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Shoulder problems.

May 17 2017 at 11:54 PM
Scott Hull  (Login Scotchmo1957)

I've had on and off shoulder issues the last few years. Fairly minor, but each year, it takes less and less to aggravate it. I switched to left hand computer mousing a couple years ago to reduce my right arm usage. Some on-going home remodeling/maintenance/repairs gets part of my shoulders quota of use, and shooting gets what remains. I mostly shoot side lever piston guns, which has not helped things. I sold My Diana 54 early last year as it was too much for my shoulder and I would rather shoot more than less. Out of sight, out of mind - well almost. I really liked that gun. I switched to my easy cocking 12fpe piston gun. It's been better for my shoulder, but just the repetitive motion is starting to cause problems. I've also used break barrels and under-levers with left arm cocking. That saves my right shoulder but I've never really taken to those guns for FT.

I made a conscious decision a few days ago to switch mostly to PCP, and maybe shoot piston just once in a while. I've got a good shooting 12fpe Marauder pistol/carbine, and a good 19fpe Marauder rifle. I already shoot the pistol quite a bit, so it's ready for carbine duty at this weekends Temecula WFTF match. I plan on shooting PCP at the upcoming Nevada and Oregon GP matches. I have not decided what I'll do at the Nationals yet.

I hope my fellow piston competitors (Jeff C, James B, Larry P, etc...) get this message.

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Will Piatt
(Login saddlemountaingunsmith)

I feel your pain

May 18 2017, 8:47 AM 

Reaching around to put a pellet in the breech of my PCP was aggravating mine to the point I was experimenting with breech loading guns like the USFT. Two years of PT and daily rehab exercises and now I am 90% and can live with that. "All my workouts are rehab and all my practice are matches".

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I hear you.

May 18 2017, 12:37 PM 

I hope you can use your quota for the HR piston GP. You only need two more matches. June 10th is the next one. shoot August and or October. You only need four total and have two right now. As well as you have shot I think that would since it for you. I DO NOT want to win it because you can't shoot.

I hope you can find a resolution in the form of some kind of PT, stretching, strengthening routine but I am pretty sure you have already explored that.

This message has been edited by LPIRRONE on May 18, 2017 1:17 PM

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(Login AngliaUSA)

I am currently ' living 'with the pain ...

May 18 2017, 1:26 PM 

I hear ya Scott .. loud and clear but

I am a stubborn bugger !

and refuse to give up on my WFTF piston dreams ...

the likelihood of me also switching to WFTF PCP is ever looming ....

hopefully I'll be able to hold it all together for this weekends Temecula challenge.

Safe travels south. See you tomorrow.


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Ron Robinson
(Login compressive)


May 18 2017, 1:59 PM 

If it's any consolation, I don't know ANYONE getting any younger!

Thirty-five years of serious road cycling with the world's biggest (and probably heaviest) head toasted my neck to the point my neck won't even tolerate the less-extreme mountain biking riding position and I can't enjoy much archery or bow-building either. Never being a very talented cyclist or archer anyway, nevertheless I hate(d) to give them up.

Have noticed that cocking powerful side-lever springers also aggravates my neck, but I'm not particularly drawn to them anyway. No problem with even very powerful break-barrels, though (thankfully, and I'm LOVING my new AA Pro Elite).

Even too much key-boarding bothers my neck. So I've learned to moderate the things that aggravate it, and consequently have much less problem with stiff-neck syndrome these days.

Thankfully the activity that caused the neck problem in the first place (decades of road cycling), (also) strengthened the rest of my body/constitution enough to not be suffering many other afflictions normally associated with old geezers my age.

Doctor Strangelove's advice? "If it hurts, STOP DOING IT!" wink.gif

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Bill Day
(Login dayjd2)

In 2006 I was laid up for 5 months ................

