Potential torn rotator cuff

I have done a lot of PT over the years. My first ACL repair was done by the Vikings' knee doc.
Wow, I didn't know Leif Ericsson's knee doc was still alive. :D

Second: Dry Needling!
Isn't that where a British comedian makes snide remarks about your posture?

In any case, do your homework [exercises], don't overdo things, and be [a good] patient. We're pulling for 'ya.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Wow, I didn't know Leif Ericsson's knee doc was still alive. :D



Isn't that where a British comedian makes snide remarks about your posture?

In any case, do your homework [exercises], don't overdo things, and be [a good] patient. We're pulling for 'ya.
Being 5/8 Norske, 1/4 Swede and 1/8 Dane ... I come by it naturally ...

I am doing my homework sir! 3X a day runs 20 minutes roughly each session. Even built a contraption outside with multiple caribiners at the various needed heights. Can attach my bands to it. (Very stable 15' high sawhorse that my husband uses for rope climbing)

I am attempting to be patient ... feeling pretty good ... going out on the court with ground strokes only ... REALLY want to try out the serve.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I am thrilled in hearing that it is not what the ortho originally thought it would be. He said today he was surprised as well.

I was also told I need to learn how to sleep on my back instead of my side ..... that might be more work than PT!
I can give you my X's number if you need help sleeping...
 

FiddlerDog

Rookie
First thing ROM and posture analyzed. My ROM is a non-issue per them. No loss found. Posture: What I would call "squinching". The scapula is raised and being pulled forward. On both sides, not only the dominant and injured side. Comment that trapezius is incredibly tight in the upper and underdeveloped in the lower.

Then on to introduction of initial exercises: These are what I expected. I did not expect to find them pain free though.

Feeling pretty good about the path I am on and that my recovery may be shorter than originally feared.
How is your shoulder recovery update? Which exercises are you doing? How often are you doing them?
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Hi ... in general doing pretty well.
I have a list of exercises that I do 3X a day:
Scap push ups
Something called "flashers" that I cannot describe well .. take a band at neutral position in front of you in both hands and pull out (as if flashing an overcoat?)
Upright rows
Straight arm pull downs
External rotation extensions
Internal rotation extensions
Straight arm ROM 3-way with weights

Basically everything is related to strengthening the scapular muscles and keeping them in balance with the forces pulling the scap up and creating the impingement.

What I cannot do is the "lawn mower" movement ... with or without weights. Hurts like heck.

I have been back playing ... but I have limited the use of the overhead and serve. No pain at all on groundstrokes or volleys.
I would say I was at 70% my normal shoulder capacity.

And then ...

Had a set back a few days ago .. not from tennis but from reaching at an awkward angle into a high cupboard to get a somewhat heavy casserole dish. Ripping pain. And felt like back to square one in terms of everything. Saw PT dude next day and worked it through some.
I would say right now back down to 30% ... hoping it is temporary. Have stopped all tennis activities .. just these exercises ... all day every day.

I have a couple more months before I am going to feel back to 100%
 
Hi ... in general doing pretty well.
I have a list of exercises that I do 3X a day:
Scap push ups
Something called "flashers" that I cannot describe well .. take a band at neutral position in front of you in both hands and pull out (as if flashing an overcoat?)
Upright rows
Straight arm pull downs
External rotation extensions
Internal rotation extensions
Straight arm ROM 3-way with weights

Basically everything is related to strengthening the scapular muscles and keeping them in balance with the forces pulling the scap up and creating the impingement.

What I cannot do is the "lawn mower" movement ... with or without weights. Hurts like heck.

I have been back playing ... but I have limited the use of the overhead and serve. No pain at all on groundstrokes or volleys.
I would say I was at 70% my normal shoulder capacity.

And then ...

Had a set back a few days ago .. not from tennis but from reaching at an awkward angle into a high cupboard to get a somewhat heavy casserole dish. Ripping pain. And felt like back to square one in terms of everything. Saw PT dude next day and worked it through some.
I would say right now back down to 30% ... hoping it is temporary. Have stopped all tennis activities .. just these exercises ... all day every day.

