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Thread: Torn ligaments in shoulder Q's

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    Question Torn ligaments in shoulder Q's

    I tore a couple of ligaments in my right shoulder a couple of months ago. I am doing physical therapy and should be able to avoid surgery. I have a Martin firecat compound bow I shoot right handed (pulling with my right/injured arm). The ligamints will not heal, but I should be able to strengthen the muscles around them. Does anyone have any experience with this type of injury and how it affects future bowhunting? Regardless of if I physically can or not I won't be bowhunting for a few years anyway.

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    first you/I need to know the extent of the damage and what ligament(s) were involved. Once that is out of the way, you can develop a rehabilitative program specific for that injury. Shoulders create a lot of problems for my patients, but we can avoid sugery most of the time. If bowhunting is your cup of tea (it is for me) then specific rotator cuff exercises on BOTH sides whould help stabilize the joint. I would encourage you to start these exercises as soon as possible to minimize the future effects the injury may have on your ability to draw a bow. the more motivated you are as a patient, the exponentially better prognosis you will have

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    I didn't have the exact same shoulder problem but I did tear my labrum and had surgery on it in May and was pulling my bow back by Sept. My physical therapist gave me some of the rubber bands they use for different excercises and used them to simulate pulling a bow back. After I got enough strength iand movement in my shoulder I ordered the same type of excercise cables from Cabelas which better simulates pulling back a bow and require more effort than the ones from the physical therapist. Remember you don't have to pull a 60# bow to kill a deer. If you can decrease you bow pull that will help a lot. 50# is plenty for deer size game.

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redneck doctor View Post
    the more motivated you are as a patient, the exponentially better prognosis you will have
    That is the best news I've heard all day.
    I am working with a Physical Therapist who is giving me a program that I am following to a "T" he is not a hunter at all, so isn't really familiar with archery equipment. I feel better now about shooting my bow in the future. I am happy that I will not be posting my bow in the swap & sell forum. Thank you.

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    Member Michael's Avatar
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    Listen to Red, Listen to J-Rex, listen to your PT. Rehab after surgery is not a pleasant option.

    My wife used to have a wood-Mizer sawmill and injured her shoulder off bearing lumber. It was sore, but hey, buck up, no whining allowed. She chn=anged the way she did things and it got a little better. Quit milling so much and started doing other things (being mom-grandma to our daughter). Went back to the woods to finish clearing a building site of stumps so the gravel guy could get in to install the septic and a gravel pad. 2 days of cutting stumps at ground level and the the shoulder said enough is enough. Tried taking it easy for a month with no improvement and the Chiropractor said "get an MRI and see my friend the shoulder Doc. Had surgery and is now in PT rehab. NOT FUN!!!!! 6 weeks in a pillow sling, now the 'pillow' is gone and only a sling required. She has been sleeping in the lazy boy recliner since surgery. Tried laying in bed 2 different nights, not fun.

    She had a 'significant' tear of the muscle, about 4mm of tendon attached and a couple bone spurs.

    Be patient, it takes time to heal. Listen to your PT.

    Good luck.

  6. #6

    Default Will bow again

    Figured I should chime in since I am a PT and very avid bowhunter. The shoulder is a very complex ball and socket joint. Often 1 condition can mimick another making accurate diagnosis difficult. Even an advanced imaging study such as MRI can be inaccurate at determining the cause of shoulder pain. The shoulder capsule is made up of strong fibrous ligaments that rarely rupture but may be sprained (torn) with trauma. The most common shoulder injury is a rotator cuff tear which involves a strain or rupture of the insertion for any one of the 4 muscles that support the shoulder. Not trying to confuse you, just want you to know that the exact cause of your pain may be difficult to determine with certainty. I've seen many shoulder conditions misdiagnosed which leads to improper treatment. The best outcomes come from those rehab programs that address the entire shoulder complex based upon a thorough history and clinical exam and backed up (not replaced) by imaging. Here's a few rules I ask my patients to live by for nonoperative shoulder recovery.
    1) Absolutely no increase of pain with exercise. Strengthening does not take place in the presence of pain. If you exercise with pain you will cause further muscle inhibition and compensation. If all exercise causes pain this may be a sign of bursitis or a labral tear. Bursitis may be treated with ice and rest while the labral tear requires surgery.
    2) Strengthen the trunk/core muscles. The shoulder is supported by the trunk via the scapula. The trunk muscles must be conditioned to allow proper movement of the scapula. Check out this article :http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...0/ai_n17213905
    3) Strengthen the scapular muscles. These are small muscles hence very low resistance and high reps is necessary. If you haven't already been assigned some rowing and press type exercises, ask your therapist for guidance.
    4) The last area to strengthen is the rotator cuff. If a shoulder is unstable due to ligament injury, you must first address it's foundation (trunk and scapula) prior to attempting specific rotator cuff exercises. They are already under increased strain due to the impaired movement pattern of the shoulder. Get full pain-free range of motion then begin strengthening the cuff muscles with guidance from your therapist.
    Sorry for the rambling but I hope you find some of this helpful. Take care

