bursitis anyone?

anyone out there with shoulder problems? if so, got any secret formula for kayaking?

spent about an hour paddling on a very quiet lake, (very easy paddling). On a scale of 1 to 10, about a 4 or 5 on the soreness scale.

turned from the waist up, just think that whatever resistance the water vs paddle exerts, it transfers to my shoulder.

mri showed inflamed rotator cuff, no tear.

will try icing right away next time.

naproxen + PT nm

Whoa there…
Bursitis and Rotator cuff inflammation are two entirely different animals.

The Bursar Sac is essentially a “bearing” that allows the joint to move and rotate without grinding.

The “cuff” is more cartiledge/tendon kinda stuff. From some personal experience in both venues the treatment and their effectiveness can be very different.

anti-inflammatory treatment

steroidal (cortisone) treatment

Physical Therapy treatment

These are applied in different sequence and specific to condition.

Be certain your Doc’s are sure of the problem and are judicious in administering the least cure first. Have had injections and pill swallowing do very little and PT be the answer. Conversely, cortisone injection for Bursitis in both shoulders worked great.

Not a Doc here, just had the good and the not so good.


I’ve had bursitis in various joints…
…over the past decade or so. I guess it’s an “age thing”, since it never happened when I was younger. If I ignore it, it gets much worse, very quickly. I’ve found that Naproxen knocks down the inflammation really fast. I feel better in an hour or so and typically in 3-4 days, I’m pretty much fully recovered. If you don’t want to go to your doc for a prescription for 500mg pills, just double up on 220mg Aleve. Make sure you take it with food.

oh the pain
That sounds nasty.

Has kayaking given this ailment to you? I sure hope that never happens to me. I hope that you can find some good treatment.

Have you considered maybe looking into the Hobie Mirage? I’ve tried one, and though I’d rather paddle with my arms, I might consider one if there were a medical reason why I should switch to pedal propulsion.

Mileage does matter
I agree with bnystrom. As you get older the joints just start to show their mileage. I’ve gone through a few bouts with the shoulder and knee. Nothing that some anti-inflamatories couldn’t fix but I now take Glucosomine-Condroiten every day per RX advice as well as reading.

BTW: Sometimes it may take a few months to get back to normal.

Good luck

I get a couple of shots
of cortisone in both shoulders if I’m going on an expedition involving many long days of paddling but not too close to the time of departure because the shots actually weaken the joint for awhile (so the doc tells me). The rest of the time I take oral anti-inflamitories and they take the edge off anyway.

My doctor recommends icing after painful paddling but it isn’t always possible.

You could try some different paddles - probably something light and not too powerful. Greenland Paddle?

I have had excellent results Myofascial Release therapy as per John Barnes. If there are any practitioners locally, you could give that a try.

bursitis anyone?
no thanks, i’ve plenty of other problems. :wink:

Just had shoulder surgery
I had surgery in my shoulder back in November. They said I had a torn capillary something or another and I needed surgery. When they went in there with the surgery they found that it wasn’t torn so they removed my bursor and some bone spurs on my acromen and cut off the tip of my clavicle. This is a very common procedure for the shoulder.

At the same time, I had another friend diagonsed with a torn rotator cuff. He had surgery and they found out that he didn’t have a tear so they did the same surgery on him.

What they don’t tell you about MRIs are that they are only about 60% accurate.

It took me about two months before I could start paddling again. I was in painful physical therapy for three months. Even now it still hursts after a day of whitewater paddling. Flatwater paddling doesn’t seem to bother it as much. It takes a good 6 months to completely heal from the surgery.

The surgery did seem to take care of the pain and I’m sure I will recover completely.

My advice is don’t use it for awhile and rest it. I know its hard not to paddle, but you want to avoid surgery. I really think that if I had just stopped paddling for a couple of weeks, iced it and taken an anti-inflammatory that the pain would have gone away on its own.

Anyway, good luck and I feel your pain!