Back/shoulder pain

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Paul Huffman, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Yesterday my chiropractor told me my tendency towards hyperkyphosis makes me more vulnerable to this kind of strain. He thought thoracic extension excercises were a good idea.
  2. Did he crack your back? That will often cut the pain by close to 50%, especially if it stemmed from a rib that wasn't moving. Video #1 was funny. Dude needs to spend more time working on extension. When he faces the camera, arms at his sides, his chest is sunken and both arms internally rotated to the point that you are full on looking at the back of his hands. Your sternum should be tilted up slightly and your chest pushed through to the point that your arms are on the sides of your body, not the front, and your palms ought to face the sides of your thighs, not behind you. A person standing in front of you should see your thumbs, not the back of your hands. The trick with setting your shoulders down and back in neutral rotation is doing it without flaring the bottom of your rib cage or letting your pelvis tilt forward and your belly hang out.

    I like the farmers walk as a good basic exercise. Put something very heavy in each hand. Let your shoulders roll forward, then push your chest through while keeping your ribs flat. Find that neutral posture I described above, then lock it in and start walking. Weird little muscles that are responsible for maintaining that posture will begin screaming eventually. Let them scream. Do not yield the posture.

    Horizontal/seated rows are important. Don't do the work with momentum using your hips/low back. Retract your shoulders and push your chest through. That is the exercise. Don't do a whole body thing like you would to row a boat. Use it as a corrective exercise. Thoracic extension + scapular retraction.

    Face pulls are great. Search for some videos. Maybe Cressey Performance has one. You can trust their work. Lots of dumbasses making videos. Focus on feeling the scapula rotate down as you finish... that's the motion you want to train.

    Move past bands for the rotator work. You want to build strength, so use dumbbells, even if it's only 5-10lbs to start. Add weight when you can do 20 reps. I like to sit on my butt with one knee up, heel on floor. I put my elbow on top of my knee and use a dumbbell. You can also lay on your side.

    Lose the upright rows, and I say this as someone who used to love them. Lifting your arm when it's in internal rotation is bad juju, asking for impingement.

    Good luck. This is all just stuff I nerded out about trying to stay healthy for construction, nothing more.
    Jim Wallace likes this.
  3. My chiropractor works on me as needed, usually twice a month. He gets some movement in different places. But what I'm talking about after a long day is temporary, and always resolved before my next chiropractic visit. Usually resolved by the time I walk back to the truck or by the time I drive home. I wish I could find some stretch that would help me streamside. I supposed I could roll around on the side of the river with a tennis ball but that sounds a little strange.

    I think part of my problem, besides age, is posture because I'm currently still stuck watching these adult passage tapes on a PC screen, developing nerd posture.

    Thanks for the ideas, Trevor. Let's fish sometime.
  4. Must be the season of the witch. After surfing too long and hard (too much intense paddling), and taking a real torquer of a wipeout, plus going razor clamming, my old carcass is giving me grief, and now I'm nursing something similar. Surfing usually provides a good thoracic workout, but too much can lead to overworked muscles, and a wipeout can tweak something.
    The area underneath my left shoulder blade feels tweaked a little higher up, more above the scapula near my spine, and into the lower neck. I've been getting a knot there. Been taking ibuprofen and using a heating pad and massage to work it out. Feels like its where a rib meets my spine, and also into the neck muscles. I avoided going surfing or paddling/rowing the last two days (actually over a week now since I last surfed), even though the surf was good.
    I've been doing something similar to those thoracic extension exercises, but I think I'm going to have to get one of those Pilates foam rollers. I'm going to try to use a rolled up ensolite pad.

