Besides being significantly poorer, weaker and less fit where has this left me – with stronger joints, or so I hope.
So the theory on my injury goes as follows… I’m apparently hyper flexible in most of my joints. This means that I have a greater range of movement than the average person (whoever they are). Of course this is an advantage for me in regards to climbing, especially since I am short and have to contort myself into all sorts of shapes. However as with most good things, there is a negative side and that stems from the fact that my shoulder joints are unstable. I am more prone to injury when hyper-extended.
I’m not too sure if my condition is hereditary or not, but my grandfather had similar shoulder problems. I also didn’t help matters by doing a stint in gymnastics when I was younger. According to my physio they select people who are very flexible naturally, but through training they become exaggeratedly so to the point where it can cause problems.
Shoulder Impingement Syndrome normally takes only a few weeks to correct itself. It’s been 4 months for me and I still have a bit of work to do. I’ve had much more pain than normal as well. No one is sure why this has been the case. Because of this I always had a fear lurking in the back of my mind that I might have a rotator cuff or SLAP tear. While I still have pain this of course remains a possibility, however I am continuing to improve with the physio treatment and I am now at the point where even after climbing for some time I have minimal pain.
The Boring Exercises
My goal was to strengthen my shoulder joints and thereby making them more stable through various physio exercises. The exercises themselves also serve as a sort of engram to remind my shoulder how to move in a correct manner. They started as ultra-tedious, boring as reading a British climbing magazine, chore and progressed to where I am using real sized weights and am gaining lower traps strength as well as rotator cuff stability. As long as I climb, I am going to have to keep up with these exercises.
Certain movements still cause pain and I'm not 100% yet, but hopefully I will be soon. I don’t think that I am going to take up campusing any time soon, well I might give it a few weeks at least, but even more scary is the fact that I am running out of excuses for being cr@p – ugh!