Shoulders Suck

fishing4sanity

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Mar 9, 2011
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eastern Washington
My experience with PT has been great, maybe I just got lucky with where I went. They gave me a regimen to follow on my own as well, when I get lazy and slack off too much I can tell. Similar story to yours, pitching arm is the problem. Turn the bow down some and really give PT a chance, easier & cheaper than switching to your non-dominate arm and buying a new bow. Good luck!
 

targetpanic

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Aug 24, 2017
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Phillipston, MA
Shoulder injuries SUCK, even more if you are an archer!
I had 2 full thickness tears in my rotator cuff of my draw arm. It needed to be surgically repaired. The recovery was quite painful and very SLOW. I was back to shooting a lightweight (52#) hunting bow 7 months post surgery. I can now shoot a 63-65# hunting bow and keep my target/3D bows around 56-58#. I probably have 90% range of motion and strength from before the injury.
My wife is in the middle of frozen shoulder treatment right now. Her's developed last summer, she went to shoot her bow (bow arm side for her) and it was painful to draw, but when the release fired she had extreme drop to her knees pain. Her first consult was worthless and she got worse at PT, they gave her an MRI and said nothing was wrong and wanted to perform open exploratory surgery on her shoulder....umm no thanks. We found her a highly regarded surgeon and she met with them. They put her through a few ROM and strength tests and reviewed her MRI. THey said see all this right here on the MRI...that's one of the worse cases of frozen shoulder we have seen. She got a cortisone shot under X-ray and has been going through PT. She is seeing great improvements and meeting all her goals. They hope to get her back to 100% without surgery but it is a long and slow process
 

Wallydeuce

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Feb 24, 2021
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NV
PT and injections just put off the inevitable for my left shoulder. The surgery was one of the most painful things I've ever experienced, but I'm glad I did it. Meanwhile, crank your bow down. No shame in it. In my archery life, I've gone from 74 lbs to 50 lbs. (age) A sharp broad head will get it done at a lower weight. Good luck!
 

pre6422hornet

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May 21, 2015
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516
I don't think anyone loves PT, but I will say begrudgingly that it helps a lot especially if you are willing to put in the work.

Personally I'm in your camp of just one more place to be, so when I go to PT I make sure that I communicate that I want them to give me a routine to do on my own. I'm way more likely to do 15-20 min on my own every day then make it do an appointment 3+ times a week.

I developed a bad back spasm after a fall snowboarding, and doing PT every day eventually made it go away completely.
Yeah this! 4 kids under 14 in sports and stuff I don't have time to spend an hour in an office for supervised PT.

PT has kept my Sciatica at bay now for almost a year. The moment I feel my lower back tighten or I feel the nerve on edge I will excuse myself no matter where I am and stretch. Then I hit the routine hard when I get home.

I played NCAA baseball too. Third Base. Back about 15 years ago my then 10 year old nephew decided to ambush me with a snow ball. " I will teach him"... packed one good and threw an absolute frozen rope of a snowball right into his chest....

And felt my shoulder leave my body. I think it is still laying on my parents front yard. I now can only lob the ball when playing catch with my girls. Sucks. Hurts every throw but I can still pull back 65 pounds. I pray that it doesn't get any worse or effect bowhunting. If it did I would do everything I could to keep doing it.
 

LukeDuke

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Feb 7, 2015
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565
Location
Minnesota
PT really helped me out before my archery hunt last yr. I had a bad case of tennis elbow…so bad that I could hardly grip a coffee cup with that arm. Went in for one PT appointment in June and told them I needed to get better for my Sept archery hunt. They gave me an app for my phone that walked me through all of the exercises. Followed the program(all at home) and was good to go in Sept. I’m not sure if your case will require you to attend in person sessions, but I couldn’t have been happier with ease of use and the outcome.
 

Brian in Montana

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Jan 20, 2017
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Ramsay, MT
I've actually been in PT before with a nasty back problem, it did help, but I'm not looking forward to going back. Like I said, it's a hassle and I just don't like going to the doctor or really anything medical related anyway. But I'll submit. I'm 49 and aware the wear and tear on my body is not going to get better with time.
 

Hem

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May 20, 2009
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Three Forks, Mt
59 and still framing houses. My shoulders have bore the brunt. Pretty certain I have partial tears in both.
I've been lifting weights since 8th grade, still have the original barbell, but focus on lighter weight/ high repitions. No professional advice, I just do a variety of exersizes which keep the area strong and stabilized. Seems to work.
But don't ask me to throw anything.
I use a lacrosse stick with the dogs.
I also intuitively know my range of motion, and never push the the fringes.
Dropped down to 62 lbs with the bow and keep the elbow tight.
Thankful but wonder about the future.
 

SAJ-99

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Jan 5, 2019
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E Washington
I don't. Would that be preferable for some reason?
I assume it is your draw arm shoulder that is hurting. If not, disregard. I had issues with that shoulder from old sports injuries. Moved to a thumb release and found a huge difference. The grip of the thumb release transfers the peak stress to the bicep. With a traditional trigger release, the stress in drawing was on the elbow and shoulder. Not guaranteed but might be something worth trying.
 

Benjamins

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Aug 25, 2020
Messages
105
Well... Since I was old enough to walk I played baseball until I graduated high school. I was a pitcher all that time and pretty much threw my arm away. I've had shoulder pain off and on most my life but for the last year and a half or so it's gotten persistent and at times debilitating. I finally went to the doctor for it today and he says it's a rotator cuff injury, hard to say how bad exactly, but gave me some prescription antiinflammatory and made a referral to physical therapy, which I really didn't want.