    Luckily, its on my left side, and my right (casting) arm has recovered fully from its bout with "flycaster's elbow." So I can still go fly fishing!
  5. Dang!:( Double Dang! :confused: Triple Dang!:mad:
    I fear that my old nemesis, IMPINGEMENT, has returned to haunt me. The muscle/tissue aches I had have gone away, but I've got this numbness that suddenly hits on top of my left shoulder from my neck to the outer end of my collar bone if I lift something with my left hand or raise my left arm, and then goes away if I stretch my arm downward by bending forward and pulling down gently on it with my R hand.
    I started doing the stretches that I did when I originally battled this condition, 12 years ago. Stretching followed by ice and later heat, then more ice. I'm trying to avoid taking ibuprofen, since there isn't any pain and no noticeable swelling.
    I've been hoping that its just temporary, and laying off surfing has helped a bit. Each time I've gone paddling my yak, it seems to act up more on the following few days, and the one time I surfed recently was followed by increased periods of numbness.
    So I think I have it figured out, generally....I'm gittin' old!:eek: Raising my arm or rotating it in a paddling motion seems to bring on the numbness, so I think that that a nerve is getting pinched.

    I might have to sign up for "oh bummer care.":D
    Paul Huffman likes this.
  6. I find this to be true. My problem became noticeable not long after I started wearing my new winter wetsuit. Wriggling out of the suit, post session, requires very intense lifting the elbow and arm on each side while pulling down on the suit simultaneously with the other hand, and I've noticed the arm being raised is getting rotated internally. That lifting motion (pulling my arm up out of the sleeve) is the very type of motion that my doctor and PT had told me to avoid.
    They also warned against doing standing rowing, side lateral raises, overhead dumbell work, military presses, etc.

    Surfing and paddling yak both are activities that tighten up the muscle groups that I need to stretch out. So I guess I'm back into the stretching regime until sometime after New Years when I should be "signed up" for insurance and can then actually go get properly diagnosed.
  7. Impingement sucks. I'm a general contractor, so at times, I do a substantial amount of work overhead. Running my framing nailer overhead is likely the worst, because it's heavy enough that it's hard to maintain good form later in the day. That said, I've adjusted pretty well. The exercises I described above all apply, but there are couple important tricks I've found.

    Avoid raising your arm and reaching across your body. If I'm brushing the top of a door jamb, I turn my body 45 degrees, so that I am working out to my side. If you are going to repeat a movement thousands of times, define the limits of you range of motion. What you can get away with pain free for a couple hundred cycles may not work for 10x that many.

    This is a little tricky to train, but when you are raising your arm, your scapula should initiate the movement by pulling down your back and flattening to your rib cage. This plus tension from external rotators is what opens the space and prevents impingement. You are essentially putting the glenohumeral joint into position for overhead movement before you explore the limits of a "resting" position. If you are getting fatigued while you are paddling and failing to keep your shoulder blades cinched down and back, you'll impinge if you keep reaching.

    Also, impingement isn't a nerve issue. It's soft tissue getting squished until it swells and hurts like hell, so ibuprophen is your friend. Keep the inflammation down.
  8. Thanks for the additional comments, TrevorH.
    "Shoulder blades cinched down and back" with my elbows in and abs tightened while gripping a "grip exerciser," is one that a trainer recommended.
    That works when paddling a kayak, using a paddle.
    It doesn't work when paddling while lying prone on a surfboard, when each stroke is also a bit of a reach. I got in about 27 or 28 sessions during Sept and Oct, averaging 2 hours each. (I was going for 30 sessions for the two months, but I didn't make it). That adds up to many thousands of paddle strokes each session. Its kind of a long grind when paddling out (hundreds of strokes each time after a ride), and a short sprint when paddling for a wave.
    I was riding a longboard my last five sessions. Had to "turn turtle" with that beast instead of being able to "duck dive" it under the incoming soup when paddling back out. That turtling move is a real torquer, too. I'm sure that it was the face-plant I took on a bungled late take-off that torqued me pretty hard, followed by going razor clamming right afterward (using a borrowed clam tube instead of a shovel). Up until then, I was enjoying just the usual amount of muscle soreness. After that, I was hurtin' for certain. Now, I'm out of the line-up.
  9. Hmmm. I've been reading about shoulder impingement and pinched "shoulder" nerves all morning. Lots of info on treating the syndrome, but it all boils down to just doing the stretches and exercises, using ice and heat, and taking anti-inflammatory medication.
    I figured out that I have a nerve that is getting pinched. I'm treating that with ice and heat, and anti-inflammatory meds.

