Home Forums Campfire Forum Help my poor shoulder please!

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    • Brent Whitaker
      Member
      Post count: 19

      Someone please help! I am new to archery, but have known since the beginning that recurve was the way to go for me. I have made many switches to further myself, including shooting left handed (even though I am right handed) to match my dominate eye. I practice religiously! Herein lies the problem…my bow arm shoulder is killing me! This is with only 35# limbs. I have 50# limbs, but had to go down to get form right with my new lefty shooting. What can I do to keep this from happening? I had hurt myself after a bunch of 3 hour straight shooting sessions with my other shoulder when I shot right handed, so I have made sure never to shoot longer than 30 minutes. I probably am shooting around 100-150 arrows a day now. Any advice would be so appreciated. I don’t want to go a compound, but I am at my wits end.

      I am 39, 190 pounds. I have been in the military for 20 years, and always score in the 90’s on my PT test, so I am not a total marshmallow.

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      I had some shoulder problems a few years back and at times my bow arm shoulder feels it on release. I didn’t need surgery, but did make several trips to a good chiropractor. Not a straight doc, but someone who takes the whole body into account and is sports oriented. He had got me going on strict form push-ups and curls with a bowfit. He suggested the bowfit rather than free weights because the tension would be constant. When I’m doing my exercise, no problem. When I slack off, I can feel it. You might just need some specific exercise to bolster that spot. Good luck, dwc

    • Greg Ragan
      Member
      Post count: 201

      Keep your shoulder low and back (in line with the other). Keep a slight bend in the bow arm. Hard to tell what you are doing, but if you lock out that arm and have the shoulder at a bad angle all that force just goes right to the joint.

    • James Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Welcome here Seabass ๐Ÿ˜€ Sorry to hear you’re having shoulder trouble. My first bit of advice would be that if your shoulder hurts stop shooting till the pain stops. You can use ice and anti-inflammatory’s to assist in that. I’d encourage you to go see a sports doc or physiotherapist. Where is the pain? In the front towards your chest? Round back near the shoulder blade? Or on the outside? And is it muscular or deeper internal pain?

      A couple of things spring to mind though. A lot of military guys have a chest/back imbalance (because of all the push ups) that make a shoulder behave unhappily. If you can do 60 push ups but can’t do 10 overgrasp chin ups your chest is probably overdeveloped in relation to your back. If that is the case further developing your back will be beneficial. Overgrasp chin ups and any kind of rows are a good place to start. Again, I wouldn’t do anything till the pain has gone away.

      As a final thought, I’ve had shoulder trouble on my string arm before which a rotational draw has more or less eliminated. Moebow has a good youtube video demonstrating this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c8_-96h6BY

      I’m not a doc or medic or anything though mate, so take all that for what it’s worth. If you keep getting trouble I’d be hitting up a doc or physio.

      Jim

    • Brent Whitaker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 19

      two4hooking wrote: Keep your shoulder low and back (in line with the other). Keep a slight bend in the bow arm. Hard to tell what you are doing, but if you lock out that arm and have the shoulder at a bad angle all that force just goes right to the joint.

      I HAVE been locking out that joint. I will start putting that slight bend in it. Thanks!

    • Brent Whitaker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 19

      ausjim wrote: Welcome here Seabass ๐Ÿ˜€ Sorry to hear you’re having shoulder trouble. My first bit of advice would be that if your shoulder hurts stop shooting till the pain stops. You can use ice and anti-inflammatory’s to assist in that. I’d encourage you to go see a sports doc or physiotherapist. Where is the pain? In the front towards your chest? Round back near the shoulder blade? Or on the outside? And is it muscular or deeper internal pain?

      A couple of things spring to mind though. A lot of military guys have a chest/back imbalance (because of all the push ups) that make a shoulder behave unhappily. If you can do 60 push ups but can’t do 10 overgrasp chin ups your chest is probably overdeveloped in relation to your back. If that is the case further developing your back will be beneficial. Overgrasp chin ups and any kind of rows are a good place to start. Again, I wouldn’t do anything till the pain has gone away.

      As a final thought, I’ve had shoulder trouble on my string arm before which a rotational draw has more or less eliminated. Moebow has a good youtube video demonstrating this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c8_-96h6BY

      I’m not a doc or medic or anything though mate, so take all that for what it’s worth. If you keep getting trouble I’d be hitting up a doc or physio.

      Jim

      Thanks Jim. The pain is (or seems to be) right inside the joint itself. In that little hollow of the shoulder when raised.

    • Mathew Carothers
      Member
      Post count: 21

      I would add that just like any other sport, short but frequent training sessions are better than infrequent marathon sessions. shoot for 10 or 15 minutes 2-3 times a day or whatever your frequency is, and let the muscles and joints rest.

    • Brent Whitaker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 19

      MathewC wrote: I would add that just like any other sport, short but frequent training sessions are better than infrequent marathon sessions. shoot for 10 or 15 minutes 2-3 times a day or whatever your frequency is, and let the muscles and joints rest.

      Yes, I can see that being much smarter. I tend to be the “keep working until you go into shock” kind of guy! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    • James Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Seabass wrote: Thanks Jim. The pain is (or seems to be) right inside the joint itself. In that little hollow of the shoulder when raised.

