Friday, April 27, 2012

Don't ask

Rear end view

 I've been icing my shoulder a few times a day for almost a week trying to recover from tendonitis in my shoulder.  Its developed from chronic overuse.  I should go to the doctor but I know the answer I'm going to get.  Stop paddling and give the shoulder rest.

I don't know how to do that.  Thursday evening practice session arrived and I was going to go come hell or high water.

Huddled up

It was calm so we took off for a short paddle.  I paddled at my own pace using a limited range of motion trying not to aggravate the condition.  It was fine.  At the turnaround we rafted up, had a chat and paddled back.

I intend to keep icing and paddling but at a more relaxed pace and hope the reduced workload will gradually heal the injury.  In my opinion, if you don't want to hear the answer, then don't ask the question.


  1. Tony - I would suggest it is worth asking the question - I have had very similar problems. Physio advice - keep paddling (the injury was not so serious that I had to stop - yours sounds similar) - strengthening exercises (these strengthen the tendons that are causing you problems because they are not strong enough for the strain you put on them while paddling) and ice when there is pain to reduce the swelling.
    Doing all of these will probably put you in a much better position.
    Without doing these, you continue to overload the tendons causing long term degeneration which might just stop you completely.
    A little ultrasound therapy along with the strengthening exercises has sorted my problem out in 2 months.
    The exercises are the MOST important part of recovery.
    Give it a go...

  2. Thanks very much for you comment and advice Will. Its comforting to know that recovery is at hand if steps are taken to deal with the injury.

    I'm pretty sure I can rule out strength as an issue. I've been pumping iron for some 45 years. While I can rule out strength, I believe continuing to train at the poundages I use will only aggravate the condition so I'm going to stop for a while and ease back to weight training when the shoulder feels better.

    I'm very pleased to read that you were advised to continue paddling. I will also but at a more relaxed pace that does not cause pain. Even after just a week the ice is having an effect. At this time patience is the key because the temptation is to start full bore again when the pain subsides causing a re-occurrence.

    The last thing I want to happen is to have to stop completely.

    The irony in this is that my daughter is a physiotherapist and in spite of the $$$ I invested in her education, she can't treat me for professional reasons.

    Tony :-)

  3. Hi Tony - I know how you feel - an ex-girlfriend was a physio - I felt I 'invested' quite a lot there too - and she couldn't treat me either - although it was more to do with me being a poor irratable patient I suspect!
    Anyway - I realise my 'advice' might have sounded a bit much - I'm sure you know what you're doing.
    I hope the shoulder improves quickly for you - I was told with my exercises, that 3 weeks was the time frame roughly for an initial strenthening / improvement that was noticeable - I've now increased the reps etc using small weights to keep things going.
    The strength thing is a difficult one to gauge - I thought years of climbing had strengthened my tendons especially around the wrists which is part of the problem - but then it's the repetitive / very localised strain that paddling puts on them it seems that causes the problem...
    Anyway - I hope things improve for the summer!

  4. Will, your advice was gratefully received. My confidence in what I was doing in the gym may have been misplaced because my training may not mimic the stresses of paddling for extended periods.

    All the best and thanks again.

    Tony :-)

  5. Tony, maybe try one of those firewood paddles for the next little while... I know, I know - you think I am trying to convert you... but maybe it will provide some relief to the muscles/tendons you normally use with the, what does Sean call them, oh ya, the 'shovel' that you normally use... just might help on your course to recovery. But you should go see someone about it, you never know you might have something else done there that rest and ice will not fix... remember the G-man!!!

  6. That's a good idea Dean, Ya never know it might lead to something!

    Tony :-)

  7. what's a good idea - the firewood or going to see someone, or both?? I do think you should see someone... whatever the problem is needs to be rectified before August!!!

  8. Getting into using a GP, maybe not all the time but trying it out with a gimpy shoulder. If its good for my shoulder as it feels now then there may be some merit to using it for touring. But, I don't intend to, at least at this point, go with the GP 100% of the time.

    Tony :-)