Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
2020 Trek Fuel EX8
Joined
·
251 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys/gals I have a concern, that's actually really beginning to bother me...

about 3 weeks ago I went OTB doing something simple (but stupid), I landed hard on my left shoulder, I was a little achy but not bad.

A week after that (to the day) I washed out HARD heading into a left handed berm, again I came down HARD on my left shoulder, this time however I felt noticeable ache/discomfort in my shoulder.

So, the following day I went to the doctor...initial exam yielded nothing note worthy, so they did multiple x-rays to which the doctor described as a "healthy looking shoulder". I was told to take a week off from MTB and see how I feel....

It's now been about 2 weeks 2 days (YES I'm counting), my shoulder is still unhappy, my range of motion appears to be returning, but not without some discomfort. Certain angles are fine, but other angles still hurt more than they should. (I think)

Sooo, I'm a little gun shy about throwing a leg over the bike and getting back at it...I really WANT to, but something tells me my shoulder isn't ready to take another potential hit...

The docs don't seem to be too concerned about my rotator cuff, so I'm going to assume that's OK (I hope).

To those that have had shoulder injuries, can you give me some info on what to expect for recovery time? Can I ride cautiously, or should I stay off the bike?

I know that age, overall health & weight (to some extent) can factor into recovery, I'm just hoping to get some thoughts on what to expect, and how to work through it (if possible).

To those that are going to ask...I'm 47 years young, and a FAR cry from a pillar of fitness @ 256 lbs, but I'm dropping the weight, and really enjoying the journey.

Thanks in advance for any insight!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
It's often taken me a few weeks to get my shoulder to stop hurting after hard landings since passing 40 as well. Sometimes it takes a couple of months in the off season to get some of the better hits to heal completely. My last one was a rough right side landing 2 weeks ago that stretched my arm upwards past its limits and strained at least one muscle. It was either that or headbutt a boulder at the time. Just take it easy and don't ride punishing stuff like techy trails until it quits bothering me is my usual approach to these.

Weight work in the winter has helped me recover faster from crashes all season the last two years. It strengthens the muscles, bones, and tendons/ligaments so they withstand abuse more readily, and helps keep aging from sucking as much on the bike.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2020 Trek Fuel EX8
Joined
·
251 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey thanks for the reply! I was figuring a few weeks (and hoping for the best).

I saw the doc today for a follow up, as I'm still experiencing some pain.

She wants me to go through about 4 weeks of PT, and to stay off the mountain bike during that time....I couldn't be more bummed....I'll be losing 6-7 weeks total of my summer, and in WI that's a LOT of my summer.

She doesn't think it's my rotator cuff (which is good news), but if I'm not feeling less pain after the PT she wants to order an MRI to be sure.

Soooo, in the meantime, looks like I'll be logging some road/paved trail miles on my other bike....

Getting old(er) sucks....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
It really does. Younger coworker of mine tripped and slid down a flight of stairs, straining his shoulder. PT for him was resistance band training a few times a day to strengthen the shoulder and correct a muscular imbalance. Worked great for him. Hopefully yours resolves nicely.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

·
Stand-up philosopher
Joined
·
681 Posts
it will take longer than you expect it to. about 6 years ago i went OTB and got an AC separation in my right shoulder. the doc said that this was just how my shoulder would be now and it wasn't 100% for about 6 months. a year or so later i fell on my left shoulder on my road bike and here we are 4-5 years after that injury, which i never went to the doc for, and the damn thing still hurts. I finally went to a PT in march and found that I have some impingement in my left shoulder and that my shoulder isn't even rotating correctly, but was diagnosed with no rotator cuff tear. I've been doing stretches and resistance band stuff to strengthen it.

i wish i had gone to the PT years ago because I know i made it worse by waiting 4-5 years to address it. after 3 months of PT (i only visited them once), my shoulder that I couldn't move all the way around is probably 75% and to me that's probably good enough for the rest of the riding season, but I know in the offseason that I'll need to do some work on it. don't overdo the workouts and stretches and don't ride like a maniac because all it takes is 1 good fall to set you back on any progress that you've made.
 

