Rotator Tare Fly Casting?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Golden Trout, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. MRI coming, consultation, and probably rotator surgery on the horizon. Mean time will try to do some April (Spring Break) fishing. Has anyone done this without invoking too many of the bursitis-impingement, pain demons?
  2. I had a rotator cuff injury last year that wasn't bad enough to warrant surgery. After a day trip drifting the Yak last week I noticed it was bothering me towards the last few hours. I wasn't from casting as they were all short casts from the boat, but all the frequent mending and highsticking left my shoulder quite sore. With rest and Advil it's better now. My suggestion is to switch hands as much as you are able to avoid overuse of your affected arm.
  3. Learn to cast with your other hand.
  4. That's the kind of wise-crack I'd expect from someone who eats raw bacon! :D Have you tried casting with your other arm? So far I have gotten to where I can cast line with reasonable timing, but not as far, and not nearly as accurately as I did with my bad arm, when it was still good. I don't dare try it near any trees or bushes. I think my casting (R) arm will heal before I tame the southpaw.

    Treatment you can always do at home: Ice the shoulder, pop your favorite nsaids, and avoid stressing the joint. If I'm not going anywhere, I might wash the ibuprofens down with a micro-brew. The 12 oz forearm raise is a bona-fide exercise, anyway. In a pinch you can use a cold one for an ice pack. I had torn rotators in each shoulder (one wasn't so bad, very slight tear), and then developed impingement. I had to quit surfing for a while. The treatment I finally had was for the impingement, and involved a cortisone shot and physical therapy. Surgery would have been the next alternative, but the less invasive approach worked for me.

    Also, years ago I began taking supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin and MSM. They supply some of the building blocks for maintaining healthy joints, and they have worked for me. The pain and stiffness even went away in my blown-out knuckles. This becomes part of your diet, and it takes several months for the effects to kick in. But then you notice your joints feeling better. Quit taking the supplements, though, and after several months the pain and stiffness starts to return. However, they really seem to help counteract the advance of my osteo arthritis (My doc had said "Looks like you have some osteo arthritis developing in your shoulders, as well"). Lately I still hear clicking, popping, and crunching sounds when I do a shrugging motion, but there's no pain, and I have full range of motion, after I warm up and stretch.

    Now, this *$%&#@! "tennis elbow" (due to too much casting with 6 and 8 wt single handers all day one fine day back in July of last year) has been crimping my fly casting, other fishing, paddling and surfing, but I went surfing yesterday anyway, and managed about 5 rides in the small 2' to 3' waves. I lasted for about 45 minutes of continuously paddling out thru the surf and chasing waves, before I ran out of steam. This was a little over one week shy of 6 months staying out of the surf, due to the bad tendon. My shoulders still feel great, though.
    It turns out that a wetsuit acts as a decent "compression sleeve," and the paddling motion didn't stress the healing tendon. I ate a couple of ibuprofens before going surfing, and iced the arm as soon as I got home, and again today, and it actually feels like its stronger and less painful than before surfing! I think maybe that a moderate amount of light surfing is the cure!:cool:
  5. Hey Jim. Isn't getting old fun.

    On another note. Learn to switch hands. When you were a kid you could probably switch hands pretty good.:):)
  6. I've found that one of the best warm-ups for the shoulder joint is to use a light weight (I use a 3# weight that's easy to hold, but it can be lighter) and do the following:
    Grab your weight, and bend forward at waist with feet spread as widely as you can, with your free hand on your hip and the hand holding the weight hanging straight down...
    Then begin gently swinging the weight around in a circle, starting small at first, but widening the circle until the weight just clears your ankles (try not to hit 'em). I do about 20 circles and then wind 'emback down to a small one, and then switch direction and do about 20 the other way. I might repeat this.

    Then like OMJ says, switch hands.;)

    What it does is warm up and lubricate the joint. I always do this before working out or surfing or going for a paddle. A baseball or tennis ball sized rock will do fine on the beach. My PT showed me this as the first warm-up exercise in the program he gave me when I was working on my impingement problem.
  7. Take up tennis, so that you know when it really hurts, what the difference is.
  8. Jim:

    Is this exercise for lubricating good joints?

    Is it recommended or discouraged for shoulders that already have a rotator cuff tear?

    I ask because my orthopedist pointed out exercises where exercising through too much range of motion is counterproductive, and when I limited the range of those exercises as recommended things improved.

    so I am careful about how I do and dont exercise each shoulder, the good one and the bad one.