May 18 2017, 9:41 PM 

With a severe roto cuff tear from a fall I took on black ice. Surgery, and 3 months of PT allowed me to become a PIA on this forum. Blessings come and blessings go but the s--t around here will fly 4ever ;>)

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Mark Kauffman
(Login Mark.in.AZ)

I definately hear where you are coming from, Scott

May 18 2017, 10:14 PM 

My lower back has been bothering me for years, and occasionally a spot in between my shoulder blades REALLY gets my attention at times.

I switch back and forth between PCP and Piston and for the last year or so have been shooting my 12 fpe D54. It has a greatly reduced cocking (weight) cycle, so not so bad on my shoulder.....the one that I used to shoot archery with, but no longer.

With the prompting of slightly accented bloke that sorta sounds like a small lizard, I have been seeing a chiropractor to try to alleviate much of the back pain. It will be an ongoing challenge, but I don't want to give up shooting field target; too much fun with a whole lotta good friends.

So, between the gym and the chiropractor (BTW, she is REALLY good looking!), heat applications, and the occasional ibuprofen.....and rest (mercifully, I am retired), I will soldier on. I have learned to say NO when more than the normal amount of people ask for help, which is frequent. I have learned that I am not 35 anymore. My mind thinks I am, but my body rebels.

Hang in there, Scott. I will see you in August regardless.

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Jeff C
(Login Dieker)

I was in such a good mood the day after the election

May 19 2017, 4:25 AM 

that I went a bit goofey at the YMCA workout and messed up my shoulder. The trainer seemed to be in the same mood. The rest of the class looked like they fell out of an ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.. Anyways I nursed that for months and finally just stopped doing anything that hurt it at all and in a few months it cleared up pretty good. My latest problem had been my right hip. It was so bad I was just about to use a walker. I finally figured out that my bed is over 20 years old and now I sleep against the wall on some fresh meat and I am doing much better. I hope you guys find such easy remedies. You know me I don't complain.

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Hector Medina
(Login HectorMedina)

Part of the problem is that no one tells people HOW to cock

May 19 2017, 9:46 AM 

a powerful springer.

There are a FEW videos and notes here and there on the safety of it, but VERY LITTLE, or nothing at all on the ergonomics.

Another part of the problem is that most males like to cultivate the "macho image" and, so, do things the way they think people EXPECT them to do, instead of finding out which is the best way for EACH individual.

Anatomically speaking we are all different, but there are SOME similarities between specimens of the human race. We can build on that.

When I handed my wife a Diana 54 to cock, the reaction after the first fail was "NO EFFING WAY", LOL!

So, I sat down with her on our respective bumbags and I taught her how to cock the gun.

Women and Juniors are not particularly upper-body strong, so what applies to one also applies to the other. It ALSO applies to males that have lost their upper body strength for whatever reason: medical, chronological, or mental (I will always maintain that if you think you cannot do something, you will be right).

The trick is to learn to use BOTH arms and use the BACK muscles to PULL DOWN.

In the case of most people and the D54/56, that implies putting the buttpad of the gun ACROSS the off leg's lap with the lever facing OUT, and using both arms to cock the gun. With little practice, both arms will not be needed and one arm will suffice accelerating the process. You can decide which arm gets the workout.
You will have to lean back a little so that the gun does not fall forward. And after the first half of the stroke you will find yourself pulling the lever into your body more than down, but that is just the mechanics.

You also may need to adapt the technique to YOUR physique. As I said, we are all different.

To apply this technique to a breakbarrel or underlever, cradle the buttpad between your legs or hold it on top of your belt buckle, then use both arms to bring the barrel or the lever out, down and into your body.

As a gunsmith, I have to "shoot in" many a D48-56, most of them full powered guns, and the minimum "shooting in" for those require at least 1,000 rounds.

I can go through the process in about a week. It also helps that I do barrel cleaning in a strict sequence and order, so I stop to do this.

¿Do I have huge arms? Nope! I weigh in at all of 172#
¿Am I a strapping young lad? Nope!, I'm 60 years young
¿Have I led a charmed life? Doubt it. More than my share of bone fractures derived from several years of jumping out of perfectly good airplanes.

