Anyone ever tear a rotator cuff?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Anyone ever tear a rotator cuff?

    A couple of weeks after I did this, I'm coming to grips that I won't be playing hoops or lifting for a while, and DH doesn't start up until spring. I'm not big into jogging, so I figure my one shot at not becoming a complete blob by doing nothing over the winter is to start biking to work and riding XC as soon as I'm able.

    The doc said biking's fine, but I'm sure he meant stationary. Shoulder doesn't really hurt unless I try to lift it over my head. Anyone ever tear their rotator cuff, and how long was your recovery process in terms of biking and/or more intense physical activity in general?
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  2. #2
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    I tore mine about 12 years ago. It was a mild tear at that, but it still hurts to throw a baseball (fast) if I don't warm up for about an hour. I never really went through therapy for it, I just took it easy and gave up baseball since then. Other than throwing I have no other limitations, and there is no pain otherwise.

  3. #3
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    I'm nursing one right now. One of the worst things is trying not to sleep on it wrong. I wake up in the night sometimes feeling like someone is just tearing my arm off. My dad (he's 63) has the same problem, but they were reluctant to do surgery since he is so active. His doctor gave him the cortosone shot, and it really helped (but hurt like hell to get!).

    I can't throw a ball or lift over my head, but riding doesn't seem bother it, so I've been hitting the skatepark on my 20".

    Chip

  4. #4
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    Yeah, rolling on it at night is the worst. I get cortisone shots in my heel for plantar fasciitis -- like walking on clouds the next few weeks.

    Funny thing is that I DH all the time and haven't got an injury worse than a banged up shin, yet playing hoops 4-5x per week costs me about $1,000 in copays/therapy/orthotics per year.
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  5. #5
    mechmann_mtb
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    rotator cuff damage SUCKS

    it takes forever to heal and hurts like a beesh when agrivated.

  6. #6
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    Both shoulders on two seperate occasions 5 or so years ago. The worst part is just when you think its healed up, you go to grab something off of the top shelf and it reactivates. I was on the lift with a guy who stated it prettty well. "Once the demons take hold, they're there to stay" or something like that.

    I've been told that accupuncture works well but I've never tried it.
    Why do you talk to me this way. When you know that I will kill you for this?

  7. #7
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    I had a slight tear a few years back from lifting. What ever you do, dont let them cut you to fix it. I jumped in the pool at the gym after months of time off and no results. The pool and swimming helped so much. I bought a floatation device for my legs (10.00) and would do a few laps with just the arms. It hurt a little in the begining, but just do as much as you can. Go slow and easy. The resistence in the water is just enough to build up that muscle. Hopefully you can give that a try.

  8. #8
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    Had a labral tear, and a rotator tear repaired when I had a bone spur removed about 10 weeks ago.
    Haven't got full range of motion back, but so far riding doesn't hurt at all.
    Had the tear for over a year, and it was only getting worse, along with the range of motion hindered by the bone spur...the labral tear they found on the MRI.
    Right now the pain is only when I am sleeping on my arm then release the pressure from it. Some pain when weather fronts move through, but that is supposed to be temporary.

  9. #9
    Broken and dizzy
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    Going through it right now. Slight rotator cuff tear, labral tear, big time swelling of the bursa sack and something else I can't remember at the moment. I was in denial for about 4 months and then couldn't stand it any more and had it check out. Currently seeing a great physical therapist to try and work around having to go under the knife. Not sure if I'll be able to avoid it, but I have to at least try first.

    I tell ya, it hurts like h*ll to lift overhead or lift anything with my arm extended and out to the side. I've really backed off the riding and starting to get a little soft around the edges. Another week or two and I think I'll have enough range of motion to get back out on the big bike.



  10. #10
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    Blew mine out (left) climbing 3 years ago. Took about six months off, but it took over a year to get to the point where I didn't feel it every climb. GF did hers getting bucked by some newly eroded rocks early in the spring and she is just at the point where she is thinking about getting back on the wall now. She has been riding ever since though, with very little discomfort. XC, freeride, downhill, park- it's just never bothered her.


    Best excercize I did when I had mine was to bend your arm at a 90 degree angle with a soup can in your hand. Lock your elbow against your body, and move your hand out and back on one plain. Do it for 3 sets, 15 reps, 3x a week. It's not even a bad idea to do the other arm in between sets. It's downtime anyway, and you can guage progress (very roughly). Plus it will make the other side less likely to tear.
    I call for a mandate to allow only road bikes on trails to limit our speeds and increase our line picking skills-FB

  11. #11
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    Have one also. From what I've been told, they never really heal on their own, but you can strengthen what's left. Surgery might work, or could make it worst. Try letting it heal a few weeks, do physical therapy like your life depended on it, but don't over do any thing the PT's recommend. Use only light weights, and/or light weight bands (yellow, and later green). Same goes for when you think it's healed.

    Stay away from heavy chest and shoulder presses. You'll re-injure it. Also, would be good practice to strengthen both sides. If you injured one, you could very well, injure the other.

    If your in the Bay Area drop me an e-mail and we'll arrange a time and place to meet and I'll show you a couple of exercises and stretches to do, that'll help strengthen it, no charge, or cheezy sales pitches.