I have a couple more months before I am going to feel back to 100%
Yeah, it won't be all one-way traffic; there will be setbacks just like learning a new tennis stroke. The important thing is that you're committed to your rehab so you will get there.

Re: flashers. I did a variation: lie on my stomach on an exercise ball with feet on the floor.. Hold a liter bottle of water in each hand. Raise arms straight above my head for 10-15 reps. Then repeat with the arms at an angle, ilke the upper part of an "X" or "Y". The ball adds to the difficulty because you have to use your abs to stabilize yourself. Of course, you could do it without the ball also.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Yeah, it won't be all one-way traffic; there will be setbacks just like learning a new tennis stroke. The important thing is that you're committed to your rehab so you will get there.

Re: flashers. I did a variation: lie on my stomach on an exercise ball with feet on the floor.. Hold a liter bottle of water in each hand. Raise arms straight above my head for 10-15 reps. Then repeat with the arms at an angle, ilke the upper part of an "X" or "Y". The ball adds to the difficulty because you have to use your abs to stabilize yourself. Of course, you could do it without the ball also.
Yeah this backtrack is irritating me. In rehabbing post surgical knees and post surgical ankles it was all a nice straight line improvement. It really has mentally shaken me. And it was such a simple normal thing to do. Ugh.

Will not see a court for a week or two ... unfortunate since this is the most lovely weather.

I have learned in all of this that I have a particularly poor postural habit that is pervasive in everything I do: I raise up my shoulders ... all. the. time.

In normal everyday life .. they are raised up while: cooking, eating, watching TV, driving (especially!) ... everything.
On the court they are raised particularly on a forehand ... much less or not at all on a backhand or volley.

I need to get this handled and it will be a big challenge to do so.
 
Words on line in a Forum?

How can anyone put them to emotions? Just read the words and the content. Everything I say has value and I make sure of it. So does everyone else.

Get something out of it or change the page. Why be belligerent?
They'll only appreciate free advice if they pay for it.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
If raising shoulders was the problem, why aren't both of your shoulders injured?
Do you only raise one shoulder?
Are you addressing me?
My guess is that although I do raise both shoulders, I am incredibly right side dominant and I do not play tennis with my left arm ... so that creates a posture problem which creates tighter and more developed upper traps and weak lower traps ... and there is your impingement.

It is just one piece of the puzzle.
 
Just left ortho office. Getting MRI scheduled.

Suspected acute tear.

Currently have pain even at rest. Cannot lift arm above head without pain and loss of strength. (like it collapses)

I know there is not much to go on here ... but what am I probably looking at in terms of time off court, length of rehab, ability for full recovery?
50 years old and highly determined.
Sorry to hear about this! The best thing to do once you have figured out the injury and how to recover is to work on your mobility. I find a few exercises that will help with that. I would do a lot of pulling exercises to strengthen the back and protect your shoulders. I would also try the "scare crow" stretch. Lastly, get some cross over symmetry bands. I love them! They have helped me out a ton. Here's how I use them:

Hope that helps!
 
Yeah this backtrack is irritating me. In rehabbing post surgical knees and post surgical ankles it was all a nice straight line improvement. It really has mentally shaken me. And it was such a simple normal thing to do. Ugh.

Will not see a court for a week or two ... unfortunate since this is the most lovely weather.

I have learned in all of this that I have a particularly poor postural habit that is pervasive in everything I do: I raise up my shoulders ... all. the. time.

In normal everyday life .. they are raised up while: cooking, eating, watching TV, driving (especially!) ... everything.
On the court they are raised particularly on a forehand ... much less or not at all on a backhand or volley.

I need to get this handled and it will be a big challenge to do so.
Your example of reaching for the casserole dish reminded me of a saying: "Train as if your life depended on it...because it does."

