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  1. #1
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    Question Need advice: My shoulder hurts

    Hi,

    My right shoulder hurts after about 10-15 minutes of playing badminton. Due to the pain, I avoid hitting smashes or long overhead shots, rather just play drop shots! The pain starts at the edge of the shoulder and extends about 5 inches down the arm to around the biceps region.. The pain subsides usually after a night's rest and completely disappears after 3-4 days of NOT playing badminton. But it recurs whenever I play badminton again.. I have been having this problem for about 2 weeks now.

    I recently started playing badminton again after a very long gap of 12 years. The first week it was fine, but second week onwards my shoulder has been hurting.

    Would really appreciate any advice regarding my problem! Basically, how to cure this, and avoid getting this injury again.. there's a local tournament in my area after 2 months which I want to participate in!

    Thanks,
    Ankur

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    Moreover, I have been reading about "strengthening of rotator cuff" on this forum. Can someone please tell me more about exercises which can help in strengthening of rotator cuff, or for that matter, help in strengthening the shoulder in general.. I am not into gymming, so it'll be great if you can use layman terms/non-technical terms for me to understand

    Anyways, I do have access to a gym (but without an instructor/trainer) where I can go and do some exercises for my shoulder..

  3. #3
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    It could be rotator cuff. Did you mean the front part of your shoulder and down your arm, or the side of your shoulder and down your arm?

    Anyhow, here is a link from another thread with one site on strengthening and protecting the rotator cuff. Not definitive, but not a bad place to start.
    http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/V...700&ItemId=700

    Good luck.

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    Could it be your technique? Are you locking your shoulders?

    From experience as an ex-tennis player, I used to experience pain in my shoulders (only) because I lock my shoulders whenever I was lobbing or smashing. I had to unlearn all my tennis skills and with this, my shoulder pains are no longer there.

    Perhaps you should re-look at your technique?

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    Quote Originally Posted by justinwyyau View Post
    Could it be your technique? Are you locking your shoulders?

    From experience as an ex-tennis player, I used to experience pain in my shoulders (only) because I lock my shoulders whenever I was lobbing or smashing. I had to unlearn all my tennis skills and with this, my shoulder pains are no longer there.

    Perhaps you should re-look at your technique?
    Justin,

    I don't know what do you mean by locking of shoulders. But I will certainly have my technique reviewed by someone..

    Thanks,
    Ankur

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    Fidget,

    Thanks a lot! Excellent link.. this is exactly what I was looking for.

    As to your question, it is in the front part of the shoulder and down the arm. To be precise, the pain is there in the front-facing and the outward-facing (away from the body) parts of the arm, and starts from around the edge of the shoulder to the biceps region.

    Thanks,
    Ankur

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    I think this is very likely to be due to a tendon being trapped between two bones during the overhead action.

    Specifically, it's likely to be the supraspinatus tendon, which runs across the top of the shoulder, getting trapped between the acromion (a bony spur jutting forward from the top of the shoulder blade) and the humerous (upper arm bone).

    There are some tests that you can do at home that will give you a good idea whether this is indeed the cause, but first go to http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000515/3079.html and read it slowly and carefully.

    When you've done that, do these 3 tests in order: the Neer test, the Hawkin's test and the 'Empty Can' test (you did read it slowly and carefully didn't you, all the info is in the article). Note that none of the tests are absolutely diagnostic, but they'll give you about a 90% confirmation - especially the Neer & Hawkins.

    OK, if the tests are positive, what can be done? Well, the bad news is that anti-inflammatories, including cortisone injections are no cure and will give only temporary relief of a week or two - as sson as you exercise again the symptoms will return. The only cure is surgery.

    The operation is question is called a subacromial decompession and involves an arthroscopic (keyhole) operation to shave some bone from the bottom of the acromion to make more room for the supraspinatus tendon to do its work. It's normally performed as a day case although sometimes you may have one night in the hospital.

    It's a very common operation - my shoulder surgeon (yes, I've had it done in case you hadn't guessed by now) said he does around 3 every day.

    Recovery is fairly rapid. You can expect to be in a sling for a couple of days, back at work within a week (except if you do heavy manual labour in which case in may take a month). You should be playing badminton again fairly gently within a month and at full tilt in 3-4 months. I was particualrly lucky: I was playing gently in 2 weeks and fairly hard inside a month.

    I hope this helps. Normal disclaimers of course apply: SEE A SPECIALIST, DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR ANYTHING.

    PM me if you want any more info...

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    petert1401, that was a good post with a good link.

    You very well may be right about the supraspinatus tendon. You are even more right in your disclaimer....ankur should get checked out personally.
    It's wonderful that your surgery went so well, but I would hate to condemn ankur to thinking that surgery is the only option.
    Ankur, seek a professional opinion and keep an open hopeful mind. Best of luck.

    Lastly I'd like to stand up for the poor discredited acromion. It is not an ignoble "spur", but a proud and useful wing/protuberance/addendum to the scapula.

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    Fidget, you're right. I do the acromion an injustice

    Proud and useful though it may be, I can however confirm that it's now far more useful to me now that it's only half the acromion it was...

    On a more serious note, I should have said that it's not unknown for a cortisone injection to be a complete cure, and if ankur really wants to compete in his tournament then a cortisone injection into the subacromial space about 10 days beforehand may be worth a shot (sorry for the pun).

    Ankur's symptoms match mine exactly, but that doesn't mean the cause is the same and I'd reiterate the need to see a specialist. If ankur can get to a sports physiotherapist, so much the better...

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    I've recently had a problem with my shoulder as well. I had it checked out by a physician and the Dr. gave me an anti-inflammatory cream. I also purchased Omega-3 vitamins over the counter and recently the pain has almost dissapated. Omega-3 is fish oils and natural fats required for healthy joint movement.

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    petert1401 and Fidget,

    Thanks for your advice. yeah.. I will go see a doctor. It's just that I am new in this city (Shanghai), and am waiting for my health insurance which will take around a week to come.. till then I am miles away from the badminton court

    And petert1401, you almost scared me with that notion of having to undergo a surgery . But anyways, your link was very useful!

    Thanks,
    Ankur

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    Only almost?

    Sorry ankur, didn't mean to scare you! Let's both hope I'm wrong, it wouldn't be the first time - maybe I'm just a hypochondriac at heart.

    Best of luck with it.

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    Surgery is worst case scenario. Its quite likely also that you have some inflammation of this tendon that peter has described. You may want to check your posture and that your shoulders are rolled forwards. I spent many years in a manual job, plastering and bricklaying which kept my shoulders in good balance, however i had to change carreers after tearing my rotator cuff. After 6 years of office work sitting at a computer etc and returning to badminton I had a similar problem which a physio helped to sort in that she prescribed some exercises to regain a balanced shoulder. She also told me that my posture was awful and that I needed to pull my shoulders back and stick my chest out more. She also advised not to work my biceps too much in the gym as this tends to shorten the muscle and connecting tendon.

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