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  1. #1
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Shoulder pain. Suspect bike riding.

    Yup. Another 50+er with an aging body complaint. Started bothering me when I ramped up mileage for the WI trip. It got worse after the trip. It is a nasty deep ache pain in my right shoulder. I suspect the load placed on the shoulder and all the road-bump pounding from an aggressive road bike position (no wonder my butt never bothers me).

    Anybody else experience this? How did you solve it? (I've been on NSAIDs pretty steady for months and recently added ICE treatments)

    Other variables: I play golf occasionally -with some history of shoulder soreness. I use a TotalGym exercise board. I swim during the summer months. All these involve shoulder strength and I've given them up temporarily. I have a short bike commute every morning (~12 minutes) and am starting to feel like that keeps it aggravated.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Give up the golf. Light free weights with range of motion exercises.
    '81 Austro Daimler Olympian, '86 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, '87 DeRosa Professional, '99 Calfee TetraPro, '03(?) Macalu Cirrus, '04 Tallerico, '97 Co-Motion Tandem

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Check out for a frozen shoulder.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  4. #4
    Bike Curious.... bobby c's Avatar
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    I had a bad shoulder a few years ago, over time it got better & the pain disappeared. I think it might have been bursitis. Anyhow, a few weeks ago I started ramping up my riding with more difficult rides - either in length or climbing. After last week's century, the pain has returned, I think it is a result of riding more difficult miles. In my case the pain really kicks in when I point my arm to the side and try to lift. Or do something like try to lift something (even a piece of paper) by facing forward but reaching back. The pain is not there if the grabbing is for something lower, just when my arm is torso high or higher.

    Got me a bit worried, got the biggest ride (105 miles with around 7,500 feet of climbing) tomorrow. I don't think the riding will be the problem, but the aftermath may be. I think I first aggravated it when lift weights with a friend years ago, but it could be something else. I tried acupuncture, that didn't help, just time in my case.

    Good luck - let's get better!

  5. #5
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Get a recumbent!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Vieja Cabra's Avatar
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    That you have had to give up some activity will hopefully alert you to the fact that this may not cure itself.

    Not to worry you, but a deep ache and pain sounds familiar. Does it bother you worse late at night? Does it pain you to reach over your head? According to my bone doc, and based on my experience, rotator cuff tears are a somewhat common occurrence in us older folks, even without traumatic injury. Repetitive motion can cause problems also (think bubump bump bump of the handlebars on the arms). Many people have low grade shoulder pain and just live with it for years. For others, it becomes becomes acutely painful, particularly in the evening.

    You might talk to your G.P. about a cortisone injection in the shoulder. This might cure the pain for a couple of months (or longer)and define the problem as musco-skeletal.


    If that doesn't work, then it may be MRI and X-Ray time.

    .....just saying.....

  7. #7
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Get a recumbent!
    I have one. It isn't so convenient for jamming into a rack and locking up at the train station.

    I have an appointment with an Orthopedist shoulder guy on Tues. (Same place that did a great job on my knee arthro surgery in Jan., and same place that has appropriately resisted offering back surgery for my continuing back-pain saga)
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  8. #8
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    So I am regretting all that football in my youth. And I remember some seriously dumb falls and trampoline injuries from being a stupid youth with an indestructibility complex.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  9. #9
    Yen
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    Surly Girly Yen's Avatar
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    Does it hurt to lift your arm up above your head (or to try to)? It could be a few different things, but best to have it checked out so you'll get the proper treatment.

    My husband has an artificial shoulder and he notices a little bit of discomfort on bumpy rides so he wants to raise his hybrid bars a little higher but whatever it takes to keep him riding is what's important.
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  10. #10
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    I can go over my head OK. I get a little pain bringing it back down. Mostly it hurts reaching behind me and generally aches with minor movement. (I joke that I can't get my wallet out of my pocket. That usually brings howls at the bar.)
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    (I joke that I can't get my wallet out of my pocket. That usually brings howls at the bar.)
    That movement was excruciating for my husband before his surgery. I'll never forget walking out of a store several weeks AFTER his surgery and hearing him say "I can put my wallet in my back pocket now!"
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  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    So I am regretting all that football in my youth. .
    Off topic...sort of...

    An orthopedic surgeon friend of mine once told me that if all the high school boosters and vicarious wannebe jocks who push their kids would come to his office on Saturday mornings and Mondays to see the number of young men that are broken and maimed..........they would ban the sport of football.

