Shoulder injury. Anybody ever been there?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by geophreigh, Sep 21, 2022.

  1. geophreigh

    geophreigh the artist formerly known as tb-player™️ Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    A few years back, I had a twinge in my left shoulder. You know the one... the shoulder my bass hangs on? :rollno:

    About that time, I began icing it and doing some therapy exercise. I sold my 10lb basses and picked up basses in the 8lb range. It eventually got better. (That was actually the beginning of me buying/selling basses... hmmm)

    Fast forward to a month ago... I was moving a piece of furniture and felt a *pop* in that same shoulder. This was different than before. I talked with my doctor. He said surgery would likely not be necessary. So he gave me some exercises and told me to go back to icing it. Most of the time, it doesn't affect my bass playing. Last weekend I played 3 nights and even after hours of a bass hanging around my neck, there was a dull ache but nothing major.

    Playing upright is a different story. the angle of the arm makes it a little more uncomfortable, but still doable.

    Some days it will hurt if I sleep on it wrong. But for the most part, it's just a mild nuisance. if it flares up, Advil does the trick.

    Curious if anyone else here has dealt with a shoulder injury or even pain. Anyone have surgery?
    Pocket Dave and JRA like this.
  2. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I've shredded both my rotator cuffs in my shoulders and my ACLs in my knees. Hips are shot too, plantar fasciitis in the feet. Call me by Greek name, Gimposthenese...

    Gettin' old ain't for Sissies. \m/
  4. rutrho


    Mar 29, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    Do your PT and focus on some upper body strength workouts. It'll help in the long run...

    Story time!
    I've had more than my share of shoulder problems over the years, but mostly on the right shoulder, due to mountain biking injuries and, well, being active.
    First labrum tear was in high school from swimming and martial arts and stuff, I ended up having surgery on it to help it because it was TORN torn, and was pretty badly impacting my life at that point.
    After that I ended up focusing on upper body stuff a lot less from a sport perspective, and I did more mountain biking and trail running and stuff and it was pretty much fine for 15 years.
    Fast forward to 2016 where I was on a night MTB ride, and ended having a pretty bad wreck on a group ride, resulting in a shoulder dislocation on that shoulder, which caused a ton of new tearing (anterior, posterior and partial rotator cuff. Weeee.). It also didn't help that I popped said shoulder back into socket, and rode out on it.

    Anyways, I had to have surgery on it a couple years ago because it wouldn't stay in socket anymore, and would flop out pretty much once a week. But as a result it took a big chunk of time to really get back into bass playing because I couldn't hold my plucking hand in position anymore while sitting, which took some getting used to. Needless to say, after a bankart repair, SLAP repair and a bunch of anchors its doing better, but still causes some problems. And it lets me know when its about to rain.

    Working with my physical therapist on rehabbing it for both sports and for music took a while but its really worth it to seek out a good PT and to really focus on upper body support and strength training, esp where it comes to keeping those support and stabilization muscles strong.
    I actually took up standup paddle boarding because of how much of it uses the core and shoulder stabilization muscles (with proper form) and that became a very big factor in rehab for my shoulder.

    Stuff like yoga and a good core workout routine help a lot once you start getting a handle on the source of the issue and get some PT under your belt to help strengthen those stabilization muscles back up.
    With some focused work, you can make a big impact on reducing the issues with it over time.

    Good luck!
  5. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    My left rotator cuff and upper bicep began to give me trouble in the last year or so. Wear and tear from work.

    At first I thought it might be the return of a very old bicycle injury but the doctor doesn’t think they’re related. I’m currently on anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen) and I start four weeks of physical therapy next week.

    My doc doesn’t think surgery will be needed and doesn’t think I need to miss work as long as I’m careful so I guess I should consider myself lucky. It’s only a bit of a nuisance when I sleep.

    I’m also very lucky that it hasn’t really affected my playing much. I notice it after several hours but I can play a three-hour rehearsal without much discomfort. I haven’t played any upright at all in about a year but I suspect it would be pretty painful. Raising my upper arm straight out is not easy right now.
  6. geophreigh

    geophreigh the artist formerly known as tb-player™️ Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Good info. I definitely want to avoid surgery if at all possible. I'll keep up with the PT and hope nothing flops out of the socket... yikes! Thanks.
    rutrho likes this.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Rotatorcuff/bicep tendon surgery. It's worthget5ing some real pics taken to see if there is severe damage .
  8. Eighthnoterock

    Eighthnoterock Supporting Member

    May 25, 2018
    Lynden Washington
    I have bursitis and tendinitis in my left that led to frozen shoulder about a year ago.
    That was fun.

    Lots of physical therapy and now continue exercise and CBD products
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  9. rocu


    Jan 28, 2015
    Missoula, MT
    Vitamin I! Take ibuprofen by the handful. When your ears start to ring or your liver feels tender back off on the dose a little and you’ll live forever. Now get back in the game.

    I actually got that bad advice when I hurt my shoulder as a kid. When I hurt it as an adult I got better advice, similar to what’s already been posted here. Do your PT, listen to your body and your provider. Get surgery if you need it. If you do, do more PT.
    StyleOverShow and rutrho like this.
  10. My shoulder problems are due to living most of my life with Rheumatoid Arthritis, not any specific injuries. This impacted both shoulders early on and in a pretty severe way. Damage occurred decades ago but the progression slowed significantly by new, better drugs.

    I had some outpatient surgery last week. Upper chest area near my collar bone. I found it interesting that the scans saw my shoulders, and the doctor commented on their condition. This even as the procedure had nothing to do with shoulders.

