Returning to pole with a SLAP tear

 
Casi Previous Paid Member
Hey ladies, I know it's a long shot, but is anyone else out there poling with a SLAP tear? I decided to consider surgery a last resort and returned to poling in January after a year-long rest and some strengthening. Two orthopedic surgeons okayed it saying it just depends on whether I can tolerate the pain. So far I feel pretty good, but I can't help worrying that my shoulder could suddenly give out again since cartilage tears don't heal. Has anyone else had experience with this?
May 13, 2017
Veena
I've read that it can heal when rehab is done with care. I would say though, that you should avoid pole work like static spins and focus more on things that don't place the arm overhead until you don't have pain. Spins are one of the toughest things on shoulders. Also careful with moves that require you to twist the arm or place the arm behind the back like Dragons tail. Treat yourself as a beginner and see how it goes! xoxox
May 13, 2017
LRu Studios
Hi Casi,
I have a SLAP tear and have only stopped poling when it bothers me. I got injured in 2015 training for a competition when I rolled out of a Russian split the wrong way, I even competed with it because I got injured 30 days before the competition and had invested so much $ and time but I was unable to do my strong tricks successfully. I could hold my weight if I was aligned vertically but anything at an angle hurt.
I did not know how bad it was and I have a high tolerance when it comes to pain and It took me a year of complaining and my husband urging me to go and get a MRI. I have done physical therapy, acupuncture and handstands. I honestly feel the handstands have been the best therapy and have made me strong again or all the butter my voodoo DR. put me on. I can now do all the same tricks as before and even more including the deadlift and iron x. I would love to go back and get another MRI to see what I look like if it didn't cost so much. I am 51 so my body probably heals slower then a younger person. If you have any questions or want to chat please feel free to contact me. Smiles, Leesi L'Ru
May 13, 2017
LRu Studios
One more thing...
The surgeon said there is no telling how bad it is until they open me up, the recovery time would be between 3 months to a year depending on the damage. He said if I was doing ok then to keep doing what I wanted and if it got worse give him a call. So I have been living my life. Smiles, Leesi
May 13, 2017
Casi Previous Paid Member
Thanks Veena and Leesi. Leesi, that is such great news! If you can do it at 51, hopefully I can do it at 42. I was worried that maybe my body just couldn't handle pole and I would never get back to doing everything I could before the injury. After a year of rest, PT, and a little strength training toward the end, poling again has made my shoulder feel stronger and more stable than it had since the injury (which was caused by pole). When does your injury give you pain? My pain is infrequent and random and usually comes when I'm not poling, but just doing something minor like raising my arm to the steering wheel. I'm sure it's related to pole, but I can't tell if the pole long term will reduce or increase it. If the pain stays at its current level and my shoulder doesn't come out of place again, I can absolutely live with it.

Your recovery is so encouraging. I've recently started doing handsprings again and am considering retraining my Iron-X. The deadlift is my dream and you've given me hope that it's possible with a SLAP tear. We do do handstand training in class, so maybe that has helped as well. Do you do any other complementary shoulder exercises to work the small stabilizers or other muscles that pole neglects? I try to do scapular warmups (based on Veena's shoulder video) along with our regular shoulder warmups before class.

I'm not sure having an additional MRI would be worth it for you. I had two MRIs 9 months apart (I was basically only resting and doing PT in the interval) and while my other injuries healed, the SLAP tear didn't change at all. Plus, like you said, they can't really tell how bad these injuries are without opening you up. My understanding from the surgeons is that cartilage almost never heals, but strengthening the supporting muscles helps, and short of another subluxation/dislocation, it shouldn't get worse. The only relevant metric seems to be how much pain it causes us and if it limits our activities. I'm so happy to know of someone who has been able to return to poling at a high level without surgery. You are an inspiration!
May 14, 2017
LRu Studios
Good Luck!!! My shoulder doesn't bother me at all now. Mentally I am still cautious/nervous... My mind is taking much longer then my body to heal.
May 15, 2017
Casi Previous Paid Member
That is so great Leesi! I hope I eventually get to that pain-free point too. I can completely relate on still feeling a bit cautious even though physically you feel strong. Best of luck with it in the future!
May 15, 2017
 
mgpoledance
You did a really great job organizing your lessons! They look great and would be easy for a beginner to follow! ~Margie
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