As with spring-piston airguns, the best advice with our bodies is to LISTEN to them. They both tell you what is right and what is not.

Minds are like parachutes, unless they are open they will not help much. So are ears and the other senses of self.

Try the method described above. It will seem clumsy at first, but in time you will get the hang of it, and, of course, an EFFICIENT airgun helps as it reduces the effort required to get the ME you need.



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(Login BillinOregon)

Wonderful advice, Hector

May 19 2017, 11:32 AM 

After I retired from the newsroom I worked for a year in the hunting department at Sportsmans Warehouse, and very often dealt with female customers who wanted a handgun for personal protection, but had strength issues when it came to racking the slide on a semi-auto. When I taught them to visualize this as an isometric exercise with the handgun parallel to the abdomen and using each hand/shoulder to push the slide away from the receiver, the problem was often instantly solved. It never occurred to me to be more thoughtful about cocking a springer as you describe, and I will do so with my HW97.

Back to Scott's original post, I was just discussing shoulders with my physical therapist a couple of days ago (had my second back surgery in April), and he told me one reason they are slow to heal from the cycle of injury/irritation is that the rotator cuff gets less blood flow and oxygen than many of the other parts of the body. My right shoulder is sketchy as well, and l learned several years ago that my days of shooting a compound bow of hunting weight are over.

This message has been edited by BillinOregon on May 19, 2017 1:48 PM

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(Login TwiceHorn)

Elbow/Ulnar Nerve

May 19 2017, 10:24 AM 

About 10 years ago, I was folded into an economy seat on a 14 hour flight to Seoul. This caused the pinky and third finger of my right hand to go numb and I could not find a position that relieved the pressure on my elbow.

Ever since then, I have had periodic bouts of ulnar nerve (funny bone nerve) sensitivity. Its like funny bone pain, but sharper and sustained and the slightest touch can set it off.

I had a flare up in the middle of a match where I couldn't put the inside or point of my elbow on my knee and cut short the match and my WFTF "career."

Turns out, keeping the elbow bent more than 90 degrees and having your arm straight are the two positions that aggravate this condition and I had carried my rifle in caddy (15 lbs or so) from the parking lot to the range that day, which caused the flareup.

So Bob D had been pushing me toward Hunter class as a newb and this sealed it as it seems easier to keep the point and inside of my elbow off my knee shooting from sticks. I'm sure I could modify my sitting position similarly, but for now Hunter is working. I also have to remember not to carry my rifle/caddy in my right hand, which seems to be sure to set it off.

If anyone else has these problems, there are "flossing" or "gliding" exercises you can find online that apparently help keep the nerve in its proper place. They seem to help. Also, a warning, if you have this condition and it results in frequent numbness or tingling of the last two fingers on your hand, seek medical attention as this can cause atrophy of the muscles of the hand. Thankfully, I do not.

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John in Ma
(Login jroh1)

I got back from my physical therapy eval today

May 19 2017, 8:25 PM 

Ulnar nerve inflammation in both arms and some nerve pinching in the neck. Thanks to my Cadillac(not) health plan I'll be paying for the first $2,000. worth of visits.

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(Login BillinOregon)

Sorry to hear

May 20 2017, 7:03 PM 

I also dealt with left forearm and finger numbness working at a computer in the newsroom. Had the left ulnar nerve surgically moved and still have residual numbness, but at least it was covered by workers' comp. The upside was that the permanent disability percentage check covered most of a plains game hunt in Namibia.

This message has been edited by BillinOregon on May 20, 2017 7:04 PM

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Lonnie Smith
(Login AirSmithCA)

same here .....

May 20 2017, 11:11 PM 

My wife works in the health care industry and our shared cost with our premium insurance plan has cost me $7k so far for my blown Achilles and broken ankle and I still have 2-3 months of PT to go.
"It doesn't get done til someone does it"

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