RotatoRelieverMay 2nd, 2012
How I Injured My Shoulders
If you don’t want to read my sad story about how I injured both my shoulders, skip down to the heading, How I Fixed My Shoulders.
After messing around in the gym doing what I saw everybody else doing for around 4 or 5 years, I decided to get serious and bought Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. Tonnes of exercises, but not much detail on how to do them right. What was the result? A couple of years into Arnold’s program, on January 14, 1997, I hurt my right shoulder doing a straight-arm pullover (page 309).
When I put my shoulder back into place—it made a very interesting sound within my body—the first thing I thought was, “I better use a lighter weight.” When sanity came back to me, I put the dumbbell lying on the floor back in the rack, took a shower, and asked for a bag of ice at the bar. (The building where I worked had a squash club with a restaurant, bar and a few weights… very few.)
When I got back to the office with a bag of ice on my shoulder, the guys convinced me to get an x-ray. (I wasn’t smart enough to think of this myself. Remember that the first think I thought of was to do another set with a lighter weight.) One of the guys offered to drive me since I could hardly move my arm. The x-ray showed everything was OK, and the doctor called what I did a subluxation, which is a partial dislocation (I felt so smart saying the word subluxation to everyone that asked why my arm was in a sling).
The physiotherapist and I reasoned that I subluxed my shoulder because I completely fatigued my chest before doing the straight-arm pullovers, and so my pec couldn’t hold my shoulder in place. Sounded reasonable, so I did the physio exercises, and got back to lifting.
(While I was in physio, I decided to take the Christmas lights down. I didn’t have a ladder, and so what I would do is climb onto the fence, step onto the roof of the shed, and then scramble onto the roof of the house. I didn’t consider all the ice on the roof as I was scrambling until after I was past the point of no return. Once I was up there, I realized I couldn’t safely climb down the same way. But what was I going to do, cry for help? I went to the other side of the roof where there wasn’t any ice, and jumped down. I’ve jumped down from greater heights before, but not with an injured shoulder. Yes, it did hurt.)
Very soon after this, I discovered Mike Mentzer and Arthur Jones, and I read everything by them that I could find. I was going to a real gym by now, close to home, but I was also going to a gym with a Nautilus Pullover Machine a half hour away every few weeks. Jones had me convinced that I had to use “The Upper Body Squat,” but that extra hour in the car seemed like a real waste of time for a 15 minute workout. What could I do in the gym close to home that did something similar to the Nautilus Pullover Machine? Straight-arm pullovers!
Of course, the straight-arm pullover only loads the lats for around a third of the range of motion that the Nautilus machine does, but I hated that drive. This was the first exercise that I did in my workouts so that my pecs were fresh and I wouldn’t sublux my shoulder again. Wrong!
Regardless of how fresh your pecs are, you have to keep your elbows in when doing a straight-arm pullover. But since Arnold’s book didn’t say anything about this, on December 1, 2003, I did the same thing to my left shoulder (I told everyone that I was balancing myself out). Same injury, same crunching sound putting it back in place, but better physio.
When I was being examined by the physiotherapist (it was a different one), she said, “Oh, yeah. I can see it.” To which I replied, “You’re looking at the wrong shoulder.” The physiotherapist seven years earlier did not do a proper job, so I had to work on both shoulders for awhile.
Well I abandoned Mentzer and Jones, and started taking advice from Pavel Tsatsouline. He explains how to do exercises with a good amount of detail. Unfortunately, he’s not that big on warming up properly. What happened to my poor shoulders? It wasn’t a sudden injury, but I started to get a lot of pain in my left shoulder. I had to stop doing all pressing on January 6, 2010. Eventually, the MRI showed that I had a tear in the labrum. The good news was that I didn’t need surgery and that more physio should to the trick.
Before the MRI, I explained the history of my shoulders to my new physiotherapist. When I describe how I put my shoulders back into place, she told me that I wasn’t describing a subluxation, but a full dislocation. Anyway, a little more physio, and I was back to pressing.
Health of My Shoulder in the Beginning of 2012
I could do most any exercise I wanted to, but I had to spend extra time warming my shoulders up real good, and keep them warm. (I did a squat day in a really cold gym towards the end of February, and my shoulders ached for a number of days after.) Almost every morning when I’d wake up, my shoulders would ache. Some times I’d wake up in the middle of the night because I couldn’t roll over without taking my body weight off my shoulders. Not the best, but I could live with it if I had to. Well, I didn’t have to.
How I Fixed My Shoulders
After Pavel, I moved on to the articles on Elite FTS, which I read everyday. I know I’ve fallen for Schwarzenegger and Mentzer, but I’m sure I can trust Elite FTS. I’ve even bought books from them just because they sell them, and I’m convinced that almost anything they sell is worth buying.
On February 29, 2012, I read the article, RotatoReliever: An Effective New Option For Repairing Shoulder Injuries. I checked out what little there was on the internet about the RotatoReliever, and e-mailed my brother-in-law to get his opinion. (My brother-in-law is an acupuncturist and a student of martial arts. He’s also the one that introduced me to Pavel and kettlebells.) He said it looked good, but if he were me, he’d make one. I thought about that, but I realized that if I waited until I got around to making one, I’d die of old age. So, I ordered one.
I must point out that if Elite FTS didn’t have the above article and sell the RotatoReliever, I’d be very skeptical, and slow to pull out my wallet. But, like I said, I trust Elite FTS. The reason I ordered a RotatoReliever was because Elite FTS endorses and sells it.
The Elite FTS website and the RotatoReliever website both have the same price for the product. I chose to order from Elite FTS because they’ve been good to me in the past, and I wanted them to get the commission since they’re the ones that told me about the RotatoReliever.
After a real struggle trying to get my package from UPS, I started my 40 days of using the traction part on my left arm at night, and using the exercise part on both arms everyday before I went to bed. The results: no more aching when I wake up; no more waking up in the middle of the night trying to turn over; and, I don’t have to do extra shoulder warm ups when I train. Not only that, but I’ve made an unexpected jump in my bench press.
This product was worth the money. I recommend it to anyone that suffers from shoulder problems. After I show it to my physiotherapist and my chiropractor, I’m going to give it to my father-in-law for 40 days, and anyone else I think could use it.