Apple Sauce and Shoulder Injuries
15 Feb 2016
By Matt Smith / The Yea
Back in 2012 I fell on a ledge ride and ran my shoulder into a brick wedge. (You can see the fall in my Fuckswitit section 1:21 ) We were on a road trip and I didn't have medical coverage so I didn't get it looked at. I tied together 2 Sheetz plastic bags to make a sling (see pic below) and was riding again in 24 hours.
A year or two later I re-hurt my shoulder just trying to icepick grind up something (BMX Ergonomics Pt 1) this time it hurt a lot worse even though I didn't fall. I had medical coverage and I got it looked at. The doc said it was a minor shoulder separation. He told me to do physical therapy to keep it good. Eventually I fell off my physical therapy habits...
Then I fell riding a subbox that had big tire sized slots in it. I was going for an icepick and bailed out putting my front wheel directly into the grate. I put my elbow out to save my face from being smashed. It all happened so quick I'm actually surprised I didn't just put my face into the ground. My elbow took the brunt of the impact and re-fucked up my shoulder by pushing it as a whole in a direction it never goes.
I couldn't manual, I couldn't hop, I had to do something. I had to stop riding and start back up my physical therapy. It was a very slow process. I did my stretches once a day (10 pulls each arm) in the morning along with taking Glucosamine (a joint health supplement that I learned about thanks to @Beerporn).
I slowly started out at 10 pulls each arm plus medication. After about 3 weeks of this I started lightly riding bmx again. I bumped up my stretch to 20 pulls each arm plus (prescribed) medication, and after 2 weeks of that I now can ride with little to no problems (so far anyway). I keep a close look on my shoulder and how it feels and make sure not to over exert it. One thing I have caught myself doing is pulling the band improperly. You must swing your arm out (see photos) to be effective. For the medication, I take 1 tablet and grind it in applesauce every morning. The bottle says 2 a day but I haven't brought my self up to that point yet. Taking medicine regularly is a hard habit to start, specially when you have to take the medicine for a while to start feeling any kind of difference. Putting it into my morning routine proved helpful.
If you're having shoulder problems I highly suggest picking up one of the physical therapy bands and start stretching. You can scoop the bands for the same price as an inner tube (link), and you'll feel results within a week of daily stretches. The most expensive part was the medicine, ranging $30 - $40 a bottle. Getting and maintaining strength in your shoulders is really key for riding and taking falls. Take care of yourselves out there.
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