Tag Archives: Rotator Cuff

Rotator Cuff Stuff

1 Apr

Well the ultrasound results came in, and it turns out I have a “small focal partial thickness tear in the supraspinatus tendon”. Booooo.

I emailed the results to Tim, and he said:

Well there could’ve been better news, but then again, luckily the news could’ve been much much worse.

So from here:

Quick Pros: 1. You will recover 100% 2. no invasive treatment required (surgery etc) 3. We’ve already began treatment/exercises for it as I suspected this was the injury initially
Quick Cons: 1. You will need to tone down/stop most upper body work 2. BJJ break for a while 3. Possible but unlikely need for cortisone injection

Boooo! I’ll learn more when I see him next.

The shoulder got better for a few weeks, then plateaued, and now it’s been getting noticeably worse.

I trained hard on it in the afternoon (before I got the news), but in the evening just stuck to drills with Meagan, the other cripple. I don’t want to take a break from BJJ! I’m just starting to hit my stride again. When I see Tim next week I will try to negotiate – maybe I’ll try and trade bench for BJJ. I guess I’ll stay off it until then, just in case. Oh, except for tonight – I’m going to roll with a few girls from other clubs, and it’s so infrequent that I want to make the most of it.


Injured (the sequel)

18 Feb

The neck is largely healed, though the physio doesn’t like that I injure it so much.

I finally had my shoulder looked at, and I can’t remember exactly what’s wrong with it – but basically some ligaments related to the rotator cuff aren’t strong enough. So when my right arm is above my head and there is any strain on it, it feels like it’s about to pop out of my shoulder. The physio said I actually have the same underlying problem as Meagan, but he said mine has presented itself in the form of massive shoulder instability.

My myotherapist said a similar thing – that on my right side my rhomboids aren’t pulling my scapula in properly. Nic, the physio-in-training at the gym has also commented on how my scapula will wing out during pull-ups.

I was chatting to Tom about it last night at BJJ, and he has the same problem as me, and was given the same exercises to do, but didn’t do them. Tsk!

It does seem like a fairly common injury – Ormi’s rotator cuff is busted too. James has hurt his rotator cuff in the past, but he actually tore it climbing, I don’t think he actually has any usual problems with it. His back is actually really strong relative to his chest (he weighs 78kg and benches 85kg for 5×5, which is an above average though not outstanding bench, but he does 5×5 pull-ups with an additional 27.5kg, which I’ve never seen anyone at our gym do. I’ve seen some people add 20kg, but they’re cheating pretty badly with their form.)

But anyway, doing (relatively) heavy weights is bad for the rotator cuff injury because it’s been putting the shoulder under more and more strain. My muscles are getting stronger so I can lift heavier weights, but my ligaments are still puny and weak, and can’t handle it. Just avoiding lifting will heal the injury, but if I don’t fix the underlying cause I’ll just keep re-injuring myself.

Things I Can’t Do

  • any overhead weightlifting (pull-ups, chin-ups, overhead squat, dumbbell snatch, etc)
  • be submitted in BJJ in any position with my arm above my head – so if someone gets my arm above my head that’s an automatic sub on me
  • any moves in BJJ where I pull people towards me

and he said he would prefer if I didn’t do push-ups, bench, and upright rows – though apparently they aren’t as terrible for me as the above list. I totally cheated and did some push-ups last night at BJJ. I should probably avoid them though, just in case.

I don’t know how I’m going to train properly in the run-up to the Vics if my neck and rotator cuff keep giving out on me. =( I get a good rhythm going and then bam! Injury. It sucks, I hate not being at 100%.


A bunch of rotator cuff exercises with the theraband. It takes forever because I have to activate my rhomboids, do the exercise slowly, then relax. 10x each arm, with 4 different exercises! The physio said that if after I relax it doesn’t feel much different, that means my rhomboids are too tired to hold everything in place, and I should stop.

Apparently if I do my exercises and get stronger, next week I graduate to rolling a ball on the wall.

I woke up this morning after doing my theraband stuff, and my right shoulder was aching so much – but the good kind of ache, like where you haven’t gone to the gym in awhile. So those exercises were hitting a muscle that I don’t normally work, which is awesome. It made ironing this morning a total bitch though.

Also, note to self: eating dinner before BJJ is a terrible idea. It gives me stomach cramps and makes me sadface on the walk home. Then I get inwardly ragey at the guy who takes the lift to level one, because really? Really?