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Old 02-03-2006, 10:26 PM   #7
crbateman
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Location: Orlando, FL
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Re: Shoulder Injuries

Boy, this topic really strikes a nerve (sorry). I have a "trick" shoulder that has deteriorated over the years, and up until about a year ago, it had become a real bother. It might pop out reaching for a glass, and ukemi was very dicey. It would pop right back in, but each time I knew I was in for three or four days of abject stiffness and pain ranging from a dull and distracting ache to a sharp, stabbing jolt.

After consulting with several doctors, I was basically told that I had two choices. I could go under the knife for reconstruction (no, not arthroscopy) or I could stop training in earnest, get into physical therapy, and build up the weaknesses and let healing occur. I was told that any activity that would strain the joint would be counterproductive. My orthopedist put it to me exactly this way: "Get the hell off the mat for a while, dumbass!" Since I already have more than my share of zippered flesh, I chose the non-surgical option. I have also been the acupuncture route, without success, and I have smeared many awful things on my body in exploring the herbal alternatives (cats still follow me around).

But I'm happy to report that, after nearly a year off the mat, I have been given clearance to begin my comeback at the end of this month. My range of motion is nearly normal, and the shoulder has not popped in several months (although it almost went out once right around Thanksgiving). I'm looking forward to tossing some folks around again, and my only worry is that I might overdo a fall or something. I'll just have to put that out of my head.

My message to you, Kirit, is to take it easy, and get medical advice. Shoulders can become very chronic, and you'll have a hard time being totally confident about any movement, and that mindset can be counterproductive. If you have to throttle back, stay involved in Aikido an way that you can. Go to the dojo and watch. Travel to other dojos and gain some important perspective. Read and watch videos. Attend seminars as a spectator. The down time is an excellent opportunity to explore the history and flavor of Aikido. But above all, be sensible and PATIENT. Otherwise, you're on a l-o-n-g, rough road.

Good luck, and write me if you need encouragement.
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