    By the luck if the draw, I can still do some things I like to do. Basement bass warrior, swing a golf club.
    In my case, going to a short scale made my noodling easier. I have more (but not full) range of motion in my left shoulder. Being right handed I can get to the far end of a shorter neck. My right shoulder is more impacted, but that's the plucking side of things.

    We can be resilient, adjusting to conditions and situations. Hopefully yours is short term. But you'll figure it out.
    Best of luck.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
  11. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I had a "frozen shoulder" once - kicked in like gangbusters the day before I was set to leave on tour. Even thinking about raising my hand up made it hurt. Sucked. I ended up playing my little Longhorn the whole time instead of the Jazz I would have otherwise!

    I've always been very athletic, one of those old guys sending it on mountain bikes and whatnot--basically not acting my age. But I'm a big believer in surgery being the absolute last resort - it's amazing how our bodies have the capacity to heal in many cases (when the doc is hell-bent on starting the cuttin'...). Seen too many friends worse off after surgery. Always get a couple opinions. And don't get too reliant on NSAIDS, they're actually really bad for you in the long term.
  12. Plain Old Barry

    Plain Old Barry Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2018
    I broke my left shoulder mountain biking and tore my right rotator cuff closing the rear sliding window in my Tacoma. :(

    The break didn't need surgery, but I did have some pretty painful PT once the bone healed. My cuff was surgically repaired and healed up well, along with more PT, but not as painful as the other side.

    All in all, if you or your primary Dr. know your ortho Dr well, I'd trust him or her's plan of action. Otherwise, I'm always in favor of a second opinion for any surgery.

    I knew the guy personally that did my cuff, as well as carpal tunnel relief in both hands and the PT prescription for my broken side, and it all worked out swimmingly. All surgeries were outpatient, no overnight stays. If I had done the carpal tunnel relief sooner, I wouldn't have missed out on years of playing.
  13. bigjames

    bigjames Player of Smooth Lines

    I have had my share of injuries: nerve pinches, shoulder strains, MCL ruptures, plantar fasciitis, disc bulges, tendonitis, etc. Mostly due to a bit of innate hypermobility syndrome (not as cool as it sounds) and compounded by some poor form in the gym when I was young (fixed since).

    I am a huge proponent of physiotherapy, chiropractic, and active release technique (ART). ART is often practiced by PTs or chiros and I highly recommend it for soft tissue injuries. I was suffering with triceps tendonitis for months and conventional meds did nothing. I could not even push open a door without wincing in searing pain. First ART appointment: noticeable improvement. Second appointment: Gone. Solved. It is really worth looking into. It hurts when they do is not comfortable, but it works. Highly recommend checking it out.

    Active Release Techniques
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  14. SkylineFiver

    SkylineFiver Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Placer County CA
    Did your doctor tell what is causing the pain. If not, I would ask for a more definitive diagnosis. You can’t treat what you don’t know.
    MonetBass, lomo and rutrho like this.
  15. rutrho


    Mar 29, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    That attitute from family was part of why mine got so bad when I was in my teens. it SUCKS to be on the receiving end of it, esp when it ruins athletic careers.

    Its really important to understand what the issues are that lead to stuff like this, that way you and your PT can start building a comprehensive plan to deal with it.
  16. Strained my shoulder once swimming, took about a two month break from playing, kept my arm elevated as much as possible, sling for the first month, anti-inflammatories as needed, and didn’t push it or rush myself to get back to playing. I’m actually pretty thankful for it because it helped me stretch and grow as a songwriter in different areas, and as much as my band at the time wanted to get back to jamming, they were very understanding and we found other ways to keep pushing forward. Once I got back to playing, we really hit the ground running.
  17. geophreigh

    geophreigh the artist formerly known as tb-player™️ Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Oof! I’ll take ibuprofen if I need immediate relief and no other option is available. But usually some ice on the shoulder and a Tens unit on the affected muscles give me better relief on my shoulder. I’m looking at changing my diet to minimize inflammatory foods, continue PT, exercising and ice (as needed). Also, a quality CBD like Charlottes Web can have a decent effect on the inflammation.
    JRA and EatS1stBassist like this.
  18. thenazz


    May 9, 2011
    Pensacola, FL
    Had a weekly gig at a club that had the band play first set for an hour and 45 minutes, 20 minute break, then hour and half set. Ended up with frozen shoulder on the strap side. After about 4 or 5 months it eased up and went away.
  19. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Ohio, Youngstown Area
    When I saw the thread title, I was like :hyper: I get to complain about my ailments!

    After reading some of these posts, Imma shuddap...

    and maybe count some blessings. :)
  20. I had a motorcycle wreck way back in 2009 and separated the AC joint in my left shoulder. Did a lot of therapy after a period of immobilization, and it was semi Ok. The geometry of my shoulder was changed though, and although the ortho Dr denies it, I'm sure that contributed to my rotator cuff muscles in that shoulder shredding about a year later. But it could have been 100% caused by incomplete rehab. Those muscles, deltoid and rotator cuff, atrophy very quickly with disuse. The only bass relevance is that i felt a bad pop when putting my doublebass back in the car and had all of the weight of it on my shoulder in an awkward position.

    So then i had rotator cuff repair surgery in that shoulder. That is not a fun surgery, which is an understatement, and especially now with the medics so stingy with pain meds, i would not want to do it if avoidable. The rehab is long and arduous. Big strong men shed tears in rehab. Now i have little pain and keep it that way with weight training and stretching etc. Bass playing is no challenge at all.
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