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Professional Crastinator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I damaged my shoulder playing volleyball about 20 yrs ago (I'm 50 now). The result of that was that I could no longer throw a baseball. And after playing center field and being known for having a pretty good arm, this really sucked. I do not know what that injury was, but I could not even throw from shortstop to 1st base.

July 2017, after 17 years of periodic testing of that bad arm showed nothing but discouraging results (and a tendency toward re-injury), I crashed my bike into a tree pretty hard. I cracked a carbon fork, and at the moment I thought I'd broken both collar bones. The vertical trunk of the tree had hit me right across the shoulders just above my chest - I was horizontal.

After a few weeks of soreness, with just a minor cracked rib in my upper back, my shoulders started to feel better. Some modified push-ups got my mobility and range of motion coming back.

Around that time my daughter started to take a more serious interest in softball. Up 'til then I could throw far enough to "play catch", but that was it.

My daughter developed a pretty good arm, so I needed to back up and stretch my throwing arm a bit... and it worked! Over the course of months we started throwing harder and farther and my shoulder had no pain and full motion. I could throw as hard as I wanted, or could, with no pain. She and I could do tens and tens of reps and my (50 y.o.) arm felt great!

I have no idea how violently over-stretching my arms/shoulders against a tree fixed my shoulder, and I wouldn't recommend it, but something good came out of it.

I can't throw as hard as I used to, but the fact that I can throw as hard as I want without hurting myself or re-injuring my shoulder is darn near miraculous. I will always wonder WTH happened.

-F
 

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That's interesting. Maybe realigned something, smashed apart some scar tissue or perhaps dislodged some impinged nerves.

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As someone that has been injured extensively and often (over 20 broken bones, shattered spine, dislocated arm, shattered shoulder joint, 3 ICU stays, etc.) I strongly recommend after a short rehabilitation period forcing your body to do things that it doesn't want to do anymore to heal up.

Here is an example: I blew out my knee on an MX bike, had it rebuilt, but simply could not bend it properly. Some friends and I decided to do a big sportbike trip dragging knees and what not for the weekend, but I couldn't bend my knee enough to get it on the peg as the peg and seat were simply too close together. Much less hanging off in a turn where you need to lightly lift your butt and stick a knee on the ground. But I went anyways and I had to attach a handle around my ankle so that I could pull my foot up on the peg once I got going. By the end of that weekend that knee had regained it's flexibility and I could easily use it on the sport bike, and doing everything else as well from then on out.

I have similar stories related to my arm dislocation, my wrist that has been broken 4x, and so on.
 

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I strongly recommend after a short rehabilitation period forcing your body to do things that it doesn't want to do anymore to heal up.
This is exactly the advice my wife got from her PT when she fell and injured her shoulder. I'd caution anyone to do this under a doctor's supervision since each situation is unique. It's easy to take that too far and re-injure something or not give the body the chance to heal, making things worse.
 

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Back in college I had a rough crash and felt like I need good pop mid back. When I would ride no hands bike always leaned to the right. 10 years later my wife was walking on my back and I felt the loudest, crispest crack ever. Legs momentarily went numb and it sounded like breaking a yard stick in half. Now when I ride no hands it is straight as an arrow.
Now that I am a bit older I was getting a lot of lower back pain with any hard push. Crashed directly into a rock, like hitting a wall going 15mph back in Feb. Broke some ribs, it really sucked. But now my lower back doesn't hurt anymore with those hard pushes. Maybe I realigned something for the second time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree with sort of "forcing" one's body back into shape (wrist, ankle, in addition to shoulder here). I've seen gymnasts train and stretch and achieve amazing capabilities. Likewise with martial arts. If a physical therapist told me it was going to hurt, but it would make it better (not further the injury) I'd do it in a heartbeat. But repeated tests of my throwing arm proved all negative. Perhaps it was just a pinched nerve or something. Or something (including the nerve? scar tissue?) needed sort of a re-alignment. Over-stretching it may have been just lucky. Back in volleyball days, it felt torn... like I wanted to avoid using it at all.

-F
 
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