My labrum tear rehab

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I’m creating this thread to track and share the progress of my rehab for a torn labrum in my right shoulder. Hopefully what I share can help others. :)
 
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mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Background:

I hurt my shoulder in college while doing weighted dips and bench presses. At the time, I thought I had hurt my rotator cuff. Youth was on my side as it healed up pretty quickly, but unfortunately I never regained full range of motion. It was never problematic again until about 10 years ago as I started playing more tennis. I would experience pain from serving but it would go away after a few days. When I started working with a coach to improve my game, my shoulder just gave out one day while he was working with me on my kick serve. Shoulder felt like it was loose in the socket. I couldn’t serve at all so I took 6 months off. During that time, I went to see an orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulders. He ordered an MRI which revealed a labrum tear. He said it was an old injury and arthritis had begun to set in. I asked what my options were to which he responded, “not many.”

Option 1 which he did not recommend was shoulder replacement. He said shoulder replacement surgery should only be the last resort and typically done at a much older age.

Option 2 was to stop playing tennis as that would accelerate the wear and tear on my shoulder. For me, this really wasn’t an option.

The orthopedist noticed the dark purplish circles on my shoulder and asked where they came from. I explained that it was from cupping and actually worked quite well to free up my shoulder when it got extremely stiff and painful so he recommended I continue doing that since it was working for me.

I was able to serve until about 3 months ago when I again hurt it serving. This time the pain would go away after a few weeks of rest, but as soon as I played any tennis, it would flair up and unfortunately cupping did not provide the same amount of relief as it had in the past. Also, I was experiencing a lot of pain and stiffness just from hitting forehands now which had never happened before. I wasn’t sure what I could do.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I mentioned my condition in another thread and @R1FF shared the following:
Shoulder advice... hang from a chinup bar. Only a few seconds at a time. Be patient, and over the course of 6 months work your way up to a 5 min hang. No pull up. Just hang. Let your tendons do the work (like a rockclimber).

Lotsa UFC guys have massive shoulder injuries/inflammation. As do baseball pitchers.

They’ve been rehabbing & preventing issues by hanging. It allows for good blood flow and stretching everything out. Apparently the theory goes, our shoulders take a lotta abuse from the inactivity of everyday modern human life. But were originally biologically acclimated for swinging (we are primates, right?). So by hanging were stretching everything out in a very natural way and preventing the atrophy that is the root issue of these UFC/baseball injuries.

I gave this advice to a friend (regular dude) whose shoulder was all tore up. 6 months later he was thanking me. Plus, seen tons of athletes rehab this way.

I do it as preventative maintenance every morning & night. I also practice tennis serves (500+ strokes / week). No issues whatsoever after 9 months.
Out of options, I started doing this at the gym today.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Day 1 at the gym:

Got on the lat pulldown machine and set the weight stack to 55# to slowly stretch out the shoulder for a 60 seconds at a time. I could feel it loosening up so i increased the weight to 77#. Did 4 more sets of stretches alternating between wide and narrow grip. Then moved to the pull up bar and just hung while gripping the bar. By the end I was able to hang with all of my body weight!

Range of motion: much better
Pain: still acute but less than before

:)
 

atatu

Hall of Fame
I tore my hip labrum two months ago, it sucks. The Ortho said I'm too old for surgery to do any good, so I guess that means I just have to live with it ? At least it seems to be getting a little better now.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I tore my hip labrum two months ago, it sucks. The Ortho said I'm too old for surgery to do any good, so I guess that means I just have to live with it ? At least it seems to be getting a little better now.
The text in bold is what truly sucks. :(

Good luck with your recovery!
 