Last fall I didn't even bow hunt because my shoulder was bad, I could feel it shift around inside the joint when drawing. I'm tempted to go into PT and say - get me to where I can draw a bow again. I've always kept my compound bow cranked up to 70lbs, but supposing PT doesn't really work, or not entirely... I don't know. Not really sure what I'm asking. Just sorta pissy about it. How low do you suppose I could reduce my draw weight and still put a Viper Trick through an elk?

Any of you had this problem? I've definitely gotten more into rifles than ever before, but I don't want to give up the September mornings trying to talk a bull into bow range.
It's like you spelled out my exact situation. A lot of coaches at that level just want to win. I remember one tournament I threw 150 pitches and then I had to go again 2 days later.
 

kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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Wichita
If any HuntTalker ever needs to find the world's best shoulder and elbow surgeon, give me a PM and I can direct you to my little brother. Based in Golden CO, he does more shoulder replacement revisions of anyone in the world. And he does the "easy" stuff stupendously well also.

1644374693251.jpeg

PS: although he is 7 years younger, he has less hair up top, and what is there is grayer than mine.
 

Badlandcat

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Dec 23, 2010
Messages
164
Location
Montana
Had rotator cuff and bicep surgery the end of February. Started shooting a very low poundage bow the end of July and killed a 360 bull at 41 yards with a 60lb Mathews VXR at the end of September.
My advice is, get a MRI and find out what's going and get it fixed.
p/t sucked and didn't help, so did the cortisone shots.
 

wa_archer

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Jan 30, 2013
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280
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E. WA
I would agree they suck. Been dealing with one of mine for damn near a year and still don’t have full range motion. Worst part I have no clue what I did to it. Just started hurting and prolonged long enough I finally tried to get fixed. Doctor visit and couple months PT and $1400 later and about half way back. At least I can draw my bow again. Bird hunting was almost unbearable this fall every shot put me almost on the ground. I still consider myself young at 40 and very active in shape.

I wouldn’t ignore it but stay on top of it and keep strengthening and stretching.
 

westbranch

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Sep 11, 2017
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ID Panhandle
I have had good luck with PT for other injuries but I am too cheap to go when its not covered by insurance. Biggest thing is ongoing maintenance and exercise. I have had great experience watching PT videos on youtube targeting shoulders pain, low back pain, knee pain, hips, etc. Good to do in front of a mirror to be aware of body movement. Athleanx has some good videos, the Knees Over Toes guy has some on shoulders along with lower body.

My wife bought a crossover symmetry kit a couple years ago. I would have on and off shoulder pain over the years and doing some of the workouts they provide 3-5 days a week the last couple years seems to have helped quite a bit. Probably be good to all to a PT before getting into some of those exercises.
 

mktx

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Feb 7, 2022
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33
I have a couple things that have helped with some old injuries to feet and hips, but also fix problems with my shoulders. Note - I played soccer from the time I was 5 through half of college and semi-pro. I got into crossfit (cringe) and even became a trainer - and yes we pushed things too far, too often and got hurt. I sit too much and still think Im working with a 25 year old body when I train.

First, is working with a mobility guy (now my friend) out of Arizona named Dr. Matt Zanis (https://rootedinmvmnt.com/) he did a complete assessment, via video, explained where I needed to improve (and why) and then gave me months work of mobility and strength movements that got rid of the pain entirely. I'm now able to move, train, run, ruck, shoot without any issues. I have to keep up with it though - so this is an investment, but a good one in my opinion. Happy to provide an intro if anyone is interested.

Second, is topical CBD. I've had success with creams, oils, and ointment and honestly think it comes down to figuring out what works for yourself. The one I have now is through a local shop here in Austin and cuts through pain and inflammation almost instantly. Hit me up if you want to know what I've used in the past.

Third, is sleep. I've gone all in on "sleep hygiene" and have the numbers to prove that it works. No light in the bedroom, blackout curtains, no electronics (phone, tv etc), bed is for sexy time and sleep ONLY, chilipad set to 65 degrees, a new bed every 10 years, a "custom" pillow (fill it to the desired fluffiness), and track my sleep with a wearable.

Fourth, cold showers. I turn the shower cold for ~1 minute at the end of a morning and before bed shower. Improves sleep and reduces inflammation

Fifth, diet. What's the connection - inflammation. I've been able to reduce nagging injuries simply by reducing foods that cause inflammation. It's a much harder problem to solve and we all need help. If you can find a local functional or integrative medicine DR they can assist.

my 2 cents.
 

Caseknife

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Jul 1, 2012
Messages
360
Location
NE Washington
If any HuntTalker ever needs to find the world's best shoulder and elbow surgeon, give me a PM and I can direct you to my little brother. Based in Golden CO, he does more shoulder replacement revisions of anyone in the world. And he does the "easy" stuff stupendously well also.

View attachment 211729

PS: although he is 7 years younger, he has less hair up top, and what is there is grayer than mine.
Those tools make me cringe, OMG!
 

Wild Bill

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Dec 9, 2015
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422
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SD
Those tools make me cringe, OMG!
Exact opposite here. I grew up wanting to be a surgeon but I knew that realistically I would never have had the drive or dedication to follow through. Maybe my son will inherit my dreams and my wife's work ethic and I can live vicariously through him.
 

BucksnDucks

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Joined
Aug 27, 2015
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672
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Northern CA
If any HuntTalker ever needs to find the world's best shoulder and elbow surgeon, give me a PM and I can direct you to my little brother. Based in Golden CO, he does more shoulder replacement revisions of anyone in the world. And he does the "easy" stuff stupendously well also.

View attachment 211729

PS: although he is 7 years younger, he has less hair up top, and what is there is grayer than mine.
I'm certain he's a great surgeon, perhaps not the best marketing pic;)
 
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