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Shoulder Problem after Ab Wheel

This might not be the best place to post this, but there is no injury forum, so this was as good as any.

I was using an ab wheel. On a couple of the latter reps, I guess my shoulder was getting tired, and it felt like my right shoulder popped out of the socket, or it rotated very quickly in the socket, or something like that. That was about a week ago. It still hurts, but only when I reach back with my right hand to touch my left shoulder blade. I can normally reach back and touch it. I can touch my right one with my left hand easily now.

But if I try to do it with my right arm, my right shoulder hurts around the outside back of the shoulder. Is this a bad injury, or something minor that should clear up in time? I’m already going to a physical therapist for a knee problem so I don’t have much time to see doctors these days so I’m hoping it will just go away.

I’m going to walk out on a limb and say it sounds like a scap injury.

I’m not a doctor or an expert. Nor have I suffered this injury before.

The scapula basically contracts to stabilize the shoulder socket (Which is exactly what your shoulder is doing when puttering around with an ab wheel). It sounds like you overloaded it, and it hurts now.

Other than strengthening the scapula (pushups, pullups, bodyweight rows, planks), I wouldn’t be sure what to do.

The therapist might know.

Eric Cressey might know- post in his locker room
http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=949541

Someone in the injury thread might could give you an answer.
http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=2131002

Good luck. When you do figure out how to heal it, or if it was that serious at all, post back up and let us know.

On the bodybuilding.com forum I got this response:

"Your shoulder subluxed, (partially dislocated). I know the feeling because it has happened to both of my shoulders a few times. Basically you should ice, and rest the shoulder for 2-3 weeks. You should move it around gently but don’t do anything where you have to use it too strenuously. Also you are going to want to avoid putting your arm in weird positions while it is overhead, because this will most likely stress it and make it feel like it may come out of socket again.

After you have rested the shoulder for a few weeks you should start up with some light exercises for higher reps and see how the shoulder feels when doing them. If the shoulder feels slightly sore, this may be expected, but don’t work through heavy pain with it, and don’t go right back up to previous weights either."

That makes sense. It felt like what I think a partial dislocation would feel like, though obviously I don’t really know. I’m still going to ask the therapist about it, and definitely lay off the ab wheel and shoulder work for a few weeks.

It’s hard to say for sure what the injury is, but it is easy to say with 100% certainty that the ab-wheel is an inferior device that could potentially cause many many different injuries. Do yourself a favor and throw it out.

I like the ab wheel, and it seems like an effective tool to train the abs without the unnatural range of motion of a crunch or sit-up.

Why do you think it is bad?

[quote]darsemnos wrote:
I like the ab wheel, and it seems like an effective tool to train the abs without the unnatural range of motion of a crunch or sit-up.

Why do you think it is bad?[/quote]

Because it puts undue stress on the back. I’ve never heard of a shoulder injury from an ab-wheel, but I wouldn’t doubt it considering how ill-conceived the device is.

Obviously I have a strong opinion of the device, but if it works for you then it’s all good.

Can you explain the back stress thing a bit more? The dots don’t connect yet.

[quote]darsemnos wrote:
Can you explain the back stress thing a bit more? The dots don’t connect yet. [/quote]

With the help of the hip flexors it’s possible to rely on the spine itself when the abs fail. Bad for the spine and not what you want for your abs. Depending on your physiology and strength it’s not necessarily a problem I suppose.

IMO v-situps or swiss-ball situps are more effective and less injurious to the spine.

It’s my understanding that the range of motion of a crunch or sit-up is also not good for the spine when many repetitions are done.

[quote]darsemnos wrote:
It’s my understanding that the range of motion of a crunch or sit-up is also not good for the spine when many repetitions are done. [/quote]

Have you ever tried a set of 15 v-situps? It’s not exactly a high-rep move. Same with swiss-ball situps. That’s the beauty.

I disagree with beebuddy’s conclusion, but I agree with his concern.

The ab wheel CAN put a great deal of stress on the back. This usually happens when your abs give out and your lower back rounds away from the floor.

The solution to this is to not use more resistance than you can handle. Beginners use the ab wheel while on their knees, not their feet, and do not extend farther than they can contract back to the starting position.

Under these guidelines, the ab wheel is a great device to strengthen the abs without flexion. Therefore, it rocks.