Shoulder dislocation while training.

12 years 4 months ago #9476 by candela
I'm sure for most people the natural tendency when you're about to fall out of the ski is to slap the paddle down to try and counter the tipping. I've only fallen out of my V12 twice in about 1.5 years paddling in the ocean. Today while doing early morning training in and out of Talli Bar on the gold coast I did the paddle slap as I was tipping and felt the shoulder pop in and out quiet fast as I fell into the water. I then had to limp home paddling with only one arm. I was so angry at myself!!. I never fall out then the one time I do I dislocate the shoulder.

I went to the Physio today and he said it's not too bad, my motion range is reasonable but he's sure I tore part of the Rotator cuff, strained some other ligaments and probably damaged some lining in the joint (can't think of its name). He's taped it all up to give support and given me some exercises to do for rehab. I'm going back to see him on Monday and if it feels no better he'll recommend seeing a Doc for an MRI.

I'm guttered! I'm the fittest I've been and I'd been training hard to a few months for a big race in 4 weeks time.

I realise all cases are different but how long have people been out of the water with this type of injury. I'm not talking full separation like I read in another thread, just a quick pop out and (or semi out) and back in straight away. After it happened once did you find it happened more often?


Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

12 years 4 months ago #9477 by marcolivert
Hi Mart,

The thing you had is actually called subluxation .
It happened to me last year on my both shoulders on the same day in a bad shore break !
Well, I took 4 days off, then I paddled again in a easy way. The first 2/3 sessions you'll feel like you have no power at all . I would say after 8 days you get much better and you almost have your full power.
Your body usually needs 2 weeks to strengthen the shoulders again.
I did a 40 kms race after 2 weeks and I didn't feel anything.

Hope this help.


Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • gnome
  • Visitor
12 years 4 months ago #9479 by gnome
Replied by gnome on topic Re: Shoulder dislocation while training.
Hi Mart
I agree with Marco it wouldnt be a full dislocation as is would stay out and need help to put it right.
Im a white water paddler (river) most of the time since I was a kid 43 now. I also teach the paddling skills for that type of paddling.
One thing to watch out for is. NEVER take your hands behind your shoulders, NEVER. If you paddle properly with heaps of body rotation your hands will stay in front of your shoulders.
When you described the fall out reaction I bet as you fell you lent back and either put your hand above your elbow and stretch out and slightly behind your shoulder and back, or your hand below your elbow but the hand inside of your shoulder line and closer to the side of the boat. The 1st one mentioned will basically screw your should forward up and out. To simulate what may have happened try this to feel the tension in your shoulder. Put your arms up in surrender position with your forearms/hands pointing vertically up at 90 degrees to the elbow then, try to rotate your hand behind the line of your shoulders then try to straighten the arms. If your doing it hopefully as explained, probably hard to visulise it just right. You will feel tension in the front of the shoulder. This feeling is basically the shoulder trying to literally fall out. The muscles are openning up to let it happen.
The 2nd way hand below elbow or what is called a low brace but the hand is once again behind the shoulder and as you fall on the paddle the force back up through the paddle is trapped in the shoulder and lifts the shoulder up and out.
Both ways have same effect because you have hyper extended the muscles and joint and all it take is the opposite reaction back up throught the paddle and out the shoulder falls.
So back to body rotation and keeping the hand in front of the shoulder. Think of it this way. When we all started to paddle we paddled with one muscle group, the Biceps. In one small short paddle stroke. Then either by help of a good paddler friend or a coach they taught us body rotation to lengthen the stroke. Even with max rotation with the body shoulders nearly at 90 degrees to the boat the hands are still in front of the shoulders.
So when a brace is done either low brace or high brace you can still keep the hands in front which is a stronger brace and more likely to help prevent a fall out. Watch some high class River slalom kayakers or freestyle kayakers doing slalom events and rodeo tricks on youtube. Its quick and very aggressive but you will see how it should be done. As always there are good technical padders in white water as well not so good ones so make sure you work out the difference. The ones doing lots of hard work and not getting about are probably not so good and the ones who look smooth and stylish are probably good. Just like the great ski paddlers they just make it look so easy.
Hope you feel better soon

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

12 years 4 months ago - 12 years 4 months ago #9487 by gstamer
Mart -- good luck on a speedy recovery.

Regarding bracing technique, a low brace is much more protective of your shoulder than a high brace, but in either case the "engine" for the brace should not be "slapping" down and putting great force on the paddle and shoulders. Rather you should get some purchase on the water and then rotate the ski back under you using your hips/core. For a high brace you want to keep your paddle low (below your chin), in the forward quadrant, if possible, with your elbows close to your body. Fully extending an arm away from your body, and slightly behind you, is called the "dislocation position"; it takes very little force to injure your shoulder in this weak position.

The above is how a brace is taught in sea/surf/whitewater kayaking, but I'm wondering if this is not stressed as much in surfski paddling since you don't have thigh-braces to permit contact with your legs? FWIW, I brace and use hipsnap the same way whether I'm in a kayak or a ski.

I'm wondering this because of the following quote from "SURSKI with the Pros...",

Using your paddle is the quickest way to stay upright; if you feel that you are going to tip over, slap the reverse side of your paddle blade down on the water on the side that you are leaning over. ... As you get more proficient, you can slap the water harder, applying more force to your brace, thereby providing more force to keep you upright

No mention is made of the hips/core in any of the information for bracing. I consider this dangerous advice and a recipe for injury. However, maybe I'm all wet... although I'm an experienced kayaker/instructor I'm a relative newcomer to surfskis. Thoughts?

Edit Correction: I did find a passage in the book that does provide some information on using the body (legs) to balance, it it precedes the section on bracing but is not mentioned in reference to bracing.

Greg Stamer
Last edit: 12 years 4 months ago by gstamer.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

12 years 4 months ago #9488 by Sandy
Good points on bracing technique , HOWEVER , IMHO if you are reaching for a high brace on a ski you are likely past the point of no return , WHICH supports gstamer point of focus on hips , not to say I haven't grapped at the straw of a high brace and saved a swim now and then BUT invariably found after the fact myself saying either "phew" or "that almost tweaked my shoulder". Look up "C to C" roll on a google search and you should see some good info on hip snap relationship to upper body and boat hull.Paddling in reverse will also reveal some of this connection.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

12 years 4 months ago - 12 years 4 months ago #9510 by semdoug
Sounds like you may need to strengthen the small stabilizing rotator cuff muscles in the shoulders, I know that sounds weird given your fitness level. Not sure what the PT gave you for exercises, but this shoulder routine from Davey Hearn, a long time slalom racer, has helped me alot. They helped me recover when I dislocated my shoulder.
Last edit: 12 years 4 months ago by semdoug.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

12 years 4 months ago #9512 by candela
Thanks for all the tips guys. I'll defiantly be reassessing my falling technique once I recover. Hopefully others will benefit from the above information and not suffer the same fate.

I'm now into my 3rd day and it feels a little better but I can't imagine being able to go for a paddle for quite some time, the shoulder still feels quiet weak and painful. I still can't drive my manual gearbox car either. My PT has just given me two exercises to do twice a day till I see him again on Monday.

- Lateral Raises to only 45 degrees Max, resistance with an elastic theraband.
- Standing external rotation with elbow in (rotate from chest to 90 degrees Max), resistance with an elastic theraband

The above link to the shoulder exercises was in my bookmarks but I was too lazy to do them previously. Unfortunately it's taken this for me to realise I need to be doing more than just pitting in the paddling k's be become a better, and injury free paddler.

Thanks again for the above info


Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics