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10-81
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A little back ground first. In '96 I dislocated my left shoulder in boot camp. For a few years after that my shoulder popped out and back into socket a few times while lifting weights but no other problems. The years have gone by with no real pains to speak of until the end of Feb. this year.

One morning I woke up and my left shoulder had this dull pain like I slept on it wrong (but I never sleep on my left side). Did not really think anything of it until later in the day it still hurt. the pain would go from a dull pain to short stabbing pains around the deltoid/rotator area. Since then there will be times when the pain would come and go for a day or so and then nothing for a couple more days.

Well today I went out for an 8 mile run. My shoulder did not hurt while running but afterward I started feeling the pain again. If I lift my arm straight out and above my shoulder the pain hurt or if I move my arm up and down (turning a steering wheel) thefore rotating my shoulder.

At first, being a new rider, I thought the pain was caused by my upper body being tense on my cycle without me noticing it. But after the run today (have not rode in several days) I think it is caused my the swing motion of my stride.

Anyone else experience the same pain? any exercises I can do to work it out?

Update: Alright I caved and am going to the doctor today after work to have him look at my shoulder.

Also I am looking to buy a shorter stem for my Cannondale to help out the shoulder a little. Stopped by the LBS while on the ride out yesterday to have the guy throw my bike on the trainer and see what he thought about my stem. After watching me ride for a bit he thought I could use shorter stem but now the question is how much shorter do I go? I have a 90mm on now and do not know if I should drop to an 80mm or a 70mm. Because this was free there was more eye balling than measuring going on....so I never got an answer on which one I should go with. Any idea on how much difference a cm or two makes?


Thanks,

Joe
 

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It's surprising how a shoulder can make everything hard to do. I've had a dislocation and a separation on the left side (separate incidents), and it gives me trouble occasionally, but nothing like you describe.
You can try anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin or ibu, and maybe some gentle range of motion movements to see if it loosens up. Take the max dose of drugs for a few days, and don't persist with the exercises if they hurt. What you're hoping is that as things warm up, the pain goes away. As a rule, that works for me after a couple of days. Heat or ice may help, too (I like ice, but physassist, who does this for a living, says there's no evidence it really helps).
If you're not on the road to recovery in a few days, see a doc. If you're not insured, then as a vet you're eligible for VA care. I just signed up with them a few months ago when my company health ins. ran out, and I've been pretty happy so far.
 

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eRacer
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One dislocation with no recurrence is usually OK.
Recurrent instability with weight lifting may indicate it did not heal fully/correctly. An unstable anterior labrum is a possible cause of recurrent pain and looseness.
Pain after running may mean the shoulder is slipping with the jostling of running. A short course of Motrin or Naproxen and rest may help. If you are a police officer, certainly your health care provider would be happy to look at your shoulder if symptoms with exercise persist.
 

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10-81
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have good health insurance but to be honest I am trying to avoid the doctor because I just do not want to hear anything about shoulder surgery. I know that sounds odd but in the past six months I have had three friends have shoulder surgery and one is fine.....one had them cut part of his vocal cords (dont know what type of shoulder surgery he had) so now he sounds like he is sick all the time and my last friend never woke back up leaving his wife and little girl behind.

I know the chances for success are good...but 2 out 3 in six months is not very good odds for me. I know I will have to see a doctor in the near future I guess I am just trying to put it off for as long as I can.
 

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I had several falls skiiing and mt biking in my 20's which my left shoulder took the brunt of, and 2+ years ago I hurt it again digging a post hole for a mailbox. Tried to rest, asprin etc without success. Never was in such pain that doing stuff was impeded, but certain motions such as backing up the truck and boat trailer aggravate it. Finally was talked into seeing a Chiropractor. It has worked wonders for me, as along with the shoulder, my upper spine was misaligned and once adjusted myshoulder pain was eliminated.

Good luck, and get it taken care of--don't wait on a shoulder issue!

Try a chiropractor.
 

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Always changing.....
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I have had issues with my rotator cuff the last few years. Similar problem; I will sleep the wrong way on the shoulder and wake up sore.

For me, I do weight lifting exercises that target the rotator cuff areas of the shoulder and this has pretty much solved the problem for me. I do this about two times a week and nothing over-heavy weight wise.
 

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fireplug said:
I have good health insurance but to be honest I am trying to avoid the doctor because I just do not want to hear anything about shoulder surgery.
Chances are you're not doing yourself any favors. I dislocated my right in '01 and all was good until last summer. Very similar deal, I thought I slept on it wrong but a week later my shoulder and neck still felt like a rock. Couldn't turn my head very well so NNCing wasn't good. After more PT, I feel pretty good. First go-round with it was about 98% recovery and this one was close to that.

My PT consisted of a bunch of stretches and using a big rubber band for resistance. Some of the exercises seemed to help more than others, but it's important to keep up with that stuff once in awhile - don't stop doing it when you feel better.
 

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First of all the shoulder is an extremely complicated joint so self diagnosis or help from a forum will be difficult. I went to a bone and joint specialist last year about shoulder pain and he diagnosed it as 'distal clavicle osteolysis', something very common in weightlifters. He gave me a set of exercises and stretching routines and I backed down the heavy weights and it has improved some. If this is your issue you can find a ton of info on the web about it and the exercises associated with treating it.
 

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10-81
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Alright I caved and am going to the doctor today after work to have him look at my shoulder.

Also I am looking to buy a shorter stem for my Cannondale. Stopped by the LBS while on the ride out yesterday to have the guy throw my bike on the trainer and see what he thought about my stem. After watching me ride for a bit he thought I could use shorter stem but now the question is how much shorter do I go? I have a 90mm on now and do not know if I should drop to an 80mm or a 70mm. Because this was free there was more eye balling than measuring going on....so I never got an answer on which one I should go with. Any idea on how much difference a cm or two makes?
 

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Clear Lake, TX
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3,269 Posts
With a dislocation recurrence, you may have stretched or torn the ligaments that otherwise keep the joint in place during movement. This allows some "slop" in the joint. Too much slop, and the level of dislocation becomes greater.

28 years ago, I dislocated my left shoulder. It recurred several times after over the following weeks. 9 years and hundreds of repeat full blown dislocations later, I had surgery, thanks to decent insurance. It healed with rehab and remained trouble free until a somewhat minor crash (front wheel slid and I landed on elbow hard) in an MTB race. I put it back in socket and finished the race, catching a few who passed me. This was right after Tyler Hamilton's heroic stage win with the broken shoulder, so FTW!

Anyway, I babied the shoulder over the following months, and it only partially dislocated a few times. It has not been a problem in 3 years, but I'm still watchful of it.

Good luck, and let us know what happens with the doc.
 
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