      If that is the case I would definitely stop shooting till the pain settles. What Matt said above is right as well, there is value in treating shooting a bow like any other resistance exercise. Perform a small number of good form, focused repititions, have a rest for a few minutes, do another set, rest, do a set then don’t do it again for another couple of days.

      Your shoulder works in funny little ways shooting a bow. When I first started shooting recurves I was doing sets of 10 over grasp heaves with a 45lb weight hanging off me (I weigh about 200lbs), 100lb dumb bell rows etc, I still started with a 35# bow. I know it’s hard to resist shooting heaps when you’re trying to develop a skill, but you need to give your body the chance to develop as well.

      There’s a story about an ancient Greek wrestler who one day got a calf. He carried the calf where ever he went on his shoulders. No big deal. The calf grew every day and the wrestler never noticed that she was getting heavier. Before he knew it he was carrying around a cow on his shoulders and he was the strongest man in Greece.

      A tall tale for sure, but the point is, incremental increases in load over an extended period is the way to go ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I know a really neat, light weight exercise to strengthen and gain range of motion in your shoulders as well, but it’s hard to describe. I’ll see if I can find a youtube video and post it.

      But seriously, when it’s not muscular pain, I’d just stop and rest the joint.

      Jim

    • Brent Whitaker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 19

      ausjim wrote: [quote=Seabass]Thanks Jim. The pain is (or seems to be) right inside the joint itself. In that little hollow of the shoulder when raised.

      If that is the case I would definitely stop shooting till the pain settles. What Matt said above is right as well, there is value in treating shooting a bow like any other resistance exercise. Perform a small number of good form, focused repititions, have a rest for a few minutes, do another set, rest, do a set then don’t do it again for another couple of days.

      Your shoulder works in funny little ways shooting a bow. When I first started shooting recurves I was doing sets of 10 over grasp heaves with a 45lb weight hanging off me (I weigh about 200lbs), 100lb dumb bell rows etc, I still started with a 35# bow. I know it’s hard to resist shooting heaps when you’re trying to develop a skill, but you need to give your body the chance to develop as well.

      There’s a story about an ancient Greek wrestler who one day got a calf. He carried the calf where ever he went on his shoulders. No big deal. The calf grew every day and the wrestler never noticed that she was getting heavier. Before he knew it he was carrying around a cow on his shoulders and he was the strongest man in Greece.

      A tall tale for sure, but the point is, incremental increases in load over an extended period is the way to go ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I know a really neat, light weight exercise to strengthen and gain range of motion in your shoulders as well, but it’s hard to describe. I’ll see if I can find a youtube video and post it.

      But seriously, when it’s not muscular pain, I’d just stop and rest the joint.

      Jim

      That makes a lot of sense! I really never looked at shooting as an exercise, in and of itself. I did a much smaller set yesterday, and feel considerably better today. I will take your advice and start resting, at least a day, between sets. You are right, it is mentally tough taking a day off when you are trying to work up a skill!! Thank you very much! It is amazing to be able to come to this site and get such help!

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Both of my shoulders are wrecked, yet I continue to shoot up to 54# without undue pain–due to professional physical therapy. Quit shooting for now and ask around your area for the best PT. As in all professions there’s a huge difference in quality. A good one will be able to identify the source of your pain and will relieve that pain significantly almost overnight via repositioning (like chiropractic but without the violent popping of joints), and a combo of high and low tech “hands on” therapies. When I fell out of a tree a couple of years ago and tore a rotator cuff–the big muscle in the front of your shoulder–and wanted to avoid surgery, the PT took me from extreme pain to occasional and bearable pain within a week’s (three) visits. And they’ll give you a regimen of fairly easy daily stretches and exercises which, if you stick with them, will keep you pain free forever or until you hurt yourself again. And they don’t cost that much. They take all insurance and medicare and if you tell them you don’t have insurance, they’ll offer great deals that no doctor or bone-cruncher I’ve known can or will match. Along with acupuncture, PT is the best approach to pain relief I’ve found in a long and painful life. Best luck.

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      Seabass– couldn’t agree more with what Dave said. PT is number one therapy–I won’t even go into the detail of my shoulder injuries–all the doctors wanted to do was operate all my PT guy who is a bow hunter said after the first exam was work through the pain slowly best exercise is “draw your bow”. And my brother-in- law–retired doctor–said last choice is always hospital and surgery–people die there.:shock:

      Best advice find a good physical therapist but if he or she is 200lbs over weight look else where–you want one that is active and runs triathlons, they will speak your language. And don’t forget to have it all documented before you retire or get out of service –makes it a lot easier with the VA. Good luck

      Semper Fi

      Mike

    • grumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      Had surgery on my right sholder yest. It was the last option. On the other hand they all (PT, chiro,Dr) all think they can fix everything. PT made me worse, should have had the MRI, before the PT. With MRI was obvious I needed a ball joint. Lot of variation in PT. NOT going back to the one I had before. BUT keep in mind that I’m a LOT older than you.

    • Brent Whitaker
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 19

      I want to thank all of you for the advice! I am looking into all of your comments to see what is my best option, as I want to be able to keep doing this when I am 90! Man, I just love recurve!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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