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Old 10-02-2012, 04:04 PM   #1
Nathan Watson
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Torn labrum in shoulder, exercises to strengthen shoulder without surgery?

Hi all,
I was diagnosed with a left shoulder torn labrum. I had a MRI done with contrast. I do not want to get surgery on it as I can basically continue to live my life. I do not do any more shoulder lifting at all. The most work my shoulder gets is during bench press. I still get the occasional pain and it always clicks and pops when I rotate it. I also play ice hockey once a week and it doesn't seem to affect me.

I wanted to know what exercises can I do to strengthen it and the muscles around it?
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:19 PM   #2
Snir Golan
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Re: Torn labrum in shoulder, exercises to strengthen shoulder without surgery?

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Originally Posted by Nathan Watson View Post
Hi all,
I was diagnosed with a left shoulder torn labrum. I had a MRI done with contrast. I do not want to get surgery on it as I can basically continue to live my life. I do not do any more shoulder lifting at all. The most work my shoulder gets is during bench press. I still get the occasional pain and it always clicks and pops when I rotate it. I also play ice hockey once a week and it doesn't seem to affect me.

I wanted to know what exercises can I do to strengthen it and the muscles around it?
this is exactly why PT exists. go find a good physical therapist and they will work with you and give you all the information and tool you will need. there are many many different ways to go about this. just to give you an idea, i have a torn rotator cuff as well as some trauma to the labrum and i have been doing PT for 2 weeks now. in those 2 weeks, i have done over 15 different exercises each one with its own purpose.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:07 PM   #3
Sean Rockett
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Re: Torn labrum in shoulder, exercises to strengthen shoulder without surgery?

you can google rotator cuff strengthening exercise or go to my website orthopedicsne.com
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
Nathan Watson
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Re: Torn labrum in shoulder, exercises to strengthen shoulder without surgery?

Thank you for the responses. I guess I have to find a good PT because the only thing my prior PTs did was connect me to the electro shock thing and rub the shoulder down a little. They didn't suggest or show my any exercises.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:46 PM   #5
Brian Strump
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Re: Torn labrum in shoulder, exercises to strengthen shoulder without surgery?

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Originally Posted by Nathan Watson View Post
Hi all,
I was diagnosed with a left shoulder torn labrum. I had a MRI done with contrast. I do not want to get surgery on it as I can basically continue to live my life. I do not do any more shoulder lifting at all. The most work my shoulder gets is during bench press. I still get the occasional pain and it always clicks and pops when I rotate it. I also play ice hockey once a week and it doesn't seem to affect me.

I wanted to know what exercises can I do to strengthen it and the muscles around it?
So you do not perform any shoulder exercises with the exception of bench press in attempt to protect your shoulder from further injury? However, you still play ice hockey once a week? Do you see the disconnect?

Whatever exercises you choose(find a good PT or DC for rehab help), be sure it includes cervical, thoracic spine, and hip mobility. It's more than just strengthening a shoulder.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:38 PM   #6
Gravel Brown
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Re: Torn labrum in shoulder, exercises to strengthen shoulder without surgery?

Id seriously consider getting surgery. 12 months of rehab is nothing when you have the rest of your life in front of you.

Fix your shoulder to suit your life, instead of adjusting your life to suit your shoulder.

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Old 10-06-2012, 01:14 AM   #7
Georgina Kinkaid
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Re: Torn labrum in shoulder, exercises to strengthen shoulder without surgery?

Hi Nathan,

I avoided having this surgery by doing the following:

- Rest (I know, I hated that part too). This doesn't mean total rest, just avoid overhead and pushing movements (i.e push ups, lifting, hand stand push ups etc)
- If you do pull ups, be very careful. Make sure your shoulders are active first
- Ensure your shoulders are VERY warm before training.
- Scap exercises

Some scap exercises help to strengthen the small muscles in the region. Helped me alot.

Scap punch Use a band, like in this vid, but punch straight ahead, not up (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlcTHAI3p_M)

Get a very small weight (no more than 1kg) Sit down, cross on leg over the other (bottom leg straight, top leg bent), rest elbow on raised leg so arm is 90 degrees, slowly raised arm (with weight in it) from perpendicular to the floor to parallel.

Hope you feel better soon.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:20 PM   #8
Austin Lieberman
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Re: Torn labrum in shoulder, exercises to strengthen shoulder without surgery?

I highly suggest getting surgery if you can afford it. If you have a bad enough tear it will take a very very long time to rehab without surgery, and you may very well end up damaging it to a point where it will never fully recover.

I know this from experience. I had a torn Labrum and had surgery in May of 2010. Even after surgery it took a good year to year and a half of rehab both with a therapist and on my own before I was back to full strength but I was able to perform the tasks I needed to live a productive life during recovery. I am now stronger than I was before surgery and have no symptoms or limitations what so ever of the prior injury. Once again, if possible get the surgery and get on a good PT program. I did have it done arthroscopically too which makes a difference in recovery time.

Good luck
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:36 PM   #9
Alden Hingle
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Re: Torn labrum in shoulder, exercises to strengthen shoulder without surgery?

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Originally Posted by Nathan Watson View Post
Thank you for the responses. I guess I have to find a good PT because the only thing my prior PTs did was connect me to the electro shock thing and rub the shoulder down a little. They didn't suggest or show my any exercises.
+1 on find a good PT. Find one that is trained in manual physical therapy concepts. I'm 11 months removed from a labrum tear and am back working out and regaining strength well with no surgery. My ortho said, "I can't make you like new so you should try physical therapy first." My bench is now actually higher than it was before the injury and my overhead press is within 15 pounds of my previous PR. Not back given I could not raise my arm over my head or put my belt on when I started PT.

+ 1 on Brian's comment about t-spine, cervical and hip mobility. My PT spent large amounts of time correcting some significant cervical, shoulder and t-spine mobility issues I was unaware of. She also gave me lots of exercises to balance the strength in the shoulder. I'm guessing you are not well-balanced in your shoulders if all you are doing is bench press.

Good luck!
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