Contributors to this thread:
Shoulder issues and getting help
I've read what seems like hundreds of threads about people with shoulder issues. I've been shooting traditional equipment on and off for the last 20 years. Two years ago, I went completely traditional. Towards the end of summer my bow shoulder started to really hurt while shooting. I decided to try a compound. Hardly any pain. Problem fixed. That was not the case. Luckily I had a very successful september and filled my freezer. My shoulder has gotten so bad that I can't shoot anything without terrible pain. I went to a shoulder specialist and he told me that it's a frozen shoulder. I hadn't realized how much range of motion I had lost. I'm in my second week of physical therapy and it's amazing how much motion I've already gained. I'm only 46 years old and I work out on a regular basis. I've always been in sports and I was used to working through pain. I'm writing this to tell you all with shoulder issues to get them checked out. The specialist is telling me that he expects a complete recovery.
I'll pile on the get it checked out recommendation. Having some shoulder issues for awhile, went to a sports Dr, came away with a bunch of exercises to try or go to physical therapy. Bottom line - the exercises worked, they hurt at first with minimal weight but over several months things got a lot better and not only have I been able to increase the weight but my range of motion has increased
Once you're healed only shoot your bow a month leading up to the season and during the season, otherwise hang it up!
My coworker has frozen shoulder. Been close to a year now. He will never regain full range of motion. It's scary.
Had big shoulder surgery 8 years ago with pretty good results. 1 1/2 years ago shoulder began a serious decline following a minor accident. Range of pain-free motion severely limited. I could shoot only the lightest weight trad gear (40# and under) but with endurable pain. Could not endure the pain it took to 'break over' a compound even at 45#. Surgeon said he couldn't help me until I needed a "shoulder replacement". Time and careful, consistent exercise has brought me back to a much better place. I can shoot pain free again. Range of pain-free motion is dramatically improved. Time and therapy/exercise are under-rated, even for a 69 year old.
I had a "Magnuson stack" procedure performed in 1973 to on my right shoulder to prevent anterior dislocations and have had a few minor shoulder procedures in the same area since then. I have approx 70% range of motion in my right arm.
You'll be able do draw your bow again but it will take some time, just remember to follow the doctor and therapists exercise regimen during recovery. If they tell you to take your time ... Take your time.
When I was able to start shooting I began at 30#, then worked my way up to hunting weights ...SLOWLY.
Had three surgeries on the right, one on the left. Right shoulder is almost useless. I am okay as long as my hand is not above about waist level. Too old and stubborn to have replacement. Main cause was riding bareback horses and bulls. Then, shooting 100X a day, testing various bows, finished me off. Shoulder is just worn out. I live with it. At your age, I strongly suggest continuing the PT and following their advice. No more bench pressing or shooting either bow more than is required to retain proficiency. May have to give up the trad., completely. Repetitive action,is your enemy.
I'm already thinking Trad is out for me. I love it but it's not worth the blown shoulder.
In waiting room as i read this
I am fortunate to have a superb ortho. doc. He is a team doc for a pro football team but also a bowhunter. We were talking over a couple adult beverages one evening, (back when I still drank,), and I'll never forget what he said. This is a paraphrase. "John, I have seen just about every shoulder injury a person can possibly have. But I'll tell you something. Years of repeatedly, improperly drawing a bow, will probably cause more problems in old age than any of them. If you shoot a lot, as you did and draw improperly, you are going to wear out every part of the shoulder. Then, when you begin with severe injury, in your case two of them, it is a wonder you can wipe your butt."
Give that some thought. IMPROPERLY drawing a bow. How many of you were taught the proper way to draw a bow? I mean the way to draw one to preserve your shoulder. How many of you, me included, shot or tried to shoot more poundage than was needed? You guys in my class of advanced age, think about all the things we did wrong, that we now or soon will, pay for. How many of you have to be careful doing routine things, like shaking hands or opening a door by turning the door knob, or putting on a shirt, making sure you the bad arm goes in first. Or my biggie-must sleep with right arm resting on a pillow. My right collar bone is totally, disconnected. I can move it with my fingers. The shoulder can and has dislocated just with a violent sneeze. I am allergic to any more surgeries, so I live with a body that is flat, worn out. Much of it due to ignorance, the rest to stubborness and stupidity. When the "old folks" said, You only have one body, better take care of it, I laughed. Now I am paying for it.
I have reached that point in life, I say just exactly what I think and don't give a tinker's dam what people think. I wish I had listened, 30 or more years ago, when doctors said, "Let that heal, take some time off." Or, "You are drawing all wrong." Or, "No need to shoot that much poundage."
You young guys, give this a lot of thought.
so what it the wrong way to draw a bow
I hear you, Bowriter: My therapist said that my way of holding my elbow high while drawing was causing my problem. Once I started drawing with my elbow lower, problems decreased. Of course, that's hard to describe on a keyboard, but see a therapist if you want to know more. I also do exercises (again, see a therapist), lowered poundage, and shoot less often in order to postpose the inevitable (?) day I go under the knife.
Take care and keep in the game. My fear (at age 64) is having to someday use a crossbow. Gosh that scares me but I guess I’m lucky that is my only fear:)
In April I had surgery on my left shoulder to repair two rotator cuff tears. They could do nothing with it except clean out the arthritis. My right shoulder started giving me trouble and I went to a pain specialist. They had an MRI done and I had three tears in that shoulder, one at nearly 50%. I did not want another surgery so I opted for PRP/stem cell therapy. Six weeks later all three tears had healed. There are options other than surgery and PRP therapy and physical therapy together can do wonders. I also worked at being able to hold 8 pounds straight out in front of me with my left arm. I bought a carbon bow and took the quiver off of it. I can pull 60 pounds now.
Had rotator cuff surgery 3 yrs. ago most painful recovery I've dealt with basically a lost yr in there .Now it's hurting a lot again so the bow is turned way down and I'm in physical therapy mode I'm like Charlie just can't stand the thought of a Xbow .Good luck Lewis
Just my opinion-Depending on your age, weight and physical shape, rotator surgery can be a mistake. I also feel, again depending on age and physical condition, most joint surgery can be a mistake. They do not always help and in fact, often worsen the condition. If you find a doctor who suggests NOT having surgery, you have a good doctor, stick with him. He is honest and when says, you need surgery, you can believe him. Just my opinion after a total of seven joint surgeries. And, there will be no more.
There is a high failure rate in patients over 60 when it comes to rotator cuff surgery. Surgery should be a last resort.
I had a friend who had frozen shoulder. Sought medical help, followed prescribed physical therapy and fully recovered.
Good luck to you as you continue to recover.
bear bowman I had similar issues at about your age or a little earlier. Also did routine strength training to stay in shape. Ten years ago I too started PT. Lots of stretching that I still do and band work. It worked for me to gain range of motion back and be able to shoot without pain. Now I'm back with pain in the bow shoulder. Severe arthritis in there. My ortho says I'm a replacement candidate but hopefully I can put it off for ten years. I'm not so sure. We'll see how the offseason here goes. But I may have to go down to 50 pound limbs and limit my shooting (which I've already done the last several years). I'm really scared I might have to quit the thing I love the most in life. Hopefully not.