    I'm also getting back into my PT routine to fight any encroaching impingement that I suspect is happening. I vaguely recall my PT telling me that they should become a permanent part of my warm-up and stretching routine if I want to keep surfing.
    Also, there's a bunch of motions that exacerbate the condition and they should be avoided. I hope to remember to avoid doing them.
  10. I was once a famous obscure surfer on the Washington North Beach, where I lived from 1979 to 1999.

    Now that I am in Yakima, I don't surf much.

    Some of my aging surfing buddies are getting into kite surfing because they claim it is easier on their backs and other joints. I say it is not easier on your body when you get lofted out of control onto the jetty.
  11. Four of my local surf buddies have gotten into kite boarding. There's very little stress on the arms and shoulders due to the chest harness hookup. Hands, arms, shoulders are free to control the kite lines. Now they embrace, not curse, the wind!:cool:

    I never made it to "famous obscure" status. Just plain "anonymously obscure" was all the status I ever achieved. Probably due to my bad attitude. A news crew showed up with a camera to do a story on the surfing here one year back in the late 80's, and I told them we didn't want any publicity, and to go back to Seattle. They included a very brief clip of me (anonymously) wiping out in the footage they showed on TV.
  12. It's about time for one of those "I thought this was a flyfishing site" posts.
  13. I'm beginning to think this knot in my back is more from carrying a backpack on my recent ambulatory expeditions.

    Yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to take a mtn bike instead of walking, but I ended up walking back 5 miles because I had two flats. The key of B flat, if you will.
  14. I recently picked up a new tire patch kit and a CO2 inflater. I like the 3-pack of plastic tire "irons." I also have one of those mini-pumps, but the CO2 is much quicker.
    I almost went surfing today, but held off, since I'm still suffering the tingly numbness attacks on the top of my left shoulder when I make certain movements. I am noticing a slow improvement, though, and don't want to jump the gun and suffer a setback. I'll be fly fishing somewhere next week, if not this weekend.
  15. You're living the life, Jim. I haven't surfed much since I moved to Yakima.
  16. I'm eating ibuprofen right now so that I can paddle out later today. I may regret it later, but it's worth the gamble now!
  17. Well if she instructing it can't be that bad. Right?

    I had the same thing and after three years of pain I gave in and had rotator cuff surgery. Turns out that I had three torn torn tendons. It was mostly successful and I have most of the range of motion back.

    I hope the exercises and homeopathic treatments work for you. If you do need surgery plan three to four months without fishing. You may want to get an MRI so you know what you are up against.
  18. I have decided to forego getting into two handed casting, and spend the $$ on building myself a custom Fat Bike instead.
    Perusing the "fat biking" and mountain biking forums, I learned that going tubeless in a mt bike tire will reduce the number of flats you suffer. With rim tape, a good rim strip, tubeless valve stem, and a liquid sealant, thorn punctures seal right up. The tube at this point would only be excess weight. Bikers who switched over claim that they don't get nearly as many flats.

    Only yesterday, I ordered my custom wheel set and frame, and most of the components. Going with an 8-spd internal geared hub. Monstrosities like this thing I'm building roll on 4" tires, with anywhere from 5 lbs to 30 lbs pressure, depending on the type of surface (snow, sand trail, or pavement). Haven't been fishing at all, lately.
  19. I find that getting layed once a week keeps your joints from becomeing stiff.
    Paul Huffman likes this.
  20. Going tubeless as well, but not super fat.

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