nvr2old

Professional
Hey my friend. Sorry to hear you’re continuing to have such shoulder problems. Hang in there.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Hey my friend. Sorry to hear you’re continuing to have such shoulder problems. Hang in there.
Thx, my friend! Appreciate the kind thoughts! At the end of day 1 of the @R1FF rehab program, my shoulder is feeling looser in a good way than it’s felt in months!!! There’s still some soreness, but it’s more of a dull ache than a sharp pain now. I’m super motivated to go back and do more tomorrow!
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
Thx, my friend! Appreciate the kind thoughts! At the end of day 1 of the @R1FF rehab program, my shoulder is feeling looser in a good way than it’s felt in months!!! There’s still some soreness, but it’s more of a dull ache than a sharp pain now. I’m super motivated to go back and do more tomorrow!
BE PATIENT.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
BE PATIENT.
I know it will take some time. I’m just so happy that this is the best my shoulder has felt in nearly 3 months! Shoulder doesn’t feel like it’s fused to my collarbone anymore. It was getting so bad that coiling my shoulders back to hit a 2hbh was even tough due to the lack of flexibility and range of motion. I can actually coil without pain now! :)
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
Day 1 at the gym:

Got on the lat pulldown machine and set the weight stack to 55# to slowly stretch out the shoulder for a 60 seconds at a time. I could feel it loosening up so i increased the weight to 77#. Did 4 more sets of stretches alternating between wide and narrow grip. Then moved to the pull up bar and just hung while gripping the bar. By the end I was able to hang with all of my body weight!

Range of motion: much better
Pain: still acute but less than before

:)
Hold off on the lat pull downs for 10-14 days please.

Use the machine to get a stretch in. Since it can carry a lot of your body weight. But dont do a full rep. Just use it as the precursor to eventually hanging from the pull-up bar.

We dont need you building muscle yet. Just some decompression & range of motion therapy. The hanging alone is going to be a heck of a workout soon enough. But you must ease into this. Nothing is lost by being patient. Everything can be set back or made worse by getting too excited and overdoing it.
 
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mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Hold off on the lat pull downs for 10-14 days please.

Use the machine to get a stretch in. Since it can carry a lot of your body weight. But dont do a full rep. Just use it as the precursor to eventually hanging from the pull-up bar.

We dont need you building muscle yet. Just some decompression & range of motion therapy. The hanging alone is going to be a heck of a workout soon enough. But you must ease into this. Nothing is lost by being patient. Everything can be set back or made worse by getting too excited and iverdoing it.
Not performing any pull downs yet. Just using it to provide more stretch resistance and doing the rhomboid shrugs while reaching up and holding the bar. Definitely decompressed my shoulder joint and increased RoM!
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
I know it will take some time. I’m just so happy that this is the best my shoulder has felt in nearly 3 months! Shoulder doesn’t feel like it’s fused to my collarbone anymore. It was getting so bad that coiling my shoulders back to hit a 2hbh was even tough due to the lack of flexibility and range of motion. I can actually coil without pain now! :)
I can feel your pain free enthusiasm thru this post. Im genuinely happy for you.

Ive suffered thru so many sports injuries, rehab, and chronic inflammation throughout my life. Doctors kept telling me my body was going to wrecked by 35 years old. They were right. Sorta.

Just about 2 years ago I was 38% body fat and going backwards despite heavy training/exercise. My body was indeed feeling like it was gonna QUIT. It took me 90 minutes just to get out of bed every morning. I couldnt sleep. Every step hurt. Turf toe & shin splints lingered. Dibilitating back pain. Allergies. I was proper FOOKED.

Once I addressed the underlying nutrition issues, it eliminated all the pain from past injuries. Allowed me to start enjoying sports again pain free. And in turn push my body beyond what i thought was possible. Oh, and I stopped getting injured.

Im 38 yrs old, 13% body fat. I havent lifted weights in years but Im pretty decently built. And I play tennis 6 days a week and no pain in shoulders/knees/joints whatsoever. Im a better athlete today than I was when i was getting paid to be an athlete in my 20’s!!!

It’s all about diet and preventative range of motion drills like the hanging therapy you’re doing now. Eventually I’ll ask you to start doing pull-ups & push-ups. And then squats. And plenty of tennis. And your body will ask for more.

