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  1. #1
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    Mar 2009
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    Default Ideas to rehab front of shoulder/long bicep?

    I thought I would lean on the tribe here and see if anyone can help. I injured my rotator cuffs some years ago and have rehabbed them to 95% thanks to monster doses of Vitamin C then a lot of kettlebells when they stopped hurting/healed up. Kettle bells have changed my life, I might add. I was very limited in what I could do other than tiny weights until I started with them, very light and gradually moved heavier. Then a few years back I strained and almost tore what the doctor told me is the "long bicep" where it attaches to the shoulder. It feels very similar a rotator cuff injury yet isn't. Both shoulders by the way.

    The results: I can do almost all the exercises I've ever done, but ZERO push-ups or benching allowed. Even push-ups against a counter top have re-injured my shoulders that keep me from doing any lifting for a few weeks. I felt froggy a year or so ago and busted out 20 push-ups. FAR below what I used to do, and I was out of commission for a couple months. Nothing helpful has been gained from talking to PT's or a couple doctors other than wanting to scan my shoulder for possible surgery which isn't happening.

    It's weird. I can clean and press, kettlebell swing, goblet squat, etc. Hindu push-ups are doable if I'm careful. Just nothing pushing away near 90 degrees from my chest.

    I know we have some heavyweight PT and fitness expertise here, can anyone point me in the right direction?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    I would say see a orthopedic specialist. I was diagnosed with a partially torn rotator cuff about a year and a half ago. I was told That physical therapy would be sufficient to rehab it. Months went by and I was not improving. Out of frustration I saw an orthopedic specialist who diagnosed it as a torn labrum within 45 seconds. After a special MRI where dye is injected in the area it was determined that I did indeed have a torn labrum, albeit partially torn. During surgery it was discovered to be completely torn, so instead of just cleaning it up it was repaired and sewn back together.

    I am not saying that your injury is anything different than your rotator cuff, but merely suggesting see a specialist and get it fixed.......you'll be happier in the end.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    2,737
    Quote Originally Posted by tact999 View Post
    I would say see a orthopedic specialist. I was diagnosed with a partially torn rotator cuff about a year and a half ago. I was told That physical therapy would be sufficient to rehab it. Months went by and I was not improving. Out of frustration I saw an orthopedic specialist who diagnosed it as a torn labrum within 45 seconds. After a special MRI where dye is injected in the area it was determined that I did indeed have a torn labrum, albeit partially torn. During surgery it was discovered to be completely torn, so instead of just cleaning it up it was repaired and sewn back together.
    I am not saying that your injury is anything different than your rotator cuff, but merely suggesting see a specialist and get it fixed.......you'll be happier in the end.
    I've heard lots of stories like this on complicated joints (shoulders, knees etc.).

    Remember that doctors see *LOTS* of patients. It's sort of their job. And many of those patients have minor to mild injuries that just flat out resolve themselves over time--heal on their own with little or no assistance from the medical world other than "Don't do that for a while".

    The body is an amazing thing that way.

    But sometimes you get someone who's injury presents just like a lot of others, but is either slightly different, or is just slightly past that "will heal without assistance" line, but either because of hte pain tolerance of the patient, some oversight by the physician (no one is perfect) or maybe even an inadvertent re-injury while sleeping (it's happened to me) you don't heal right. So see the doctor.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2009
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    Texas
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    Thanks for the responses, it's a reality check. The pain tolerance thing hits home, it's hard to diagnose my family's injuries sometimes as we have abnormal pain tolerance. People must say it all the time because doctors just assume I'm lying when I say it and patronize me. It sucks in some ways because even opiates don't help with acute pain.

    *sigh* I guess I'll make my way to a specialist at some point.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Iowa
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    I believe I tore my rotator cuff about three times doing martial arts. The first time it pretty much healed on it's own and I could do pushups again after nine months. The second time it was a year before I could do them and then I completely tore it doing incline pushups. By the time I went to the doctor, he told me that it had been too long since the injury and the rotator cuff was un-recoverable.

    I had a total reverse shoulder replacement in May of last year.

    Since then I have gone back to pushups and am doing 100 a morning before going to work. I started slow at about six weeks after the surgery (slow, like two a day the first week). The doctor was not particularly pleased at the two month checkup when I told him I was doing pushups, but it has been my experience that doctors will almost always underestimate or understate recovery capacity.
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  6. #6
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    Resistance bands are a good way to rehab just about everything.
    Isaiah 54:17

    Deus dea traballo, dixo o enterrador.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    498
    I recommend you see a shoulder specialist... someone who does only shoulders.
    A number of years ago I tore my biceps tendon during a crg class of all places. I was misdiagnosed by my local orthopedic doctor even with 2 MRIs (one with dye) and even the radiologists reading the mri s did not catch it. After more than 1 year and physical therapy and steroid injections I went to an orthopedic center in a larger city to see a doctor specializing in shoulders. He took one look at the original MRI I brought with me and told me that my biceps tendon was definitely torn. I had surgery to repair/reattach the tendon and am much better today though I take it very easy on pushups... no more that 15 a time or I do get some chronic pain at the point of reattachment (not sure why but the attachment was unconventional due to the tendon tearing again when the surgeon was inserting the screw so it was attached with a tack and a wire mesh which may account for the pain? )

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    749
    Quote Originally Posted by H60DoorGunner View Post
    Resistance bands are a good way to rehab just about everything.
    this^^ and if it is a biceps tendon injury, I recommend the yoga stretch "table maker" with your finger pointing towards your feet. Also high rep light bicep curls (like 40-50 per set) with either the bands or light dumbbells. Do not use the barbell for rehab. Let me ask you this, is it imparitive that you do push ups? Do you have access to cable machine where you can cable chest press? Can you do an explosive medicine ball chest pass? Push-ups are great but no exercise is a must do with pain and there are always work around. The fact you can overhead press might be all you need.
    Last edited by twinboysdad; 02-17-2017 at 12:06 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Texas
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    I need to get the resistance bands out, that's a good idea. I've never really used them much past the initial useless physical therapy. Any good recommendations on exercises? I know I can google/YouTube it but it's worth asking.

    I'll try the table maker stretch, it makes me cringe looking at it but I'll try it out. I don't care about posturing or looks as far as doing bench presses or push-ups, I just know it's something I am physically incapable of and it bugs me. I really have to be mindful of which angle I push something, and certain lifting positions. I hate having to be always mindful about re-injury.

    As for equipment, I've used 100% kettlebells and a pull up bar(not enough of the bar lately) for the last couple years but I can set something up with resistance bands, or buy a medicine ball if needed. I can always go in the back yard and throw a cinder block around if I must. I can try the high-rep curls but it's the arm extension push motion that gets me. Kettle bell snatch, clean, press, etc are no problem and I do curls sometimes with them but the lightest I have is an 18lb kettlebell. I like doing curls with a slow decel/lowering motion for grip and forearm strength(gets a bicep pump too).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    749
    The table maker simply stretches the front delt/Labrum area but you could also do shoulder "dislocations" with a broom stick and really hold the stretch behind you. Can you dip? Can you floor press with your KBs? Another rehab I remember is getting your therapy band set to a point behind you about ass level and stepping away from the anchor point with a end of band in each hand. You essentially do front raises from there. Just do them with high reps and controlled slow form. Also try pullovers with your KBs with one hand doing the work and the other just supporting. Good luck, and I am not an expert

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