The first part makes us think about lifting a car off of someone or vaulting across a roof to escape a burning building. But the second part reminds us that simple things like bending down to pick up something or reaching behind us to get something in the back seat of the car could cause injury also.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
@S&V-not_dead_yet I have used the casserole episode as an excuse to get out of as much as possible at home!
But yes ... the simple stuff can kill you! Thankfully less true than 200 years ago when one might die from a small splinter.

Big improvement over past 3 weeks ..

Stayed off court for 14 days while doing all my exercises, regular PT appointments and having 2 sessions of dry needling .... one where he said he was going to be particularly "aggressive" . Wow. Barely tolerable process but did seem to help.

Continued my home exercises 3X a day without fail.

After at least a week of feeling like it was never going to improve, turned a corner and made huge strides in PT accomplishment, lowered pain, feeling of strength and normalcy.

Hit for the first time a few days ago and again last night .... feeling very very good.

No overheads no serves.

I now have a passable underhand serve. Annoying angle short with a ton of top spin to deuce court .... Slice to the T to ad court. It will suffice if I need it, but it is not my normal level of fun. And a way higher error rate than I am used to!
 
D

Deleted member 765152

Guest
@OnTheLine
Glad to hear you are back to playing. I was in a similar situation with an injured elbow and shoulder a few months ago.
I served underhand and even used left handed serves and overheads. Not as much fun but better than not playing at all.

Now with acupuncture, therapy and some rest, I'm back to playing my normal game. In fact I'm playing better than ever. So there is light at the end of the tunnel.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I now have a passable underhand serve. Annoying angle short with a ton of top spin to deuce court .... Slice to the T to ad court. It will suffice if I need it, but it is not my normal level of fun. And a way higher error rate than I am used to!
I got quite good at the underhand serve this fall when my neck and shoulder were acting up. Surprising how effective it can be even if people knew it was coming. Guys would eventually try to sneak up on it but then I'd drop feed a topspin groundie into the service box and take away their timing.

Glad the shoulder is starting to turn around. Mine has gotten much better and everyone has noticed the power is coming back. What little power I did have lol.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
@S&V-not_dead_yet I have used the casserole episode as an excuse to get out of as much as possible at home!
But yes ... the simple stuff can kill you! Thankfully less true than 200 years ago when one might die from a small splinter.

Big improvement over past 3 weeks ..

Stayed off court for 14 days while doing all my exercises, regular PT appointments and having 2 sessions of dry needling .... one where he said he was going to be particularly "aggressive" . Wow. Barely tolerable process but did seem to help.

Continued my home exercises 3X a day without fail.

After at least a week of feeling like it was never going to improve, turned a corner and made huge strides in PT accomplishment, lowered pain, feeling of strength and normalcy.

Hit for the first time a few days ago and again last night .... feeling very very good.

No overheads no serves.

I now have a passable underhand serve. Annoying angle short with a ton of top spin to deuce court .... Slice to the T to ad court. It will suffice if I need it, but it is not my normal level of fun. And a way higher error rate than I am used to!
Make it look like this:

 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Big improvements in past week
Monday played (and won) a match (doubles) and served normally through 2 sets and a 10-point TB. All good. Threw in one underhand just for fun (they muffed the return, Ha!) No pain or tightness during the match, nor afterwards.

Yesterday got discharged from PT to at home exercise only ... had gotten up to grey and black on all the band exercises, 25# medicine ball overhead tosses. 10# weights each hand on I-Y-X and prone Ys (as described above by S&V)

Definitely feel stronger ... especially in the scapular area. Full range of motion, all directions with no pain or tightness.

Shoulder still feels sore an a bit stiff in the morning upon waking ... takes a bit to get it loosened up, a little longer than other parts of my old self.
Still have some compensation going on with the bicep and deltoid. So I am not at 100% but getting closer.

Looks like these exercises will be just a regular daily lifelong thing ... if for no other reason than to avoid dry needling. Still doing the full circuit 2X a day, sometimes 3.

Key note to self: If using a lacrosse ball to work out knots in back.. be very certain it gets put back on shelf and not on the floor. Stepped on it a few days ago and man, went down hard.
 