Let me know when you’re ready for the nutrition fix.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I can feel your pain free enthusiasm thru this post. Im genuinely happy for you.

Ive suffered thru so many sports injuries, rehab, and chronic inflammation throughout my life. Doctors kept telling me my body was going to wrecked by 35 years old. They were right. Sorta.

Just about 2 years ago I was 38% body fat and going backwards despite heavy training/exercise. My body was indeed feeling like it was gonna QUIT. It took me 90 minutes just to get out of bed every morning. I couldnt sleep. Every step hurt. Turf toe & shin splints lingered. Dibilitating back pain. Allergies. I was proper FOOKED.

Once I addressed the underlying nutrition issues, it eliminated all the pain from past injuries. Allowed me to start enjoying sports again pain free. And in turn push my body beyond what i thought was possible. Oh, and I stopped getting injured.

Im 38 yrs old, 13% body fat. I havent lifted weights in years but Im pretty decently built. And I play tennis 6 days a week and no pain in shoulders/knees/joints whatsoever. Im a better athlete today than I was when i was getting paid to be an athlete in my 20’s!!!

It’s all about diet and preventative range of motion drills like the hanging therapy you’re doing now. Eventually I’ll ask you to start doing pull-ups & push-ups. And then squats. And plenty of tennis. And your body will ask for more.

Let me know when you’re ready for the nutrition fix.
Already was doing plenty of pull-ups, deadlifts, lunges, squats and abs at the gym before my recent shoulder problems. Stopped because of the shoulder pain. Once the healing accelerates and my condition stabilizes, I intend to start back up. Already hit the abs today after the shoulder stretches! Feels great to starting coming “back”! Thank you so much!

Nutrition? Hell yeah! I’m currently 155# at 5’11” but always looking to get more healthy!
 

Flootoo

Rookie
I had a rotator cuff injury. I had to learn to play left-handed because I couldn't wait that long to get back on court.
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
I broke my right collarbone in highschool.

Learned to throw a football with my left arm. It’s interesting because you’re starting from scratch so you can build everything perfectly fundamentally sound from the get go without any bad habits. I actually became more accurate throwing a 15 yard bullet with my left arm as a result of perfect mechanics than I could with my natural throwing of my right arm.

But I never had any touch and couldnt get any power to throw further than 20yds lefty. I dont think the strength was ever gonna come either. Whereas I could throw 40 yds on a rope with my right arm (once healthy).
 
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FedMex

Rookie
Why not do PRP? I had the same issue and it was fixed with this. Much less invasive than surgery. Healed my back when I was thinking of a micro discectomy. now playing 4.5 tennis again and swimming (which I couldn't do due to the mild labrum tear I had from benchpressing in my 20's).
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Day 2

More stretches to decompress the shoulder. Hung from the bar at the lat pulldown machine doing sets alternating between wide and narrow grip and upper body leaning forward and backward to get a complete range of motion stretch. Did this for about 45 mins today. I followed this up with some very lightweight (5#) cable pulls to further work the shoulder and start rebuilding strength in the surrounding ligaments.

Went for a swim after and can now exert some strength with the right shoulder on the pull of the breaststroke. It was nearly impossible last week due to the excruciating amount of pain in the joint.

Feels like I’m making good progress!
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
Why not do PRP? I had the same issue and it was fixed with this. Much less invasive than surgery. Healed my back when I was thinking of a micro discectomy. now playing 4.5 tennis again and swimming (which I couldn't do due to the mild labrum tear I had from benchpressing in my 20's).
Plasma? Cool stuff.

Im not against it. But I think it kicks the can down the road per se. Still gotta address the root issues which imo are atrophy/intense use & diet/inflammation.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Why not do PRP? I had the same issue and it was fixed with this. Much less invasive than surgery. Healed my back when I was thinking of a micro discectomy. now playing 4.5 tennis again and swimming (which I couldn't do due to the mild labrum tear I had from benchpressing in my 20's).
Interesting. Orthopedic surgeon didn’t mention this as an option. Thanks, will need to look into this more.
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
I played tennis for 7 hours straight Saturday.

