what am I doing wrong to cause my shoulder to pop pain later

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Re: what am I doing wrong to cause my shoulder to pop pain l

Postby aithos » Sun May 04, 2014 10:40 pm

KRooster wrote:
brianc wrote:
Prescription seems to be anti-inflammatory drugs like advil and aleve in the short term.
No disc golf at least until the pain is gone, unless I become a lefty (which I'll probably try while I heal)
Try a lower pull line.
Strengthen rotator cuff muscles.

I hope that helps someone.

Not sure if you're still reading this, but I'm wondering how it's going a few years later now. I've struggled with chronic shoulder tendinitis for years, I'm told it's likely the bicep tendon but that runs through the shoulder where all the rotator cuff tendons are.

These past few weeks I've started playing in a league, and have been getting tips from some really good players for the first time. One noticed that I pull the disc at shoulder height, when it should be lower (they say that allows more core involvement). In any case, just from doing the motion and trying a few throws, I notice that when the arm pulls through on a lower height there is MUCH less strain on the shoulder.

I haven't had a chance to get used to this change in form, but I'm hoping it allows me to play more. Last year going to tournaments eventually put me out of commission because 4 rounds in one day was just too much for the shoulder to handle.

This post is really old, you should really avoid posting in stuff that's more than 3-6 months old (this being 3 years old). However, with that being said I can give you some advice.

First, about me. I'm 34 years old, I've been disc golfing since 2009 (on and off, not competitively) and I've dealt with a fair number of shoulder/elbow problems. I hurt myself because I worked out harder than I should have and then I went out and played 54 holes in two days without really properly warming up or stretching early in the season. My first piece of advice is this: don't self diagnose your injuries. You need a professional (orthopedist) who specializes in shoulders/elbows to know what you're dealing with. Common knowledge or even tips from people like myself who have had similar injuries can backfire severely and end up causing you permanent damage. Allow me to use myself as an example. When I hurt myself I tried to self-diagnose and then saw a doctor when I thought I was dealing with a biceps tendon issue, I didn't recognize what I was doing but the way I described my injury predisposed my doctor (a specialist even) to that diagnosis and I spent nearly 6 months doing physical therapy for the wrong injury. I was not only not getting better, but I was performing exercises that were detrimental to healing. It turned out I had actually injured my pectoral tendon and the symptoms were similar but required different stretches and exercises.

My second piece of advice: if it hurts, don't do it. It sounds like a very "duh" comment, but a lot of people think that by stretching or "working" your muscles it will get better over time. It won't. The shoulder is the single most complex joint in your body and muscles are rarely, if ever the cause of pain. More commonly you are either dealing with a nerve, tendon or cartilage issue. If you grimmace in pain every time you throw a thumber, don't throw thumbers. Find an alternative line or throw that is pain free and utilize it, if a particular throw always puts you in a bad spot...throw a different disc and play a different shot. Know your game.

Third piece of advice: don't ever throw 100%. It doesn't matter what skill level you're at, a controlled and smooth shot that is accurate and predictable will beat a wild power shot at max power every single time. When you are trying too hard you're actually slowing your arm down by trying to strong arm and you're putting a lot more pressure on the moving parts of your body (shoulder/elbow) and any popping or pain is your body's way of telling you to knock it off. If you've ever watched a pro play live (and not in a distance competition) the thing you'll notice immediately is they make it look like they aren't even throwing and the disc goes 300-400 feet. That's because good technique and timing generate power, not strength. Paul McBeth, is over a foot shorter and probably 50 pounds (or more) lighter than me but he throws further than I can. I know a local guy who can throw well over 500 feet who weighs maybe 120 soaking wet, he just has innate perfect timing and amazing form.

Finally, make sure you do proper stretches and warm up before you throw. Take some putters and mid ranges and throw approach shots, then throw some easy 150-200ft shots, then throw some 200-250ft shots and slowly ramp up. Especially if you're over 30 (like me) you can't just go out and throw, you're going to hurt your triceps, your traps and potentially both your biceps and pectoral tendons. Those tendons can both cause shoulder pain and popping is often because your shoulder isn't stable. What is probably happening is the muscles in your arms/back are pulling too hard for your tendons to keep your shoulder stable and that popping is the sound of your shoulder doing things it isn't meant to do. You may or may not be doing permanent damage but it's not good and you don't want to continue. You need to modify your form and find a way to throw pain free, especially when it comes to your shoulder.

Form wise you're definitely holding the disc too high if it's at shoulder height, you may also be reaching too far back but without video it's really hard to tell. Make sure you follow through, if you stop abruptly you may be putting far too much strain in stopping your arm than you realize.
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