·
EAT MORE GRIME
(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
Joined
·
7,875 Posts
shoulders suck at taking damage...complicated linkages in there

is this the first time you smacked it ?

could be 6 months to 2 years

is this the second time ? possibly life-long sour shoulder

I dinged mine once racing motorcycles, took years for that to settle down, then nailed it on a pump track 5 years later....now 10 years later...daily pain I cannot escape, but stretches help and it doesn't hurt on the bike much at all ...so I got that


I've had MRI and all that, doc says well, if we try to go in and fix anything, you'd be lucky to come out feeling like it does now, so there isn't enough real damage to do any work on, it's just stuff sliding around aggravating itself doing shoulder stuff that shoulders do. it blows goats.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BassistBiker

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,390 Posts

·
Registered
2020 Trek Fuel EX8
Joined
·
251 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It really does. Younger coworker of mine tripped and slid down a flight of stairs, straining his shoulder. PT for him was resistance band training a few times a day to strengthen the shoulder and correct a muscular imbalance. Worked great for him. Hopefully yours resolves nicely.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
Yep, I went to PT today, they gave me 3 different resistance bands, and 3 different exercises, I'm scheduled back every 2 weeks until the first week of Sept....I guess there is still fall riding I can do. :(
 

·
Registered
2020 Trek Fuel EX8
Joined
·
251 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Get some popcorn and a beer or two...there's lots of info here about those of us who have had shoulder injuries:

https://forums.mtbr.com/rider-down-injuries-recovery/ac-separation-shoulder-separation-300318.html

From what you describe...you did the right thing getting it checked out. Just let your shoulder tell you when it's ready. Two or three weeks goes by fast and it sounds like you are on your way back.

Good luck
Thanks! I hope I don't have to go all the way into Sept (per my above post), but I don't want to rush it, and crash again....
 

·
Registered
2020 Trek Fuel EX8
Joined
·
251 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
shoulders suck at taking damage...complicated linkages in there

is this the first time you smacked it ?

could be 6 months to 2 years

is this the second time ? possibly life-long sour shoulder

I dinged mine once racing motorcycles, took years for that to settle down, then nailed it on a pump track 5 years later....now 10 years later...daily pain I cannot escape, but stretches help and it doesn't hurt on the bike much at all ...so I got that

I've had MRI and all that, doc says well, if we try to go in and fix anything, you'd be lucky to come out feeling like it does now, so there isn't enough real damage to do any work on, it's just stuff sliding around aggravating itself doing shoulder stuff that shoulders do. it blows goats.
Just saw this..

Well, as a semi-retired auto technician, I've been swinging heavy hammers and abusing my joints for nearly 25 years...and I feel it daily.

As far as the injury...I've been banged up before, but this most recent spill was the first to actually keep me off the bike...and I'm remarkably frustrated by it.

I'm going to ride on the road...a lot (oh how fun), and vigorously do my PT, I'm hoping I can get back on the MTB sooner than forecasted, time will tell...My spirit is willing but the body isn't as much LOL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
I have bad shoulders from injuries similar to yours. I took PT super seriously and felt much better. I ended up coming back quicker and was able to surf again. When I get weak the pain will come back, but my little stretching/strengthening routines pay off big time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,565 Posts
Shoulder injuries suck. My front tire slipped on an exposed metal pipe in the dirt. Fell hard on my left shoulder. An X-ray showed a fracture on the shoulder blade. An MRI didn't show damage to the ligaments. It was months before I was able to get back on my bike. I was in a sling for a month. I couldn't even take a shower...it hurt that bad.

I recently landed on my other shoulder from a washout. This time it wasn't nearly as bad...but it's been a month and it's finally getting to the point to where I can ride my mountain bike again. I've been riding road in the meantime.
 

·
Registered
2020 Trek Fuel EX8
Joined
·
251 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have bad shoulders from injuries similar to yours. I took PT super seriously and felt much better. I ended up coming back quicker and was able to surf again. When I get weak the pain will come back, but my little stretching/strengthening routines pay off big time.
Thanks for the info!

Yeah, I've been taking my PT super serious, haven't missed a beat, currently just using those elastic bands (3 different "strengths"), it's been slow going, I've got almost 100% range of motion, but not pain free, some movements hurt more than others.

I've been off the mountain bike for about a month now....I've got a vacation planned and I'll be in Asheville NC (Pisgah National Forest) in the end of August...The plan WAS to do some MTBing...hoping I'll be ready.
 

·
Registered
2020 Trek Fuel EX8
Joined
·
251 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Shoulder injuries suck. My front tire slipped on an exposed metal pipe in the dirt. Fell hard on my left shoulder. An X-ray showed a fracture on the shoulder blade. An MRI didn't show damage to the ligaments. It was months before I was able to get back on my bike. I was in a sling for a month. I couldn't even take a shower...it hurt that bad.

I recently landed on my other shoulder from a washout. This time it wasn't nearly as bad...but it's been a month and it's finally getting to the point to where I can ride my mountain bike again. I've been riding road in the meantime.
Yikes!

Sorry to hear about your crash(s)...they definitely suck!!!

I've been riding my Trek on the road and my local paved bike paths too, though my physical therapist did clear me to ride gravel if I chose, so I may toss some appropriate tires on my Trek and add that to my riding...however she was adamant there was to be NO singletrack or any other aggressive off road riding.