Yesterday got discharged from PT to at home exercise only ... had gotten up to grey and black on all the band exercises, 25# medicine ball overhead tosses. 10# weights each hand on I-Y-X and prone Ys (as described above by S&V)
Glad they are helping!

Key note to self: If using a lacrosse ball to work out knots in back.. be very certain it gets put back on shelf and not on the floor. Stepped on it a few days ago and man, went down hard.
Very wise words. Always know where your lacrosse ball is!
 

FiddlerDog

Rookie
Big improvements in past week
Monday played (and won) a match (doubles) and served normally through 2 sets and a 10-point TB. All good. Threw in one underhand just for fun (they muffed the return, Ha!) No pain or tightness during the match, nor afterwards.
You were injured in October. 5 months ago. You were already playing again in December? How have the last 3 months been for that shoulder ?
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
You were injured in October. 5 months ago. You were already playing again in December? How have the last 3 months been for that shoulder ?
I am really really headstrong and took PT incredibly seriously and I don't think the impingement was quite as severe as they first thought.

I played very few matches in December and limited any overheads/serves in any practice sessions
January began playing in 40+ league ... had minor shoulder stiffness
February to now ... Really no lingering issues.

BUT: I am still doing all those PT exercises 3X a day EVERY day

I am now serving at really close to 100% of my peak prior to the injury
No pain at night
No stiffness in the morning
No soreness after a long match or practice session
No longer have the additional bicep pain from when bicep was compensating.

Additionally, got a Theragun for Christmas .... that thing is amazing. Really the best thing ever.

Another thing ... I took postural changes very seriously. Made a conscious change in how I stand, how I am seated, ergonomics of my desk/computer, how I drive. Found that I was raising my shoulders in almost everything I did .... I have changed that across the board and I think it has made a difference.

Not stopping all those exercises any time soon .... but I may drop down to 2X a day instead of 3X
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I am really really headstrong and took PT incredibly seriously and I don't think the impingement was quite as severe as they first thought.

I played very few matches in December and limited any overheads/serves in any practice sessions
January began playing in 40+ league ... had minor shoulder stiffness
February to now ... Really no lingering issues.

BUT: I am still doing all those PT exercises 3X a day EVERY day

I am now serving at really close to 100% of my peak prior to the injury
No pain at night
No stiffness in the morning
No soreness after a long match or practice session
No longer have the additional bicep pain from when bicep was compensating.

Additionally, got a Theragun for Christmas .... that thing is amazing. Really the best thing ever.

Another thing ... I took postural changes very seriously. Made a conscious change in how I stand, how I am seated, ergonomics of my desk/computer, how I drive. Found that I was raising my shoulders in almost everything I did .... I have changed that across the board and I think it has made a difference.

Not stopping all those exercises any time soon .... but I may drop down to 2X a day instead of 3X
Have you seen the Ellenbecker video "Rotator Cuff Injury" and also some of the forum posts on it? ( It is available by joining Tennis Resources. )

Have you compared your upper arm's angle to the shoulder joint vs high level servers in high speed videos?

This assumes that you have a high level serve technique so that Ellenbecker's recommendation applies.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Have you seen the Ellenbecker video "Rotator Cuff Injury" and also some of the forum posts on it? ( It is available by joining Tennis Resources. )

Have you compared your upper arm's angle to the shoulder joint vs high level servers in high speed videos?

This assumes that you have a high level serve technique so that Ellenbecker's recommendation applies.
I did look through the video and your previous (earlier in the thread) write up on it.

Now that I am back to near 100% on my shoulder I am dealing with a PF problem in my foot (kill me now) but I am planning on finally putting my game under the lens of video ... but not until I am back to normal footwork capabilities.

high level technique? no idea
I do have deep racket drop (well below waist)
I begin with my left foot near parallel to baseline
I get good rotation
I do come up on edge .... although I sometimes release that a little too early
Deep knee bend
Finish with both feet off the ground at impact (probably a whole 2" lol)
I strike the ball at near full extension and slightly out front and to the right on most serves ... slightly behind me and centered on my so-called kick serve
 
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