can we talk about shoulders

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by cuda, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. WhiteRussian

    WhiteRussian Active Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Boston Harbor
    48 and have partial rotator cuff tear on one side for 6-8 years or so. Was advised don't operate and do operate by two different surgeons. 6 months recovery put me off (I was told there is a good chance they have to bore the bone, bone spur removal or something?). I noticed it's getting worse with lack of consistent exercise. To get back to status quo I hit the gym and use small free weights (12-15 lbs) to strengthen deltoids.
  2. poidog

    poidog Active Member

    Sep 7, 2010
    60, surgery on both shoulders, torn rotator cuffs and biceps tendons, arthritis. Ball joints supposed to be white, mine are pink.

    Fortunate to get good shoulder doc for whom surgery was last resort. Started out (and continue with) PT, shots, ultimately no choice but surgery. My doc said 80% of shoulder problems are correctable without surgery, as long as you don't wait too long. I waited too long.

    I used to pride myself (arrogantly, in retrospect) with having a high pain threshold. Broke my nose three times, wrists three times, ribs, once tore a hamstring so bad my foot turned black from pooled blood, never made a sound, blah blah blah.

    The morning after my first shoulder surgery I had to do wall-walks in the shower, eency weency spider going back up the waterspout, had to send my wife to another part of the house because I couldn't stop making a sound you'll never want to hear from yourself.

    Early prevention, as they say. Hopefully you won't need surgery but if you do, the PT is as important as the surgery. No point in doing one if you're not going to do the other. Those goofy band exercises? Do them. They're the only way to get blood to the rotator cuff. No blood, no healing.
    balance_fit likes this.
  3. Surfnfish

    Surfnfish Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2015
    Devils Lake, Oregon Coast true. During surgery they inject a nerve block which lasts for hours, warned me that when it wore off the pain would be a 10, so make sure to take the pain pills beforehand. Have a high pain tolerance, don't like opioids, figure I'll man up, get through it. And then the block wore off.


    Deep tissue massages by an expert - pure gold.

    Swimming - stretches muscle fiber, breaking down scar tissue, treating range of motion issues...and nothing gets you more ready for surfing..
  4. Macilious

    Macilious Active Member

    Jun 15, 2010
  5. ThinTheHerd

    ThinTheHerd New Member

    Nov 21, 2016
    Ocean City NJ
    On March 5, 2012, I headed down to the surgical center at the Rothman Institute in Philly to have my rotator cuff repaired. I was 46 years old and a life of surfing and ice hockey took its toll. But when I got to the operating room I called it off. See, I had spent about 4 months prior to the surgery doing those stupid rubber band exercises and wouldn't you know, I felt great. Excellent range of motion and strength. 6 years later, no surgery, hung up the skates this past year and haven't missed a swell. Also haven't missed a day doing 15-20 minutes with my rubber bands. I think you all know the moral of the story.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
    shadydave likes this.
  6. tc96707

    tc96707 Member

    Feb 3, 2016
    USA Hawaii
    For me (age 54), posture and rubber band exercises helped. So, ears over shoulders and shoulder blades back/chest out. Do rubber band exercises while watching TV. And do stretches for shoulders and legs before surfing.

    I could not raise my hand above the shoulder without pain. For surfing, that pain reduced my paddling power. I could not get a good night sleep because when you rolled over the pain woke me. I also had a hard time getting out of bed. I took Vitamin M (Motrin) but that was not fixing the problem. It started affecting my driving (especially on turns) or the ability to hold the steering wheel with 2 hands. Finally, I listened to my wife and saw the doctor who referred me to PT.

    Now, I surf every morning when there are waves with no shoulder issues.
  7. Salinity

    Salinity Active Member

    May 11, 2016
    USA Rhode Island
    I'd like to know a bit more about paddling for exercise vs shoulder overuse. I had a moderate AC joint separation this past summer that still barks at me and limits my range of motion in that shoulder a bit. It doesn't necessarily hurt when sufing / paddling, but can be a bit sore after a long or physically demanding session and has me scared about shoulder longevity.

    I'd like to up my paddle fitness, so I've been considering paddling around a longboard or swimming on flat days before work (can't beat an appealing beach-based exercise to start the day), but I'm worried about overusing the shoulder joint and wearing it down. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't do ANYTHING with my shoulder and I should "save it" for surfing.

    Anyone have any insight or experience from daily paddling / swimming (good or bad)?

    Care to share any specific exercises / moves that have helped the most?
  8. garagefull

    garagefull Active Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Santa Cruz
    I'll just add one thing that worked for me, which was stem cell therapy. Probably most beneficial for pain, maybe not as beneficial for range of motion issues. I'm 64 and surfing continuously for 50 years. At 55, the mild post surf shoulder pain started to be real pain. And it was painful even when not surfing. Eventually too painful to sleep on my left side, even with pain meds. After stem cell therapy, the pain issues are gone. Range of motion has improved, which I believe is due to healing of RC and labrum. Still somewhat limited ROM, due to remaining arthritis in the joints. But with daily band exercises, I am able to keep the ROM I have and paddle somewhat successfully.
  9. cuda

    cuda Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    good stuff - thanks for the testimonials and advice

    as for rubberband workouts this is a pretty good place to start. (below) technique is everything.

    the comments about posture are a great place to start.
    and the rotations that bighouse suggested - been doing them everyday since seeing his post.

    Bighouse likes this.
  10. Bighouse

    Bighouse Active Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    East End, Long Island
    Thanks for the above. I was just about to inquire about videos!

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