08 Feb 2005 04:01:39
Matthew Hills
Shoulder injuries in racquetball (?)


I recently ran across one of Aaron Katz's old columns on the web
(http://www.sofdesign.com/rb/katz2.html),in which the bio mentioned
his shoulder surgery in '94... I'm also aware of John Ellis' recent
surgery, and I seem to know a number of amateurs who have mentioned
occasional shoulder problems...

Are shoulder injuries pretty common for racquetball players? If so, what
are the contributing factors? (one amateur mentioned that he stayed away
from the lightest racquets because of his shoulder; another avoids taking
overhead shots)...

Has John or Aaron shared any of the advice they've received about what
might have contributed to their injuries?

Thanks,
Matt



07 Feb 2005 23:27:18
Ken Zwyers
Re: Shoulder injuries in racquetball (?)

I preface this by saying that I'm no expert, and I'm just relating what I
was told by my physical therapist.

I had shoulder problems about 8 years ago. I went to an orthopedic doctor,
who diagnosed that the rotator cuff was irritated (no tear). He sent me to
a physical therapist. In addition to some muscular problems, which she
corrected, she noted a couple of things in general:

- In general arm movement where the elbow moves above the shoulder is
irritating to the rotator cuff. In fact, when she had me rehabilitating
using bands, she made sure that during my upward pulls my elbow never rose
above my shoulders. If you like to hit overhand kills like I used to (I
know, they're low percentage, but I was pretty adept at hitting them for
winners), this will irritate the shoulder;

- She had me always stretch out my shoulder very well before starting to
warm up. The idea is to stretch out the muscles surrounding the shoulder
socket. Two 30-count reps of the following:

- Put my arm parallel to the ground against a wall and stretch it
behind me;
- Stretch my arm behind my head and apply pressure to the elbow towards
my other shoulder;
- Stretch my arm across my chest, keeping the elbow straight.

That said, every injury is different. I'm just hoping that the above might
help to avoid or alleviate any pain you might be having. Hope this helps
some.

Ken Zwyers

"Matthew Hills" <[email protected]_t_a_n_f_o_r_d.edu > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> I recently ran across one of Aaron Katz's old columns on the web
> (http://www.sofdesign.com/rb/katz2.html),in which the bio mentioned
> his shoulder surgery in '94... I'm also aware of John Ellis' recent
> surgery, and I seem to know a number of amateurs who have mentioned
> occasional shoulder problems...
>
> Are shoulder injuries pretty common for racquetball players? If so, what
> are the contributing factors? (one amateur mentioned that he stayed away
> from the lightest racquets because of his shoulder; another avoids taking
> overhead shots)...
>
> Has John or Aaron shared any of the advice they've received about what
> might have contributed to their injuries?
>
> Thanks,
> Matt
>




08 Feb 2005 07:26:33
Matthew Hills
Re: Shoulder injuries in racquetball (?)

Ken Zwyers <[email protected] > wrote:
>- In general arm movement where the elbow moves above the shoulder is
>irritating to the rotator cuff. In fact, when she had me rehabilitating
>using bands, she made sure that during my upward pulls my elbow never rose
>above my shoulders. If you like to hit overhand kills like I used to (I
>know, they're low percentage, but I was pretty adept at hitting them for
>winners), this will irritate the shoulder;

Any idea if this is a common injury among tennis players?
(it seems like the power serves would be a more commonly hit shot than an
overhead smash in racquetball)

Matt


08 Feb 2005 07:24:43
Matthew Hills
Re: Shoulder injuries in racquetball (?)

Ken Zwyers <[email protected] > wrote:
>That said, every injury is different. I'm just hoping that the above might
>help to avoid or alleviate any pain you might be having. Hope this helps
>some.

Thanks for the shared experience.
Thankfully, I haven't had any shoulder issues yet. But as I get older, I
start to realize that I'm not immortal and I'm paying attention to what is
happening to others so that I can adjust before anything does happen...

Did the rotator cuff irritation feel different from sore shoulder muscles?
(ie, if you abruptly decided to do military presses)

Matt


08 Feb 2005 23:14:31
Ken Zwyers
Re: Shoulder injuries in racquetball (?)

Yes, it didn't feel anything like sore shoulder muscles. It was a very
sharp pain. I felt it above the bicep, but below the shoulder. However, it
was the rotator cuff muscles that were the problem. The pain was just
radiating below the muscles. I felt it worst when I had to hit a backhand
lob from above my shoulders (usually near the back wall). The method the
doctor used to determine that there was no tear was for me to put my arms
straight out in front of me, parallel to the floor. He then put his hands
outside mine and told me to try to move my arms to the sides, still parallel
to the floor. If I had a tear, I wouldn't have the strength to do it.

"Matthew Hills" <[email protected]_t_a_n_f_o_r_d.edu > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Ken Zwyers <[email protected]> wrote:
> >That said, every injury is different. I'm just hoping that the above
might
> >help to avoid or alleviate any pain you might be having. Hope this helps
> >some.
>
> Thanks for the shared experience.
> Thankfully, I haven't had any shoulder issues yet. But as I get older, I
> start to realize that I'm not immortal and I'm paying attention to what is
> happening to others so that I can adjust before anything does happen...
>
> Did the rotator cuff irritation feel different from sore shoulder muscles?
> (ie, if you abruptly decided to do military presses)
>
> Matt




08 Feb 2005 23:17:19
Ken Zwyers
Re: Shoulder injuries in racquetball (?)

I don't know much about tennis, other than knocking the ball around a few
times as a teenager. According to my physical therapist, part of the
problem was that the muscles in front of my shoulder were underdeveloped,
and the ones in the back were overdeveloped. As a result, the back muscles
were doing some of the work that the front muscles should have been doing,
and as a result, my shoulder wasn't rolling evenly in the ball joint. The
physical therapist corrected this problem.

"Matthew Hills" <[email protected]_t_a_n_f_o_r_d.edu > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Ken Zwyers <[email protected]> wrote:
> >- In general arm movement where the elbow moves above the shoulder is
> >irritating to the rotator cuff. In fact, when she had me rehabilitating
> >using bands, she made sure that during my upward pulls my elbow never
rose
> >above my shoulders. If you like to hit overhand kills like I used to (I
> >know, they're low percentage, but I was pretty adept at hitting them for
> >winners), this will irritate the shoulder;
>
> Any idea if this is a common injury among tennis players?
> (it seems like the power serves would be a more commonly hit shot than an
> overhead smash in racquetball)
>
> Matt




09 Feb 2005 00:31:53
rysa4
Re: Shoulder injuries in racquetball (?)

The velocity of the racquet and its weight ( as in light) are set ups
for shoulder injury in racquetball when the arm is above the head in
whats known as a dependent position.

A lot of force at high speed overhead or with bad technique can lead to
rotator cuff injuries and other shoulder problems, such as a tearing
away of the connective tissue in the shoulder socket or the tissue
sling that keeps the ball of the arm bone in place. I
dislocated.subluxed my shoulder 3 times in younger years playin
racquetball before learning my lesson. I opted for no surgery BTW. But
therefore I still am very careful.