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/ SLAP Injury Recovery - any advice?

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michaelofthegraham - on 12 Jan 2019

I had surgery at the end of August to repair a slap injury caused while climbing back in January last year, and have doing physiotherapy since about October in order to get back to where I was, as I haven't been climbing in about a year so I'm desperate to get back. 

After the Xmas holiday, I went back and they were happy with my progress, and said that they believed that I could start climbing again as long as I took it easy. So, with those magical words ringing in my ears, I took myself off bouldering at the local gym, which went ok, sticking to the easiest problems to ease myself back in. I went again a couple of days later, but I still have restriction of movement and slight pain/discomfort when I am trying certain movements. 

On Friday (yesterday) after some rotator exercises I told them my muscles were sore, they worked on them as they were tight and contracted and now my shoulder is killing me, even more than after I had been climbing. I'm worried that this range of movement will never be what it was, and that it may take even longer to get back to where I was before injury. Am I just being impatient and paranoid, or is this something serious? Has anyone had any similar experiences, or even completely different ones? I get that only 4 months after the surgery is not long enough to be fully recovered, but would climbing actually help or hinder my rehab? How likely am I to injure myself again? The whole situation has been incredibly frustrating and depressing at times, and all I want is to be able to get back on the walls and rock, so if anyone has any experiences or expertise about this I'm open to everything. ANy and all advice/hints/tips/help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

John Kettle - on 12 Jan 2019
In reply to michaelofthegraham:

I've had slap repairs done to both my shoulders. With very diligent prehab and rehab I was climbing 3 months after each surgery, and bouldering 7b/V8 within 5 months with no pain.

The key for me was working out why I'd torn my shoulders in the first place, then making sure I changed my climbing habits, technique and posture so climbing no longer harmed them.

10 years on now from the last op and I'm still doing 20mins shoulder strength work twice weekly, but have gone up a few more grades in boulder sport and trad with no issues. Get them strong, stable and flexible and be persistent!


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