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    There is a article in Traditional bowhunters magazine about shoudler injurys by Don Thomas. YOu might contact TBM and ask about it, I'm not sure what issues they are.

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    Member JamesMac's Avatar
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    Default Switch Arms

    I have a torn rotator cuff (right shoulder) I shot right handed my whole life.

    So I switched to a left handed long bow (3 years ago) and I actually shoot better. It turns out that Iím left eye dominant so I think this also helps.

    Truth is, the switch for me was easy not sure exactly why, maybe itís because I shoot a traditional simple setup Ė no gadgets to adjust.

    Give it a try youíve got nothing to loose. Plus you can save whatís left of your right arm.

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by moose-head View Post
    I shoot right handed (pulling with my right/injured arm).
    Because of this, would you consider switching arms and developing your left arm to be your shooting arm? I know that it would take some time, but in the end, it might be worth it.

    I have a good friend of ours that just tore his arm to shreds this year and he can't even teach at King's Knock anymore as well.
    Because of this, he is planning on teaching himself to start learning from the opposite arm. He said that usually European archers do better in competitions because they use their right hand for guiding and their left arm to pull.
    Lurker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by COtoAK View Post
    Because of this, would you consider switching arms and developing your left arm to be your shooting arm?
    That thought had never crossed my mind I will definitely play around with my bow and see how that feels. That's a good idea

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    Quote Originally Posted by moose-head View Post
    That thought had never crossed my mind I will definitely play around with my bow and see how that feels. That's a good idea
    There are only a few things that would be different.
    You might have to purchase a new/different hold for your bow on the actual bow itself.
    You will need to redo your sights.
    You might even feel more cozy purchasing a new bow.

    All in all, switching arms might very well be worth it. All it is... is simply working developing the muscles that you never usually use in order to gain that full power you will need in order to draw your bow.

    Let us know how it pans out. I'll be interested if you end up switching or being an ambedextrius shooter.
    Lurker.

  12. #12
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    Another thing worth considering is getting a new bow. Today's newer, faster bows will allow you to shoot the same speed you currently are...usually using 10#'s less of maximum draw. I hunt everything in AK using a 60# draw at 29".

  13. #13

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    the article I was referencing was almost specifically torn rotator cuffs..... It's a really good read regardless, but in your situation regardless of what bow you shoot, this is a must read imho!

  14. #14

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    Whatever you do, after the shoulder heals in the opinion of the professionals, continue to do the "homework" exercises the PT probably assigned you.

    It's easy post surgery, post physical therapy, to get the feeling that it's all good to go and you can continue to march, so you quit continuing the conditioning of the injured shoulder. Then you tear up what you just had put back together.

    Talk to your PT about post therapy conditioning that you can continue to do at home or in the gym if you haven't already. If you're on insurance, some insurance companies won't go the distance (pay) needed through the PT process.

    When I blasted my shoulder out, the PT (and ortho to some degree agreed) wanted 12-18 months post surgery for healing and reconditioning of the shoulder. The insurance company wouldn't go for it. The PT said that the shoulder being one of the most complicated joints in the body, requires more post surgery work than most other joints. She also told me that she gets numerous patients back with re injuries to the same shoulder within a year post surgery because the insurance companies won't pay for enough therapy to rehabilitate the joint.