Same on Sunday. 3 matches each day.

Only breaks were to change socks/shoes between matches.

Diet is 98% of it.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Day 3

I actually graduated to start hanging from the pull up bar with my entire body weight today. Continued stretching out the shoulder on the lat pulldown machine for a more prolonged stretch. Range of motion continues to improve. There’s still considerable tightness at the front of the shoulder that I need to work out. I’m amazed at the improvement in only 3 days.
 
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mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Day 4

Was too busy yesterday so didn't have a chance to get to the gym to stretch out the shoulder. :(

Day 5

Am now able to do full body weight hangs on pull up bar! Using lifting straps which enable me to hang longer. i also started hanging just with the right arm with some support from the feet and just let my body go limp and rotate around to get a full range of motion stretch in the shoulder. Since I was experiencing less pain, i began adding some light weight and started doing some pulldowns. Also started doing some light bench pressing and shoulder pressing which I wasn't able to do because of the pain in the front and top of my shoulder.
 

tennis347

Professional
Background:

I hurt my shoulder in college while doing weighted dips and bench presses. At the time, I thought I had hurt my rotator cuff. Youth was on my side as it healed up pretty quickly, but unfortunately I never regained full range of motion. It was never problematic again until about 10 years ago as I started playing more tennis. I would experience pain from serving but it would go away after a few days. When I started working with a coach to improve my game, my shoulder just gave out one day while he was working with me on my kick serve. Shoulder felt like it was loose in the socket. I couldn’t serve at all so I took 6 months off. During that time, I went to see an orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulders. He ordered an MRI which revealed a labrum tear. He said it was an old injury and arthritis had begun to set in. I asked what my options were to which he responded, “not many.”

Option 1 which he did not recommend was shoulder replacement. He said shoulder replacement surgery should only be the last resort and typically done at a much older age.

Option 2 was to stop playing tennis as that would accelerate the wear and tear on my shoulder. For me, this really wasn’t an option.

The orthopedist noticed the dark purplish circles on my shoulder and asked where they came from. I explained that it was from cupping and actually worked quite well to free up my shoulder when it got extremely stiff and painful so he recommended I continue doing that since it was working for me.

I was able to serve until about 3 months ago when I again hurt it serving. This time the pain would go away after a few weeks of rest, but as soon as I played any tennis, it would flair up and unfortunately cupping did not provide the same amount of relief as it had in the past. Also, I was experiencing a lot of pain and stiffness just from hitting forehands now which had never happened before. I wasn’t sure what I could do.
I had a minor labrum tear in my tennis hitting shoulder about 10 years ago which occurred from all the years of playing tennis. I went to a few different Orthopedic Doctors to get opinions as to the extent of the injury. The MRI at the time confirmed a tear to the anterior labrum.

The shoulder hurt badly after serving and with extended range of motion. This is not something I could have rehabbed based upon the location being in the front of shoulder. I went forward with the arthroscopic surgery which for the most part was a success. Only small amount of the labrum needed to be shaved. The recovery took about 6-9 months. I am still able to play mainly pain free unless I play too many hours in one session.

In your case, since it’s an old injury, I am not sure you can rehab to the point where there’s no pain playing tennis. I would recommend getting another opinion from another Orthopedist about your options for a possible rehab. It’s the serving that really puts a lot of torque on the shoulder. It’s a tough decision to make for a sport we all love so much! I would take it really slow with lifting any weights and eliminate serving for a while.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I had a minor labrum tear in my tennis hitting shoulder about 10 years ago which occurred from all the years of playing tennis. I went to a few different Orthopedic Doctors to get opinions as to the extent of the injury. The MRI at the time confirmed a tear to the anterior labrum.

The shoulder hurt badly after serving and with extended range of motion. This is not something I could have rehabbed based upon the location being in the front of shoulder. I went forward with the arthroscopic surgery which for the most part was a success. Only small amount of the labrum needed to be shaved. The recovery took about 6-9 months. I am still able to play mainly pain free unless I play too many hours in one session.