Her husband rides MTB, so she's VERY familiar with the injuries that can happen, and as such is pretty restrictive with what she clears me for...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
If it's only X-rays you've had, they won't really show much if you have ligament or soft tissue damage.

A good PT will be able to carry out a full assessment and pinpoint exactly which part of the shoulder the pain is coming from, and from there give you management or rehab exercises. . If they are unsure or suspect it might be soething that needs intervention they'll usually refer you for an MRI which gives a much better idea of what is going on aside from the bones.

If it's just soft tissue then depending on what is injured and how badly, you could be anywhere from 6-8 weeks to recover well enough to lightly get back on the MTB. For certain types of soft tissue injury you can sometimes be out for 3-4 times that long.

In the meantime an indoor trainer is good to maintain some fitness.

Anyway good luck with it. The shoulder is the hardest working joint in terms of load bearing and how much of a range of motion is required for good function and stability.
 

·
Registered
2020 Trek Fuel EX8
Joined
·
251 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If it's only X-rays you've had, they won't really show much if you have ligament or soft tissue damage.

A good PT will be able to carry out a full assessment and pinpoint exactly which part of the shoulder the pain is coming from, and from there give you management or rehab exercises. . If they are unsure or suspect it might be soething that needs intervention they'll usually refer you for an MRI which gives a much better idea of what is going on aside from the bones.

If it's just soft tissue then depending on what is injured and how badly, you could be anywhere from 6-8 weeks to recover well enough to lightly get back on the MTB. For certain types of soft tissue injury you can sometimes be out for 3-4 times that long.
Yeah, just x-rays so far...The urgent care doctor said she didn't think I tore my rotator cuff, my primary care doc felt the same way, and my PT also feels that I didn't tear it.

And yeah, my PT did a range of tests, and narrowed it down to 2 problem (pain) areas, and she gave me exercises for those areas. She did say that if I wasn't able to work up to the "green band" (I have 3 different resistance bands) by my next visit, that she would send me for imaging...so far I've moved past the easiest (yellow), and I'm currently working the "orange" one, I'm confident I'll be to the "green" by next Friday (appt. day), but these exercises aren't without pain...so that still sucks...

Thanks for the ideas on the timeline...I REALLY hope I'm not set out as far it could be, but I guess time will tell, and if I end up getting imaging I'm hoping I'm not in a surgery situation....
 

·
Registered
2020 Trek Fuel EX8
Joined
·
251 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah....so...

My PT sent me to an Orthopedic Doc, she just wanted to make sure she wasn't missing anything.

Well, I went, and between him and the physicians assistant, they spent the better part of 40 minutes trying to remove my arm from my body...or at least it seemed that way.

That "exam" set me back weeks, I can't even do the PT exercises I was doing before, the arm is useless at the moment...I couldn't even use it to steer my car on the way back to work. WTF?!?!

The "Doctor" said my range of motion was exceptional, but he does suspect at least a small Rotator tear of some sort, something he believes would be treated with PT and strength training, but he won't know for sure until we get some imaging done.

...So my MRI is scheduled for Monday, and I'm downright terrified of the results...surgery could not come at a worse time financially for me....meh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,390 Posts
Well...here's a glass half full answer. Sounds like the rehab is helping and you at least are able to get out and ride a little. Depending on MRI results you may have the choice to hold off for a few months until the timing is better.

As you age you get better at living with old injuries 'barking' at you. Sometimes, if surgery is 'elective' only, the best choice is to live with it. At 59 I've had operations on both knees, 2 on right ankle, one on left shoulder, and a Grade 3 separation of my right shoulder that did not require surgery. Sometimes **** hurts but you just get used to it and manage the best you can. Once I get on the bike or on ski's I am 100% focused on the job at hand and everything else fades away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
546 Posts
@bassistbiker, I'm feeling your pain in more ways than most. First, if your name is anything to go by we share common 4 or 5 string interests.

I had what felt like a reasonable but not extreme front wheel wash out and landed on my outstretched left arm.

It immediately felt strange and I ended the ride but couldn't lift the bike on the roof.
3 doctors, 3 surgeons, a Physiotherapist plus a Chiropractor and X-ray, ultrasound and MRI showed the following.
Supraspinatus full rupture
Long head bicep tendon full rupture
Labral tear
Fractured clavicle.

And I lift weights, eat well and stretch to avoid this.
Surgery was the only solution and I'm now 8 days post that and told it'll be 6 to 9 months before I get back on the trails with confidence.

Shoulders really are anong the worst for injuries, and padding / protection scarcely helps as shown by Tahnee Seagrave in the DH this season.

It happens and I hope your damage is minimal and easier to solve.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top