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Shoulder injury from windsurfing
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:53 pm    Post subject: Shoulder injury from windsurfing Reply with quote

Took the day off work last Tuesday to sail the Hatchery with some friends. Pretty windy. I was fully powered on a 3.7 most of the day then rigged up a 4.7 for an early evening session. Felt a small pop in the front/top of my left shoulder while sailing along. No crash involved, just over-use. Called it a day shortly afterwards. It's been pretty sore ever since.

I am going to get it checked out by my doctor as soon as I can. Hoping I didn't tear a rotator cuff or something like that. I would hate to get knocked out of action for the rest of the summer.

Anyone else have experience with a windsurfing shoulder injury from over-use?
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ramps



Joined: 07 May 2000
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not had shoulder problems directly related to windsurfing, but have had first the RH and now the LH shoulders become sore from skiing. In both cases I woke up sore, could not remember a particular incident that may have caused it, so it's probably an overuse injury (pole planting!?) Took a year and a half to really feel better, and I didn't seek therapy because the injury does not affect skiing or windsurfing, that is, I don't notice it when doing either, nor is there really any worsening afterwards. It only bothers me when trying to do military presses or bench presses, or when I move it in certain ways such as signalling to make a left turn on my bike, so in that case I turn my palm backwards to raise my arm and no pain. I'm sure Iso will weigh in, and hopefully some physicians as well.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14605

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While jibing at the Delta, I felt a pop at the front of my left shoulder while pulling on the boom. The pop was accompanied by the sensation something was being pulled down through that bicep. I might describe the whole several-second sensation as cool taffy being pulled until it pulled into two pieces. It didn't hurt, so I kept sailing.

I also knew exactly what it was, because it had happened before, MUCH more dramatically, on the right shoulder/arm. That time I was pulling with all my might on a boulder, when I heard and felt a very loud POP! in the front of that shoulder and felt something like a knotted cord/rope being yanked down the middle of that bicep. It hurt only very slightly and for only a few seconds, but the noise and sensation followed the next day by a lightly aching upper arm sent me to the doctor.

The sports physician I consulted (after my Air Force doctor accused me of malingering) walked into the room where I sat shirtless, and pronounced from 10 feet away that I had severed my long bicep tendon's upper head. i.e., my longer bicep muscle had ripped loose from my shoulder and was now balled up in the bottom half of my upper arm, leaving a gap between bicep and shoulder when I "make a muscle".

Any of that sound familiar?

Back then (>25 years ago) they didn't repair them; now they do. The doc said its primary impact would be on screwing (that's been a good conversation starter for decades now). i.e., my supination -- driving a screw -- is impaired.

Once a season, if that, the right one may ache perceptibly after a big day. But, with today's progress, I'd investigate getting it repaired. If there were any risks, I may pass, as it has not been a problem in WSing or in the gym.

Even if that's not what yours felt or sounded or looks like, I'd get it evaluated. The injury may matter, it will be much more easily repaired now than much later, and when my right tendon exploded it took out other shoulder structures that got repaired when that shoulder got problematic decades later. Left untreated, severed muscles/tendons can, over time, atrophy to the extent that repair is difficult or impractical.

My torn rotator cuff years earlier, from a motorcycle crash on that shoulder on hardpack desert salt flats (the Space Shuttle landing strip in New Mexico), felt very different. It gave me very severe pain for weeks and hurt like hell for months. It didn't need surgery, but took years to heal fully. The rotator cuff is so complex that how it might feel or behave varies widely, but I'd think you'd be talking about PAIN, not an ache, if that were the case.

Mike \m/
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2444

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of sailors get tears from windsurfing. Usually, it's from repeated wear and tear, but occasionallly, a catastrophic injury can occur when you're holding on while twisted and out of balance.
But each case is individual. See Doc, get second opinion if you want.
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Susanj60



Joined: 03 Jul 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: shoulder injury Reply with quote

I did in my shoulder years ago wave sailing in Maui. At the time they diagnosed partial rotator cuff tear and I wore a sling for 12 weeks. Over the years I have had periods of not much pain, and periods of pretty debilitating pain. Generally, it only hurt if I raised my arm above shoulder level. Steriod shots worked REALLY well, taking the pain away for 6 months to a year. They are not a long-term solution though, and I finally got the repair done surgically. As the others mention, I also had a bicep tendon relocation done. This part was easy, no strength or range of motion loss.

It did take a year to regain full strength and mobility although I was sailing after about 6 months. It has been 2 years now and I have no pain and can sail hard (knock on wood - I leave for the Gorge in two days!)

Good luck. Definately get it checked as you can do a lot of damage if you keep sailing hard with a partial tear.
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LAWLER



Joined: 27 Apr 2001
Posts: 63
Location: somewhere... buuugs in space!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: injury Reply with quote

Some instructors will tell you to roll your shoulders forward to get more distance from your rig. This opens you up to ""possible""" rotator cuff impingement. where your cotator cuff gets bruised/pinched or cut between your shoulder bone and your arm....

Been there done that.
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isobras



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto ... and the pain is referred to the outer upper bicep, in the meaty upper arm just below the outer end of the shoulder, so it fools us. If you feel pain there while sailing, drop that shoulder (the opposite of rolling it forward). If that shuts off the pain, that's a good sign of what Lawler's talking about. The first treatment is a few months of shoulder stabilization/rotator cuff exercises as directed by a physical therapist. If that fails, impingement may be sufficiently chronic to require some arthroscopic correction (acromioplasty) to prevent more serious damage.

Mike \OO/
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I have been to my primary care physician and the physical therapist now. The diagnosis is confirmed: injury to the bicep tendon and rotator cuff.

The good news is I still have pretty good range of motion and muscle strength, so they don't think I have any major tears. Seems to be mainly inflammation with the possibility of some small tears.

The bad news is the PT told me 6-8 weeks healing time, so I am going to miss a good chunk of the season.

I am supposed to ice to reduce swelling; take it easy and don't do anything strenuous that might aggravate or reinjure the area; and do some strengthening exercises to get blood flowing to the area to stimulate healing.

Hopefully, I'll still be able to get some sailing days in in the Fall before the weather turns.



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Last edited by ascott72 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.S. I usually sail with :

1) my boom about chin high
2) seat harness
3) double-overhand grip
4) really hanging off the boom

I suspect this puts me in a very similar position to what LAWLER describes above. When I get back out there I'll have to tinker with those variables to see if that changes the stress on the shoulder joint.


Last edited by ascott72 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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