In your case, since it’s an old injury, I am not sure you can rehab to the point where there’s no pain playing tennis. I would recommend getting another opinion from another Orthopedist about your options for a possible rehab. It’s the serving that really puts a lot of torque on the shoulder. It’s a tough decision to make for a sport we all love so much! I would take it really slow with lifting any weights and eliminate serving for a while.
Thanks for sharing!

I haven’t served since the reinjury. Completely stopped any presses until today. The stretches that R1FF has recommended have helped tremendously so I’m going to keep performing them. Prior to his recommendations, I couldn’t lift my arm to get a t shirt on or off. Today I am able to do so relatively easily with a small amount of pain. Will continue to do the stretching for the next month and see how my shoulder improves. I know the healing curve will not continue at the same rate it’s been going. I expect it to start slowing down.
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
Thanks for sharing!

I haven’t served since the reinjury. Completely stopped any presses until today. The stretches that R1FF has recommended have helped tremendously so I’m going to keep performing them. Prior to his recommendations, I couldn’t lift my arm to get a t shirt on or off. Today I am able to do so relatively easily with a small amount of pain. Will continue to do the stretching for the next month and see how my shoulder improves. I know the healing curve will not continue at the same rate it’s been going. I expect it to start slowing down.
You can extend, and even accelerate the healing curve if you make the switch to a keto/carnivore diet.

Anything you can do to reduce inflammation will exponentially improve this rehab (and overall quality of life).

Eliminate the carbs & vegetable/seed oils from your diet. It’ll be rough for a few days (addiction withdrawal) and then every day will get better than ever before.

I know you’re excited and loving the results so you wanna do more & more. I’d prefer being very patient with the physical rehab and if you want to do more faster, get invested in your nutrition. It’ll keep you plenty busy. And once you tackle that, time will have passed & you’ll be more ready to push the hanging therapy.
 
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frank52

Semi-Pro
Bench presses are excellent for destroying shoulders. You may want to lay off going very deep on the benching. Building up the chest with bench presses will cause the chest to pull the shoulders forward. I hope you are doing rows and other back exercises to keep your body balanced.
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
Bench presses are excellent for destroying shoulders. You may want to lay off going very deep on the benching. Building up the chest with bench presses will cause the chest to pull the shoulders forward. I hope you are doing rows and other back exercises to keep your body balanced.
Hasnt destroyed my shoulders but I can attest that not only is it a biological fact, but I’ve suffered upper back pain as a result, from over working the chest without equally balancing out with attention given to the back muscles.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Hey my friend. Some PMR docs do PRP. I have a friend in Oregon that does this almost exclusively.
Thx for the info. Will reach out of my shoulder doesn’t get much better with all the stretching. So far, the improvement has been significant.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Bench presses are excellent for destroying shoulders. You may want to lay off going very deep on the benching. Building up the chest with bench presses will cause the chest to pull the shoulders forward. I hope you are doing rows and other back exercises to keep your body balanced.
Yes, balance is important in all aspects of life. :)
 

onehandbh

Legend
Bench presses are excellent for destroying shoulders. You may want to lay off going very deep on the benching. Building up the chest with bench presses will cause the chest to pull the shoulders forward. I hope you are doing rows and other back exercises to keep your body balanced.
Lowering the bar too high (towards chin) can be hard on the shoulders. Try lowering it lower towards lower chest (belly button) and also don’t let elbows flare out to much.