    Ken

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    I am right eye dominant, but am trying pulling left handed. It feels kind of funny but seems to work. I am not really aiming so much as "flinging arrows" but dosen't hurt my injured shoulder. I have kind of found an anchor point for my release, and have (semi-) decent groups. This is kind of fun for shooting practice.

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    Just an update on my shoulder. I can now shoot well, (at least shoulder strength wise that is). I went back to shooting right handed, I think more because of eye dominance and comfort feeling, I use a peep sight on a compound so it might be different for an instinctive shooter. The comments about patient motivation being the best cure constantly go through my mind while rehabbing I stumbled on swimming and it seems to do wonders in addition to the rubber bands that I use. Now how long is it 'till bear baiting starts???

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    Default Rotator Cuff = often neglected, seldom unaffected

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackal View Post
    Figured I should chime in since I am a PT and very avid bowhunter. The shoulder is a very complex ball and socket joint. Often 1 condition can mimick another making accurate diagnosis difficult. Even an advanced imaging study such as MRI can be inaccurate at determining the cause of shoulder pain. The shoulder capsule is made up of strong fibrous ligaments that rarely rupture but may be sprained (torn) with trauma. The most common shoulder injury is a rotator cuff tear which involves a strain or rupture of the insertion for any one of the 4 muscles that support the shoulder. Not trying to confuse you, just want you to know that the exact cause of your pain may be difficult to determine with certainty. I've seen many shoulder conditions misdiagnosed which leads to improper treatment. The best outcomes come from those rehab programs that address the entire shoulder complex based upon a thorough history and clinical exam and backed up (not replaced) by imaging. Here's a few rules I ask my patients to live by for nonoperative shoulder recovery.
    1) Absolutely no increase of pain with exercise. Strengthening does not take place in the presence of pain. If you exercise with pain you will cause further muscle inhibition and compensation. If all exercise causes pain this may be a sign of bursitis or a labral tear. Bursitis may be treated with ice and rest while the labral tear requires surgery.
    2) Strengthen the trunk/core muscles. The shoulder is supported by the trunk via the scapula. The trunk muscles must be conditioned to allow proper movement of the scapula. Check out this article :http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...0/ai_n17213905
    3) Strengthen the scapular muscles. These are small muscles hence very low resistance and high reps is necessary. If you haven't already been assigned some rowing and press type exercises, ask your therapist for guidance.
    4) The last area to strengthen is the rotator cuff. If a shoulder is unstable due to ligament injury, you must first address it's foundation (trunk and scapula) prior to attempting specific rotator cuff exercises. They are already under increased strain due to the impaired movement pattern of the shoulder. Get full pain-free range of motion then begin strengthening the cuff muscles with guidance from your therapist.
    Sorry for the rambling but I hope you find some of this helpful. Take care
    Jackal's post makes sense to me. In gyms, I seldom see people exercise the rotator cuff (4 muscles which stabilize the "ball" in the socket of the joint). Yet shoulder injuries frequently cause long layoffs in sport training/participation. Although the causes of shoulder pain can be many and methods for diagnosis often less precise than we realize, maintaining healthy rotator cuff muscles seems a good way to keep doing what we enjoy - weight training, fly fishing, bowhunting... An ounce of prevention as they say. Interesting thread. Good luck.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose-head View Post
    I am right eye dominant, but am trying pulling left handed. It feels kind of funny but seems to work. I am not really aiming so much as "flinging arrows" but dosen't hurt my injured shoulder. I have kind of found an anchor point for my release, and have (semi-) decent groups. This is kind of fun for shooting practice.

    recently i worked on a gents house.. he is BLIND in his right eye and shoot right handed.. he had an extension made for his sight to use his left eye, and just aced his test last week ...

    the point is if you can shoot lefty you can still aim with your dominant eye with some practice... this guy has to use a kisser on his nose rather then a peep. he says it took him some time to get it down but as long as he is consistent with his hold he shoots great out to 40-45 yrd
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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