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  1. #1
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    Exclamation shoulder exercises and how to make a comeback after time off

    I've searched for an answer to this in other threads, but noone seems to have had exactly the same problem.

    I had to stop playing badminton when I was fifteen because I damaged my shoulder through playing too much. I was playing about 3hrs a day, six days a week. My physio at the time did not diagnose anything specifically; she told me that my right clavicle had changed shape - it still is visibly different to the left one - from repeated overhead motion and that something may be partially dislocating which would explain the 'clunking' noise at my coracoid process (the bump where your collar bone meets your thorax). Anyway, I got UltraSound, it seemed to help, but then I started to play competitions and it got so painful I had to stop. I stopped playing my favourite sport for six years(!), and now when I've tried to return to it with a pot-belly from drinking too much Spanish wine and a dodgy knee, which I dislocated while playing football drunk on the Spanish wine, the problem has come back. I've seen a Chiropractor, a Cranio-sacral therapist, a Shiatsu therapist and am now on my third Physiotherapist and none of them has come up with a diagnosis or a remedy. So, my Q.'s are:

    i). Has anyone else experienced this sort of shoulder injury, and if so, what did you do to recover from it?

    ii). Does anyone know of any shoulder exercises/stretches that I can do before playing (besides the windmill warm-up)?

    iii). Why can't I hit the shuttle like I used to? The three things that have really changed are my timing, my reaction-speed and my accuracy. Will I eventually remember my old technique or will I have to start from scratch again?

    The club I currently play at offers no opportunities for practising footwork, doing drills etc., but everyone is mainly concerned with playing games (mostly doubles). Playing games is good, but it doesn't really offer you as much chance to improve as doing drills. What can I do on my own ( besides the rites of Onan) to acquire the same level of skill I had before and improve my game? I refuse to accept that I'm a 'has-been' in my early twenties.

  2. #2
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    Can someone please delete this thread (sc. Kwun or Cheung); I was mashed when I typed it.

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    Hmmm...seemed like a coherent post to me. And whether or not this is a real situation for you, these kinds of things do happen, which is maybe why it's still posted.

    Sometimes, after an injury, pain--or even the fear of pain--can cause us to alter our form or compensate for the injured area. I've never had this problem myself, so all I can recommend is to lose some weight, come back slowly, and see a physical therapist for exercises to strengthen the weak places (shoulder, knee).

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    Ok, thanks; but as I said in my garbled post, I have seen numerous physiotherapists and not of them has diagnosed anything or suggested any form of therapy.

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    I think its quite common for badminton players to get an unbalanced racket shoulder by this I mean that the shoulder may be more forward than it should be. (Take a look in the mirror guys) This is caused by the repeated hitting using primarily the front muscles of the chest shoulder, to counter this try to build up the opposite muscle groups, these are involved in the hitting action but are often unbalanced. Using a theraband or free weights exercises can help. Secondly work on technique without pressure and gradually build up the hitting.

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    Ok, thanks; do you mean that I should exercise my tricep muscles with a thera-band? What about exercises before I just step on court? The shoulder problem becomes really pronounced if I don't do any form of warm up. Indeed, if I just step onto the court and start hitting clears, it aches from the first shot.

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    The stabilising muscles of the shoulder would be trained by doing reverse flys, chest row machine, equivalent exercises with theraband, also perhaps lateral raises and front raises with small weight. I'm sure you can get a book or consult a physio/trainer or search online. I'm not a physio but I know a lot of problems are caused by unbalanced muscles/lack of stabilisation as well a spoor technique. Exactly where and when is the pain?

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    Ok, thanks; I'll do a search in Google. I won't see my physio for a few weeks, so I can't ask him about those exercises. The pain comes on immediately when I try to smash or when I stretch on my forearm side to play a drive; it's ok when I'm playing clears etc. The clunking noise is at the coracoid process - the bump at the nearside of the clavicle - and the pain begins on the top of my shoulder and extends down my arm. If I smash at full power, I usually get a shooting pain down my arm and I lose some feeling and strength in that arm. If I'm in the middle of a game when this happens, I usually have to play underarm drops until the pain subsides or even worse, switch to my left arm, which I'm not very skilful with.

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    I wonder whether reverse flys would exacerbate the problem.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    If its that severe you definatley need to rest until you can sort it, take a long term view on recovery. You need to identify if its technique, muslce imbalance or whatever that is causing it and then only start to rehabilitate gradually after it has rested.

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    I've rested for years; I'm not stopping again. I'm going to speak to a coach on Friday about technique. I'll need to find a proper coach and pay for some lessons as I'm playing like a beginner.

  12. #12
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    interesting description of the pain. That sounds more like a nerve entrapment than anything to do with the coracoid process.

    since it starts in the shoulder, the problem may be closer to the spinal cord.

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    sounds like the same problem I have, except mine is somewhat miner.

    I went to see a sports medicine specialist. Did all kinds test (xray etc). Doc said nothing wrong with bones or shoulder strucuture. He said it was due to lack of flexibility and I tried to stretch too far back, which injured the musle. He prescribed two things 1. stretching 2. increase muscle strength.

    It worked somehow--at least, strength excersie definitely helps to lessen the pain.
    However, I did not not figure out what the doc's comments really mean until I saw this explanation by the team physican of Mets (that's the baseball team in NY!) in a book he wrote, which roughly translates into the following:

    the main problem was lack of stability of entire shoulder-arm joint. When you swing hard, your arm bone is actually OUT of the socket of the shoulder; so a part of the bone of the shoulder (it was at where your shoulder muscle touching the bone that sticks out, when you raise you arm with your palm facing out); if you do this many times, the muscle is highly irritated and somewhat injuried. SO the solution is increasing muscle strength which increases shoulder stability. He specifically said resting does NOT help--the pain will come back if you play again--because not playing keeps you at a weak shoulder state.

    My experience sofar was that the strength training helps, but cannot totally eliminate the problem. I have to play somewhat less, and be extra carefully when swinging--i.e., do a very well controlled swing, and no "wild" and uncontrolledswing.

    Hope this help.

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    As a first step, one would have to go through those investigations (Xray etc) anyway to make sure nothing else is wrong.

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    I think what you've described, mdc, is "thrower's arm"; a lot of badminton players get this problem because the repetitive action of throwing a baseball is similar to the overhead shots (particularly the smash) in badminton. The NHS in Britain is not very good; I've asked on numerous occasions for an x-ray of my shoulder. The only thing that seemed to help was ultrasound, but my new physio won't give me that for some undisclosed reason - maybe it costs too much.

    There may be a trapped nerve somewhere, Cheung; but it seems to be the left side which is most affected. If I've been studying for a few hours or if I fall asleep (don't laugh) the left side of my head goes numb. It's fair to say, I'm not in good shape. I've been doing exercises with a thera-band to strengthen my triceps. It seems to have helped with my backhand. I used to be able to play fairly good backhand clears and ok backhand smashes, but I really lack strength on that side now - I mainly just play round-the-head shots, which thankfully doesn't hurt.

    Cheers for the replies.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by mdc39
    I have to play somewhat less, and be extra carefully when swinging--i.e., do a very well controlled swing, and no "wild" and uncontrolledswing.
    [/B]
    Actually, that is exactly what brings the problem on; if I really try to kill the shuttle with a wild swing, I can't play for the rest of the night and I usually have to apply ice to the shoulder to regain any mobility.

  17. #17
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    If you are unhappy with the quality of your medical referrals, I suggest you go to private medicine.

    Since it is a long standing problem, you may also consider referring yourself to a chronic pain specialist.

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