A few months ago my right shoulder started to get soar after rolling. I first noticed this after a particularly hard class followed with an hour of intense rolling. Naturally I thought that I just over worked my shoulder. Being in my late 40s I attribute most pains to my age. The next week I cut down on the number of classes to see if that would fix things. When that didn’t work I decided to take some time off. I’ve had shoulder and back pains before, and to alleviate them I simply took a week or two off from Jiu Jitsu and voila, everything was back to normal. The week off from Jiu Jitsu seemed to help a bit but my shoulder was still a little soar. After one class the pain was back. Apparently a week wasn’t enough time to heal. I decided take two weeks off to see if that would fix it. After all, it worked for me in the past. Last year my left shoulder blade was really soar. I couldn’t do a front roll without extreme pain. I took a few weeks off and when I returned to the academy, everything was fine. I figured my “taking time off” plan would work again.
After two weeks of doing nothing I returned to Jiu Jitsu only to find my shoulder getting soar again after a pretty light class. I started to think t I had damaged my rotator cuff. It’s common for men my age to develop rotator cuff problems. The thought of having an operation and then having to taking six months off for rehab was really depressing.
I started to seek advice from people at work about my shoulder problem. Most of the people ended up telling me horror stories about friends who had the same kind of pain and how much time it took them to recover. These stories reminded me of friends who blew out their shoulders lifting weights when I was in my early 30s. Needless to say, my depression was getting worse.
Then I talked to a coworker who was a gymnast in high school. He knows more about shoulder problems than most people. He had a suggestion. He said, “Before you go the doctor, try resting your elbow when operating your mouse.” I looked at him like he crazy but thought I would try it. And to my surprise, after a week of resting my elbow, my shoulder started to get significantly better.
Two weeks after repositioning my elbow at work, I am able to get back to rolling on a regular basis with minimal shoulder pain. What did I learn from this? You never know where an injury can come from and, it’s really important to setup your work space correctly. We are always reminded to take care of each other while rolling but sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves in our everyday jobs. My advice to be safe on the matt and be safe at work, even in if you work in an office.
See you on the mat