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  11. moonbat

    moonbat Semi-Pro

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    Ice, ice baby. But I'd get it checked out first, if I were you.
     
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  12. Tofuspeedstar

    Tofuspeedstar Banned

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    I got stubborn, didn't do the physical therapy they suggested first, ended up having surgery, couldn't play for 2 years.
     
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  13. Cruzer

    Cruzer Professional

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    My shoulder started hurting about a year ago. It didn't as much when I was playing tennis as it did when I wasn't playing. It started making crunchy noises when I moved my arm over my head. I didn't do anything and the pain seemed to become less intense but my shoulder still hurt ALL the time to some degree. My general quack had me get an x-ray done which didn't show anything. I went to see a surgeon who had me get a MRI. I was secretly hoping it was going to be something they could fix with a cortisone shot and some physio but no, I have completely torn rotator cuff. Surgery is the only solution. I can still play tennis but the shoulder hurts to some degree all day. I just have to decide when I am willing to stop playing tennis for up to five months after the surgery. Anyway I would have doctor look at a sore shoulder just in case there is something going on in there that can be dealt with before having surgery as the only option.
     
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  14. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    At least twice per week I do these:

    1. Chins (wide and narrow);
    2. Dips;
    3. Rotator cuff exercises with cables;
    4. Arnolds;
    5. Cable flys.

    Everyone's shoulders have different issues, but, generally, what I see is a stooped shoulder with a foreward head tilt, indicating weak posterior muscles/traps/deltoids/back. Just watch most of the people on the courts. Very few of them STAND UP STRAIGHT. That causes a host of problems, from weak backs, to weak abs, to very weak and flat butts, to tight hamstrings, etc.

    -Robert
     
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  15. Mark Vessels

    Mark Vessels Guest

    calisthenics
     
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  16. moonbat

    moonbat Semi-Pro

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    I agree with you that body misalignment is a big cause of sports injuries.
    I partially tore my rotator cuff, so I had physical therapy. The pain was still there, so my MD sent me for some bodywork called "The Alexander Technique." It opened up my shoulders and gave me fabulous posture (plus an extra 3/4" in height). I haven't had any shoulder problems since, I'm much more balanced on the court, and my court coverage is terrific.
     
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  17. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    Watched a former top 40 player in a tournament this weekend, and this was very, very pronounced. I would imagine it's more of a problem for tall people, who need to bend more than just their knees to get low enough for many shots, particularly volleys.
     
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  18. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Your warm-up immediately prior to playing should include dynamic stretching, not static stretching. You should do those static stretches before you leave the house to head out to the courts. Static stretching should be done at least 30 minutes before, perhaps even more than 60 minutes before, you play (not right before you play). After you finish playing for the day, more static stretching is highly recommended.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
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  19. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    OK, I tried the series of stretches and exercises that dcottril recommended. They really helped! I can't feel any difference between the good and bad shoulder. Before, I just kind of stretched some while driving down the road, which wasn't achieving any thing. Thanks for the link, dcottril!!

    I'll keep doing it and see what happens when I put the shoulder to the test with some serve practice. I think I'll also send this to my mixed partner, who is also having shoulder troubles . . . .
     
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  20. netman

    netman Hall of Fame

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    The shoulder is a fascinating joint. It is actually a suspension joint. The end of the humerus (upper arm bone) is held in place by a series of muscles and ligaments. Common injuries involve the rotator muscles, the acromional ligament and the deltoids. There are so many stress points, its amazing more folks don't have shoulder injuries.

    That said, the tennis serve is one of the worst enemy of the human shoulder ever devised. It pretty much stresses every piece of tissue that holds the shoulder joint together. Best thing to do is figure out which part of the motion is causing the pain. Then give it a break so it can heal. Then focus rehab efforts on strengthening the offending tissue.

    Or play through the pain. This approach generates lots of income for orthopedic surgeons. Helps pay for the lake house.

    -k-
     
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  21. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ ^ ^

    The human shoulder is extremely versatile -- I believe that it is capable or many more articulations than any other joints in our body. It is this versatility that makes it so vulnerable to injuries. It appears to be true that tennis serves, overhead badminton strokes, volleyball spikes and overhand throwing motions are all particularly stressful to the shoulder.
     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    OK, I've been doing the stretches in dcottrill's link every day, usually 3x a day. I've been a bit lazier about the strength work, but I've done it a few times.

    I think these stretches (and the work my pro is doing on changing my form on my serve) has really helped a lot. I served for about 30 minutes on Sunday and played 2 hours of doubles yesterday, and the shoulder feels OK. ROM is good, no pain when I serve or afterward, better pop on the serve.

    There is one very weird thing. The *outside* of my shoulder hurts. Almost like I have a sunburn or bruise on my skin in the front and on the side. It doesn't hurt if I leave it alone and stop poking at it. It doesn't hurt when I serve or stretch, just when I push on it.

    Anyone ever hear of this before? Is this just a side effect of the stretching?

    I have an appointment with my OS in about 10 days, but I was just wondering if any of you shoulder pain patients have experienced this.
     
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  23. tennistim777

    tennistim777 Rookie

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  24. seb85

    seb85 Rookie

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    The question is how much does it hurt? a lot of the tendons that control shoulder movement attach to the outside of the shoulder and it is quite normal for it to feel a bit funny when you are poking it. if it really hurts then something is wrong.

    It sounds like you're going down the right track with your treatment. Aside from stretching, working on your form is probably the single most important thing. Ignore anybody who tells you that at XXX level your form will be fine- even the pros work on their technique.

    Apart from working on your flexibility, I would recommend a certain amount of gym work, especially whilst you are recovering. I had extensive PT for a shoulder issue that turned out to be a trapped nerve. Regardless of the cause of pain, making sure all the muscles around the shoulder are balanced must be a priority to enable the shoulder joint to transmit force effectively from your core body to your arm. I recommend the 'thrower's 10' set of excercises. You can find it pretty easily using google. It takes about half an hour to go through the set. I did it every day whilst on rehab but now only do it once a week.

    Aside from the rehab, a change in my pre match routine made a huge difference to my overall conditioning. I thoroughly recommend the dynamic warm up that can be found on the USTA website. It takes about 8 minutes to go through it before a session and it has made such a huge difference to not only my recovery but also my speed around the court.

    Static stretching should be for after excercise or at times not related to excercise only. *Stretching is not the same as warming up*

    Good luck with your tennis. Hopefully if you nip your problem in the bud now it wont turn into anything more serious

    Seb:)
     
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  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Seb, do you have links for any of this?

    I do free weights twice a week in an upper body class. Much of what we do duplicates what was in the link posted above that I'm not following. But if there's something we're not doing, I'd like to know about it.

    As for the shoulder pain when I poke, it's not bad. I would never take an Advil for it. It's just something I noticed that I hadn't noticed before.
     
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  26. seb85

    seb85 Rookie

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  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks, Seb! I'll have a look at these.

    OK, I canceled my doctor's appointment and am pronouncing myself miraculously cured.

    The pain inside and outside the shoulder is gone, before during and after play. No pain at night, no Advil at all. Three hours of tennis last night, decent serves (although I kept forgetting some of the technique stuff I've been told to do). No problem.

    The key is those stretches.

    I feel like I've been to a faith healer. Thanks, everyone!!!!
     
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