This works for me. Not sure about others. I lower the bar all the way until it touches my chest.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Still been going to the gym daily to do the hanging stretches. Only missed Sunday so far. Rallied for a bit on Saturday and the pain increased but stretching it on Sunday helped a lot. Hit again on Monday night and icing immediately after playing and then stretching it tonight worked wonders again.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Continuing to stretch the shoulder but have also been hitting once a week - just groundstrokes and volleys. My progress has seemed to have plateaued. Have pain and stiffness when trying to reach across my body with my right arm to touch my left shoulder. Prior to stretching, I wasn’t able to do this at all.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Continuing the stretching regimen, but gave it
some thought and realized I could add some different stretches to hit the shoulder from different angles so in addition to vertical hanging stretch, I added another stretch. I bend my upper body over 90 degrees and grab a 30-45# dumbbell and let my arm hang down for 60 secs.

Also added dumbbell shrugs to the list of exercises.

After 2 consecutive days of these additional exercises, my shoulder is feeling the best it has felt in over 3 months.
 
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Raul_SJ

Legend
Still been going to the gym daily to do the hanging stretches. Only missed Sunday so far. Rallied for a bit on Saturday and the pain increased but stretching it on Sunday helped a lot. Hit again on Monday night and icing immediately after playing and then stretching it tonight worked wonders again.
Just curious why exactly does hanging help a labrum tear? Wouldn't the force of the hanging worsen the tear?
I don't have a labrum tear. Have "mild tendinosis of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus (rotator cuff tendons)". Does not hurt on forehands/backhands but moderate pain while serving.

When I try to free hang, the pain is real bad. Can't even do it for one second. Have not tried the assisted hang yet.

 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Just curious why exactly does hanging help a labrum tear? Wouldn't the force of the hanging worsen the tear?
I don't have a labrum tear. Have "mild tendinosis of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus (rotator cuff tendons)". Does not hurt on forehands/backhands but moderate pain while serving.

When I try to free hang, the pain is real bad. Can't even do it for one second. Have not tried the assisted hang yet.

It helps to decompress the shoulder joint. Surrounding muscles tighten up when there is pain. By decompressing the shoulder, it alleviates the pressure on the affected nerves which allows the surrounding muscles to relax. Also allows better circulation and blood flow to help promote healing.
 
It helps to decompress the shoulder joint. Surrounding muscles tighten up when there is pain. By decompressing the shoulder, it alleviates the pressure on the affected nerves which allows the surrounding muscles to relax. Also allows better circulation and blood flow to help promote healing.
I would think that hanging from a pullup bar would be a test of how well the surrounding muscles are supporting the tear, not helping the tear itself. You could accomplish all of the positives you related by, say, grabbing the top of a door jam and gently allowing the shoulder to bear some weight.

The difference between the two exercises seems akin to doing knee straightening while sitting in a chair vs one-legged squats. Night and day.

Still, glad to hear of your progress.
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
I would think that hanging from a pullup bar would be a test of how well the surrounding muscles are supporting the tear, not helping the tear itself. You could accomplish all of the positives you related by, say, grabbing the top of a door jam and gently allowing the shoulder to bear some weight.

The difference between the two exercises seems akin to doing knee straightening while sitting in a chair vs one-legged squats. Night and day.

Still, glad to hear of your progress.
Door jam works great as well. Had to do that plenty while in hotels.
 
Door jam works great as well. Had to do that plenty while in hotels.
Hopefully it was the door jam of your room...:p

My point was the door jam exercise is only putting a few lbs of pressure on your shoulder. Hanging from a pullup bar could be half of your body weight.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Hopefully it was the door jam of your room...:p

My point was the door jam exercise is only putting a few lbs of pressure on your shoulder. Hanging from a pullup bar could be half of your body weight.
I guess you may have missed the part where i started off with light weights on the pulldown machine and worked my way up to the pull-up bar.
 
I guess you may have missed the part where i started off with light weights on the pulldown machine and worked my way up to the pull-up bar.
I wasn't questioning how you got to your current state, only that the pullup bar is not helping your tear but is instead a test of how well the muscles around the tear are compensating. That's why you had to start with range of motion, move to light weights, and now can do the pullup bar.

Think of it this way: if hanging on the pullup bar accomplished what you stated, why didn't you go straight to that exercise? Because your surrounding musculature couldn't have supported it. Now it can.
 
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