Sunday, June 17, 2007

Pulled something in my shoulder last night

I was doing fine. I was improving. Sure.. 4 months ago my shoulders started giving me trouble with push ups. I couldn't do ONE without awful sharp pain radiating up into my neck. I couldn't figure it out. I had been working towards building up my push ups, and had managed to get 40 regular push ups in a row without stopping. Then these sharp slicing knife-like pains took over my shoulders. In fact, I couldn't raise my elbow above shoulder level anymore. All Jodan ( head high) strikes, and blocks were painful for me.

I had to do something, figure out what was wrong, fix it, and then rebuild. For a couple of months I removed ANY weight bearing activity from my day. (Including my housework such as carrying a bucket filled with water to mop the floors.. instead I'd push it with my feet ) In the dojo, with my Sensei's permission, I adapted all of my efforts. All techniques were done at chudan level because I felt no pain there. I did sit ups instead of push ups. At home, using 1 pound weights to start and building up in weight load, I started a full spectrum shoulder exercise routine to build up all of the various muscles in my shoulders so that they could work as a unit and help each other. Icing my shoulder's most painful spots three times a day, and stretching them twice a day became a routine for the first month. Also, I worked on having proper posture during the day to support my back, and shoulder muscles so that they could heal. I put aside all Bo staff work.

Through all of these efforts, I brought my ability to use my shoulders back up. Yesterday, in class, I was able to do around 80 regular push ups interspersed throughout class with no pain whatsoever. Then, with the satisfaction of what I had achieved so far, I attempted one of the more demanding push ups. (The 5 fingered push up) After only 3 successful push ups, I felt a sudden painful tearing feeling behind the scapular of my shoulders. Not good.. I swear that all of the blood left my face as I stood up from the ground feeling a burning hurting feeling on my back.

Why? Why did that happen? If I can do normal push ups without pain, why would shifting the position of my hands on the floor cause me such injury? If I wasn't a Martial artist with a few years of mental control under my belt, I swear that I would have broke into tears right there on the spot. I knew that I'd have to go home, ice my shoulders, stop carrying heavy things again ( back to shoving things with my feet), put my Bo staff training aside, rebuild my muscles..

*HEAVY sigh... big heavy sigh*

Maybe it will not take as long to heal, and rebuild this injury since it's a recent one that I supported right away with the R.I.C.E. ( rest, ice, compression, elevation) method.


[Mat] said...

Mireille Senseï,

As a friend : I can say :
I feel your pain.
I sympathize.
It will heal. With time.

Injuries are (chi-wise) related to life situations. Looking to the old ways of interpret an injury a la chinese may shed some light. Or not. It may be total crap. Like astrology.


I sincerely wish you much good healing chi.

Colin Wee said...

I guess you'll have more time to read up on your favourite subject. Chin up.


[Mat] said...

Reading is quite interesting and part of learning too. :)

Heal FAST!

Steve said...

Have you been to see a doctor about this? Sometimes, there are minor tears that can be surgically repaired, and the recovery more lasting.

Regardless, take care of yourself!

supergroup7 said...

Thanks for the supportive comments.

I'm still going to class, and teaching.. I just adjust what I do with my arms to support healing. However, I will be doing some extra reading, I promise.

Not only will I keep my chin up, but I'll strengthen my quivering lower lip, and face this issue with a positive attitude.

I'll keep the doctor in mind. I'm not fond of hospitals, and such, but if it is possible to make things better in this manner than I'll be there. Thanks for the suggestion.

Will said...

Ouch, I feel your pain, only it's my knee, or is it my hip? hmmm - back? ya know what, now that I think about it, I've got a lot of pains... must be my old age :)

Tiger balm or icy hot, RICE like you said and Steve's doctor suggestion might be good.

The good news is that you get to practice at being an even better Sensei - can you help your students perfect their upper body movements without the crutch (tongue in cheek) of demonstration? or are you addicted to it? Seriously though, this will improve your teaching skills, if you let it.

I wish you a speedy recovery.


supergroup7 said...

You know Will, I didn't think of that effect: i.e. that the injury would help me become a better Sensei through forcing me to explain, and guide without the "crutch" of demonstration. ( Nice pun.)

I did have to think differently, and figure out how to get the same result by making my students "feel" their technique, and learn to recognize which way their limb was going, and find a way to make it go where they wanted it to go.