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Old 02-12-2005, 07:17 PM   #1
David Wood
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Hello all:

About 3 or 4 months ago, I took a fall while trying to get the 100' handstand walking challenge. It wasn't graceful; I landed directly on the top of my left shoulder (where the collarbone joins the shoulder).

It hurt like heck at the time, and I had to lay off most upper-body work for a week or two. But it healed . . . sort of.

3 months later, I'm still plagued by pain any time I do anything where I supporting myself above my hands (e.g., pushups, dips). The motion that seems to "separate" the shoulder joint (pushes the outside up relative to the collarbone) causes pain. Pushup-intensive WODs are close to impossible.

Fortunately, there's no pain with hanging from a bar (my pullups suck, but not for this reason), and no pain with putting weights overhead . . . just dips and pushups.

Anybody able to guess what I've done to myself, and what I should be doing to resolve it? Should I just resign myself to a long, slow, recovery? Or is there something more specific I could do to get back to doing pushups sooner?
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Old 02-12-2005, 10:45 PM   #2
Payton Steel
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Sounds like anything possible from the rotator cuff all the way back to the trapezeus. You probably want to see someone about this; the longer you let something like this go, the more likely it will heal incorrectly (permanently) and it can also throw off another part of your body that's been forced to compensate for what this shoulder's not able to do. Often, this is something you'd be completely oblivious to until a few years down the road. Good luck with this, and go get it looked at!
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Old 02-13-2005, 04:15 AM   #3
James Hall
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David,
I'll try to describe this exercise as I haven't found a picture on the net, though I do have a copy at the office. If I need to, get me a fax number and I'll get it to you tomorrow.
Sit on a chair or table. Grasp the seat with the hand on the affected side. Keep your shoulder relaxed, maintain your grip and lean away from the shoulder. You should feel a distraction in the shoulder joint. If you pull so hard it's painful then you're pulling too hard. Do 10 reps, 4-5 times per day. If overhead work, pushups, etc is closing down the subacromial space then distracting the joint should help. Let me know.
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Old 02-13-2005, 09:10 AM   #4
Brian Hand
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David, it sounds like you might have separated your shoulder. My tip off was when you said you separated your shoulder. Seriously this is often what happens when you take a fall or a hit like that. Picture the two bones that come together front and back at the point of your shoulder (AC joint). When you are doing a pushup or dip, the AC joint rests right on top of your upper arm bone. The pressure tends to separate the joint. I'd definitely have this looked at and I'd definitely stop doing dips and pushups until you can do them pain free.
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Old 02-13-2005, 12:18 PM   #5
William Hunter
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I think Brian and James nailed this one. AC injuries really make it hard to do a dip or pushup. AC separations can be graded from 1-3. The more serious ones need a special taping job to stabilize the damaged ligaments (ortho or PT would be the best bet). I see James is a PT. Maybe he can write more about this.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-13-2005, 04:18 PM   #6
David Wood
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My thanks to all . . . although I was really hoping for something like: "Take this magic pill" (j/k).

James, you can fax me at work (just put my name on it): David Wood, 908 541-1595. I will be grateful.

I've suspected a shoulder separation . . . but haven't really wanted to contemplate what healing that would involve.

Assuming that, what will the medical / PT establishment want me to do?

Thanks again,
Dave
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:58 PM   #7
James Hall
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Dave,
I'll fax the picture to you tomorrow. Any questions, call 254-628-8391.

James
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:37 PM   #8
David Wood
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Got it, thanks, James,
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Old 02-23-2005, 10:59 PM   #9
Michael Keller
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David,

Several years ago, I seperated my shoulder practicing rolls from a moving vehicle (martial arts class). Being the stubborn guy I am, I sucked it up for a year before going to the doctor.:uhoh: When I finally did go, it was diagnosed as a seperation (AC joint) and bursitis had set in. To make a long story short, I went to PT for a few months and took naprosyn for over a year. Push-ups and dips were unbearable. The doc wanted to do surgery, but I didn't. I continued working it out and stretching the shoulder a lot and eventually it got much better. Every now and then it will remind me with a little pain, but for the most part, I have been pain free for a few years.

Don't put off seeing the doc and be stubborn like I was. It kept getting worse and more painful until I had no choice, and could have been treated much easier if I hadn't been so stubborn.

I hope yours gets better.
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:27 PM   #10
David Wood
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Michael:

Yeah, it's pretty clear that I'm in full denial mode . . . been "sucking it up" for 3 months now, but it's not getting much better (pushups are a bit better (10 in a row isn't bad), but dips are still close to impossible).

What was the PT? And how was it better to have done that, versus the ongoing stubborness and working it out on your own?

Like you, there's (almost) no way I'm going to go under the knife . . . too much down time, too many risks that it won't come out better.

Thanks,
Dave
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