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What to do if joint mobility exercise hurts (ow!)

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Sasha, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Well... :aghhh:

    I just tried some of the joint mobility exercises that Connie Sol demonstrated on the videos here:

    http://cfsknowledgecenter.ning.com/group/theexercisegroup

    I thought I'd do them just to make sure I could, not anticipating any problems, but when I did a couple of the shoulder mobility moves, my left shoulder joint hurt when it got near the furthest extreme of the movement.

    Connnie says that if anything hurts, then stop. But if you stop when it hurts, how do you ever improve your joint mobility?

    Anybody got any idea what I should do?
  2. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    Sasha.........I don't think that something has to hurt in order to improve.............I agree with Connie..........stop if it hurts and just do what you can without it hurting. ............don't take it to the extreme............go easy.
  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    But if my arm only goes so far and then it hurts and I stop, won't that be as far as my arm ever goes (sorry, this seems like such a silly question!). It just goes from fine to hurt immediately - there's no stretch involved. The right shoulder goes through the full range of movement, no problem.
  4. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    Is the movement that you want to do...........a movement that you really need? In other words......are you having problems with your left shoulder just doing regular activities of daily living or just have problems with the excercise? what position is your left shoulder not able to do in the excercise? Just curious.
  5. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    It probably isn't! There are two exercises I'm having this problem with. In the first, you lie on your back with your arms by your sides and, keeping your arms straight, swing them straight up and over your head until your arm is lying on the ground behind you. In the second, you lie on your back wtih your arms by your sides and then, keeping your arms straight you sweep them across the floor and up until your hands touch (i.e. your arms never leave the floor).

    I can just raise my arms to their full extent with no problem - it's that extra inch backwards that's the deal.

    So either I've got no work to do because I can already raise my arms or I've got some weird and unsuspected limitation that these exercises are maybe supposed to address (or maybe it's an injury and I shouldn't provoke it).
  6. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    I vote for not hurting, too. :D I'd keep exercising (without the pain) for a while and see what happens. If it's a sharp pain that continues, I'd check with my PCP in case it's something mechanical in your shoulder.
    Sasha likes this.
  7. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    Hmm... One of my shoulders does this too, and I can absolutely relate to your concerns.

    Sometimes they get really cracky and have a different kind of pain, and in those cases I just do what I can without hurting, and then it usually resolves over time to the point that I can do more again. I've been told that when the shoulder isn't held in place well, there's some risk of hitting a nerve in there or doing damage if not careful, and I don't want to take any chances on that.

    The pain from extending them all the way back...I'm less sure about. My right shoulder does what you're describing at the extreme of movement. Like you, I don't want to lose mobility. And the whole point of those exercises is to keep the joint functioning. I've been pushing it just a little in that case. Not sure if that's what I'm supposed to be doing, but it doesn't seem to be causing any major issues, and the last thing I need is a shoulder that's locked up or can't go over my head at all anymore. But that kind of pain feels like I could push it a tiny bit. The other "cracky" pain gives me the intense "no no no stop wrong" feeling, so I listen to that more.

    Not much help, but I sympathize.
    Sasha likes this.
  8. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks, guys - that's interesting that if the shoulder isn't held in place well it might cause that problem. That suggests that strengthening the joint might actually make it more mobile, so I'll leave those exercises alone for now!
  9. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    I don't remember the exact details anymore, to be honest, but it was something along those lines. ...Although I've had a different physiotherapist pretty much brush it off. I'm not sure which one is better informed, but given the chance at damage, I tend to side with the more cautious one. :) There was agreement that strengthening the muscles around the joint is important for keeping the shoulders held together well, since they rely more heavily on muscles to keep the bones in place than many other joints do (since there's no real actual "connection" between the bones - it's a ball sitting in a socket).

    As mentioned, I do still do the range of motion extensions to the point that my one shoulder hurts a little. But that pain is more of a sort of a "stretchy, achey" hurt (that's not quite it, but describing pain is tough!), like has happened to me on occasion in my healthier days when I'd been lying in one position too long, and things seemed to have temporarily "fused" there and complained greatly when I tried to move again. I'm not sure if that's actually something that happens to everybody or just a weird trait of mine, but the sensation is very similar. Anyway, I figure that pain is from not being moved around enough, and so don't worry about moving through it.

    The pain I avoid is more of a nerve type pain, and gives me the intense "no" feeling. And it generally happens partway up an arm extension, at a spot where the bones click and shift around a little. It doesn't happen at the end of the extension. I would guess that what you were describing might be the first kind of pain rather than this one. ...Although I also have no official answer on what to do about that one, so I could be making the wrong choice in continuing the stretch into mild discomfort. I'm not a doctor, or a physiotherapist, and officially know nothing at all.
    Sasha likes this.
  10. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Mine's definitely a 'no, ow' pain - guess I'd better not push it. :)
    peggy-sue likes this.
  11. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    I thought you were supposed to do this one in the snow. :D
    Sasha likes this.

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