  9. You're headed for krill oil and surgical tubing exercises! :D
  10. You're headed for krill oil and surgical tubing exercises! :D

    I've been doing the surgical tubing exercises for 3 months now, some stretching exercises, and taking meloxicam, all under the watchful eye of a physical therapist. I'm mostly pain-free during the day, and spey casting doesn't bother it at all (so far!). The worst pain I have is at night, when the shoulder joint relaxes, stretches out, and pinches something. So off to the orthopedist I go tomorrow morning, for an evaluation and hopefully for an MRI to look at the soft tissue.
  11. Wish you the best in recovery.
  12. Chances are you will be fine soon after the surgery. I knew one of the Mariners who had it done. His doctor told him to go flyfishing after a bit of phys. therapy and a week or so.
    We always talked about going fishing but never got our schedules to line up. We were going to drag Edgar Martinez with us as well for comic relief.
  13. Hi Golden Trout,
    I had the operation 2 years ago for a rotator cuff repair here in the UK. I am 67 and fairly tough (I have teeth drilled without injections) but I found it extremely painful and was not allowed to drive for 12 weeks. I am fully recovered now. I wrote about it in my fishing blog with pictures so you might like to have a look. Try You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the recent posts and click on more/earlier and it should pop up on the screen. All the best Alan C
  14. GT,

    I think it will depend on the specific nature of your shoulder demons. I have elbow and shoulder joint issues and had the needle surgery on my left shoulder a year ago. There are some things I can't do (push ups, military shoulder press), but I can fly cast so long as I don't work at it. That is pretty easy for single hand casting because I'm a pretty good caster, which makes it sort of effortless. This was really beneficial to my Spey casting, causing me to seriously smooth out my casting form, making it as effortless as single hand casting. Otherwise I'd have been sidelined, swallowing ibuprofen cocktails.

  15. I had rotator cuff surgery in 2005. Helped a lot but never totally pain free. I finally decided that it would make sense to limit wear and tear as much as possible. This winter I forced myself to regularly practice casting left handed. It was a slow start but I now have a pretty decent cast as a lefty. Sure, I don't have the same accuracy or distance (yet) but I'll bet about 70% of this season's casting will be left handed. Give it a shot and you might amaze yourself.
  16. Jay, Yes, you need to watch your range of motion. I start out with small circles and then gradually spiral out to a wider circle. This was in the series of exercises and stretches that my PT gave me for working out my impingement problem, after a cortisone shot from my doctor. I asked about my older rotator injuries, and he said that as long as it feels good, keep doing it as a warmup. I was instructed that I should listen to my pain, and back off if anything feels like its creating too much stress.
    I was counseled to avoid doing overhead weight lifting (military press, etc) and to ease into any weight training exercises, and start out light. When doing side-lateral raises with dumbells, I should go no higher than a 45 degree angle. Standing rowing with a barbell is a no-no, but bent rowing with the barbell and proper form is OK. Also, I'm still using a nice weight machine that a friend is storing in my shop, and it allows me to do all kinds of exercises. I might have to get my own machine if he ever finishes his house and wants it back.
    Sometimes regular pushups seem too intense. Some plank and yoga positions put too much stess on a compromised joint. I've learned that you gotta watch what your doing and pay attention to what your body is telling you.
    I try to remember that when the adrenaline hits, for whatever reason, that I might not be noticing any pain. Later, you wonder, "How/when did that happen?" When you're over 60, don't try to keep up with the young athletes! You might have been able to do that when you were 40, and maybe deluded yourself that you still could when you were 50, but at 60 its all about "self-preservation.";)

    My rotator tears were not bad enough to require the invasive surgery. Although they seem to have healed (more or less), and don't cause me any pain, I still have to watch what I'm doing. My right shoulder feels a bit "loose" most of the time (due to the stretched out tendons and loose rotator cuff). In my case, if I keep my arms, shoulders, and the rest of me in decent shape with regular moderate workouts, my shoulders stay strong, and the R one feels less loose. I don't really enjoy doing weight training, but I do it anyway. I am not and never was a body builder, but just care about staying in shape so that I can enjoy the activities I like to pursue. I just use light weights.

    As for my impingement (L shoulder), which is what forced me to quit surfing at the time, that condition is now history. Now, when I surf and paddle flat water, regularly, my shoulders feel really great! My R shoulder always makes a popping sound with every stroke, but there is no pain.

    Never try to self diagnose a shoulder problem. Go see your doctor!

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