  13. #13
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    I loved it then. I love to watch it now. But all my kids became soccer players. However, any sport that one achieves an elite level, there are usually some injuries just form pushing to such an extreme. My elite soccer playing son has struggled with one injury after another for the last 4 years. He wants to pursue D1 college scholarship money. I want him to take his freshman year off from soccer completely.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  14. #14
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    Put the wallet in a front pocket on the side with the good arm. My shoulder is getting a little better. I have raised my bars up almost level with the seat and I ride with one hand when possible and let the sore shoulder just wave in the breeze.

    30 years ago I had a severe neck pain for 2 years. I went to several doctors and got xrays and such but no relief. Then I go into my regular doctor and tell him about the pain and the knot on the side of my neck. He takes a look and asked me if I wear a hard hat. I said yes. He said that he thought that maybe the hard hat band was irritating a nerve and that once a nerve is irritated it will take a long time for it to heal on its own. He then said that if it is an irritated nerve this will fix it. He either gave me one or two pills to take. Within a week my neck was good as new. No pain and the knot was very small. I wish that I could remember what he gave me so that I could suggest the same treatment for my shoulder. If I had to guess I would have to think that he gave me some kind of steroid.

    In my case I am thinking that nerves are being irritated near the spine and causing my shoulder to ache. Once I get things back to working I am planning on doing some mild yoga to try and keep things in order.

    Good luck with your shoulder and let me know what you end up doing to get it fixed.

  15. #15
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    It could be a rotator cuff problem too. You might want to consult a physical therapist before seeing an orthopedic. The problem with orthos is, when all you've got is a hammer, all your problems look like nails. I had an ortho once tell me I needed my joint scraped to make more room for a tendon. After 6 weeks of rehab exercises (but no surgery) the problem went away permanently.

  16. #16
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    Bursitis? If it is, you may be faced with some tough choices. Golf can be a killer if it is bursitis, and depending on the stroke you use in swimming, it too can be a problem. If it is bursitis, cycling is the least likely of your major exercises to give you problems. Good luck with your physican visit.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  17. #17
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Sorry dbq, I can't provide any help as I am going through a similiar event except my situation is compounded by a loss of feeling and loss of strength in the thumb, ring finger and pinky of the left hand. Lots of shoulder pain. My doc said off of the bikes and get an MRI. Really stinks.
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  18. #18
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I've been there. My problem was due to a poor fit and a pretty non-giving front fork. The reach was too long and I was riding too stiff armed so my shoulder was absorbing every bump. When I went to a carbon fork and a shorter stem the shoulder pain went away.......I also got a cortisone shot for some temporary relief. Hope this helps. Good luck with getting resolution.

    And I golf and it is not golf related!!!!!!! Unless your swing is worse than Charles Barkley's!!!!

  19. #19
    Old Crank
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    Raise the bars! I suffered neck/shoulder pain as I got older (thanks arthritis). My road bikes were typical of bars below saddle height, OK when I was younger. However, as I aged I found I had more pain. I swithed to a moustache bar about an inch or two above the saddle. It did wonders, alot less pain.

  20. #20
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    After a century several weeks ago I had pain in both shoulders which was described as the rotator cuff muscles. Tooks several weeks to subside. Just a thought.

  21. #21
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    I got that same pain in my shoulder. It's not from riding, it from picking up bikes one handed while pulling the clamp lever on the bike repair stand. It's starting to get better since I installed a cheap rope wench setup in the ceiling so I don’t pick bicycles up one handed anymore.

  22. #22
    Senior Member geofitz13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Get a recumbent!
    That may be my next step. I've been off the bike for a month now (really stinks) as a result of a pinched nerve. Also have a torn tendon in the right shoulder. The doc says the pinched nerve is a result of a couple of collapsed cervical discs. That, coupled with the riding position on a DF (head position, especially) is starting to lead me toward a 'bent. Since my main ride during the season involves a lot of climbing, not sure if the 'bent is the best choice. But if I want to get back on a bike, it may be my only choice.

  23. #23
    Hills! speedlever's Avatar
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    jppe has the right idea... sounds like a good excuse to buy a new bike!

    Seriously, as I was going through the process of finding the right spot for my saddle on the new bike, I had a similar scenario with some deep pain in my right shoulder. After tinkering with the saddle some more (moving it back about an inch), I am not having that problem anymore. Then again, this may not have anything to do with it.

    Could just be getting old-itis.

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