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Rotator cuff problems, anyone? I had dismissed any(7 posts)

Rotator cuff problems, anyone? I had dismissed anybill
Oct 9, 2001 8:46 AM
connection to cycling, but as my miles have reduced lately (no light in the a.m.; replaced as I can with cheap roller "miles"), my shoulders have been feeling better. I'm starting to wonder.
Anyone else experiencing rotator cuff problems? I don't feel bad on the bike (sometimes feel quite a bit better actually), but the next day or so, I've got to admit, I think that my shoulders feel a little worse. Because I'm not doing any bouncing over pavement on the rollers, it's a bit easier on the body in general, including on the shoulders, so I guess it makes some sense. I just hate to think that my problems are being caused by cycling.
Cross Traingrzy
Oct 9, 2001 9:06 AM
having had my shoudelr repaired (including rotator cuff) I have a few observations: you need to mix it up and get some other activities in. Road biking isn't a very good upper body workout. Even running and MTBing can help since you arms are moving more, but better are things like swimming, surfing, rowing. Even working on the house gets all the joints working a bit. Problem is that road cycling is pretty static on the shoulders.

You may have some latent problem/injury and might want to see a specialist if it continues. I had been wrenching my shoulder(s) for the past five to seven years from skiing, surfing, and windsurfing falls before it finally went SNAP! Until then I had done a lot of PT and gym work, but at that moment I knew I'd stepped over the line and bought myself some surgery. Things are so much better now after 9 months, but they say I still have another 9 mmonths to go beofre the rotator cuff is strong. If you're in the Bay Area I can highly recommend the S.O.A.R. clinic out of Menlo Park/Palo Alto area.
Cross TrainKen56
Oct 9, 2001 10:50 AM
I would have to agree with grzy on this one. I had arthroscopic shoulder surgery two years ago to repair a torn rotator cuff and remove and clean out some bone spurs. I don't know what was the cause of my injury, but it certainly wasn't cycling. I do strength training at the gym during the six months of the year when there's no daylight savings time and don't ride outdoors. During the other six months, I'm always working out in my yard with gardening chores and other heavy lifting to keep myself in shape. Cycling is only one aspect of my fitness regime, but surely the best part of it. The problem is that we get to enjoying it so much that we tend to forget that we need upper body strength too.
re: Rotator cuff problemsTig
Oct 9, 2001 11:09 AM
I had mine repaired in '87. It easily dislocated a few hundred times in the previous years after the first dislocation. The surgery has made it strong. Now, years after, my other shoulder started acting up thanks to kayaking, surfing, and fishing (casting and lure retrieval). I took the summer off from everything except riding and the shoulder feels good every day. Cycling has not caused any aggravation to it. Even the arthritis problems in my hands have been reduced after just riding all summer.

So for you, the questions are, have you changed your riding position lately? Do you think you need to adjust your stem to help? (sometimes you can adjust your brake levers up a little too) Is your frame/fork beating you up on rough roads? Do you have a death grip on the handlebars? No need to answer all of these. Some are just to open the doors so that you can try to find the source of your problem. Since both shoulders are hurting, it most likely has nothing to do with any traumatic injury.
Actually, I've recently switched stem sizes, adjusted my bar/bill
Oct 9, 2001 11:52 AM
lever position, raised my saddle, and got a new bike (so, all that you mention and more). Trouble is, none of these changes seem to have had any effect on my shoulders (problems started before changes, persisted afterwards). Two bikes, one ti, one steel, both with CF forks, both checked for fit professionally.
Which is not to say that your thoughts aren't good ones. Every once in awhile, I find myself a little tight in my upper body and make it a point to focus on loosening up. This may have something to do with something. What I also find is that, when I'm pedaling steadily on a straightaway, I lean too much on my arms, typically on my right more than my left (right hurts more than left). Got to stop all that.
I think that the right cross-training probably is a good idea. I used to use a NordicTrak, which I may reinstitute. I like Dino's rowing idea, too.
Try PTKerry Irons
Oct 9, 2001 4:27 PM
There is at least one standard exercise for strenghthening your support muscles for the RC. Lay on your side, and hold a small weight in your hand. Raise the weight off the floor to vertical. Some PTs recomend that your arm be outstreched in front of you, while others suggest resting your elbow on your side and just lifting the fore arm. I do both and have had good luck in recovering from a "stretched" RC.
Ever use a backpack?pfw2
Oct 9, 2001 9:07 PM
I used one when commuting, but I think it was contributing to my shoulder pain. When the commuting stopped and I rode only without the backpack the pain diminished greatly.