    Tim F.
    Certified Personal Trainer, NASM
    Performance Enhancement Specialist, NASM
    Corrective Exercise Specialist, NASM

  12. #12
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    I used to have a book called 7 Minute Rotator Cuff Solution or something close to that. It had excellent exercises to do to prevent and rehab rc injuries. It also showed a few popular exercises NOT to do. It cost me about a hundred bucks, but it was worth it, as you guys who have injured the cuff can attest.

  13. #13
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    The dr. prescribed 6 wks PT, 3x/wk, and since I have a $20 copay I was thinking about blowing it off. From what everyone's saying, I guess I gotta suck it up and start going.
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  14. #14
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    I did mine several times but let it go until I tore and detached the Glenoid Labrum. I wound up with an open reconstruction but I must say that it's probably the best joint on my body. I would see a good ortho doc and do exactly what he recommends...

  15. #15
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    Dude, that's less than a lift tiket....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mega T
    The dr. prescribed 6 wks PT, 3x/wk, and since I have a $20 copay I was thinking about blowing it off. From what everyone's saying, I guess I gotta suck it up and start going.
    Would pay 20 per day, for a lift ticket, say at Whistler, 3x per week for six weeks? Or let me put it another way. Would you like to even be able to ride at Whistler, 3x per week, for six weeks straight....pain free. Your looking at paying 360 bucks(that's half the price of a decent fork!) to greatly reduce the chance that this thing wont reoccurs on a monthly basic. Ask anyone that has had chronic RC problems on this forum, if they would pay that much to have the opportunity to go back and do the rehab, and any one of them, with common sense, would do the rehab.


    Pay the co-payment, it'll be well worth it, unless you want to stuck with a nagging injury, that'll keep reoccurring. The sooner you start, the less it'll bother you later. Also, it's not some thing you will be able to do your-self. Exercise will only be part of the rehab, there's other more important components as well.

  16. #16
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    Did I do this?

    I had a bad crash on the big bike almost 5weeks ago. Nothing broke, but had, and continue to have, pain in the left shoulder area.
    When I go to take my shirt off I get this intense pain on top of my shoulder to the base of my neck. Have had a lot of neck pain too.
    And if I sleep on my left side it kills sometimes, but also ifI sleep on my other side sometimes I wake up and my left shoulder that's been in the air is killing me.

    Does this sound like your symptoms of a torn RC?

    Doesn't affect my riding so I've been reluctant to take it seriously.

  17. #17
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    Whatever you do, make sure to get opinions from a few different doctors. Then you can make your decision on what is best for you. I've torn the one in my right shoulder twice. That's all I'll say. Good luck with that.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mega T
    Funny thing is that I DH all the time and haven't got an injury worse than a banged up shin, yet playing hoops 4-5x per week costs me about $1,000 in copays/therapy/orthotics per year.
    I finally stopped playing basketball because of knee, many ankle problems and then achelis strain.....
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  19. #19
    FM
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    I just had mine checked out... had a pretty good bike crash on it late summer, it was just starting to feel better and then I fell hard on it 2 weeks ago snowboarding.

    Here are some good PT exercises I found.....I was told it's also good to do these using a strip from a cut-up inner-tube, or surgical tubing, for resistance. I'm gonna start with a small can of soup right now, maybe work my way up to a nice 24oz can of highLife!






  20. #20
    Lez go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Internal14
    I had a bad crash on the big bike almost 5weeks ago. Nothing broke, but had, and continue to have, pain in the left shoulder area.
    When I go to take my shirt off I get this intense pain on top of my shoulder to the base of my neck. Have had a lot of neck pain too.
    And if I sleep on my left side it kills sometimes, but also ifI sleep on my other side sometimes I wake up and my left shoulder that's been in the air is killing me.

    Does this sound like your symptoms of a torn RC?
    I would say do whatever you can to get an MRI. I injured mine, but waited 2 weeks before I went to the doctors just to see if it was a bruise or something. When the pain started getting worse, especially in the same instances you mentioned, I knew something was up.

    I went to the sports med dept at the biggest hospital here in Philly, got the token x-ray, and was told I "might" have a torn RC, but to try therapy for 2-3 weeks before I got an MRI. I could see them saying that if I came in the day after I injured it, but not two weeks later. How can you start therapy on something if you don't know if it's a bruise or a tear??

    Long story short, I had to scratch and claw my way through all the hoops, but I got my MRI the next day. I don't know if doctors get some sort of kickback from the insurance companies by delaying MRIs, but the whole process seemed very shady to me. Not that I'm a pro athlete, but when they so much as slip and fall, they get an MRI at halftime. Don't let them screw you around.
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  21. #21
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    Not suggesting you do this, but.......

    I tore mine a few years ago in a bad crash. I went to a therapist 3x a week for 9 months. I could never bring my arm above the horizontal position. Every time I went to the therapist, she would stretch and bend back till it hurt like hell. I decided after 9 months that it was not getting better.

    I knew someone that was going to the accupuncturist and decided I had nothing to lose by trying it myself. Spent a double session with him and walked out with my entire shoulder black and blue. He used heat, electricity, suction and just about every tool he had at his disposal. But guess what, I was able to comfortably lift my arm over my head for the first time since the crash. Maybe once a year now, I fee a twinge of pain and have to go back for one session. However, I am basically fine now.

    I cannot imagine what life would have been like to not lift my arm above my head. Probably would have gotten the nickname "robotman".

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