Members of the Collarbone or AC Joint Club

Those of you who have had collarbone or shoulder injuries: what have you done to get exercise and generally not completely lose your fitness/mind while recovering? Anything other than the trainer? I’ve been riding the trainer most days, but I have a hip issue that seems to be aggravated by the trainer in particular. Rollers aren’t an option just yet. I’m not allowed to jog. I obviously can’t lift weights.

I have done the left once and the right twice. The first two happened before bikes, after the last one I got fat.

Upon reflection, that probably doesn’t help.

I walked everywhere? I only took time off work once out of 4 broken collarbones and 1 ac separation. I didn’t really ride the trainer at all during any of these, maybe a couple times? Mostly because it was summer and I couldn’t handle it.

I did take the bus everywhere and still go about my normal business, just with a whole lot more walking. It was tedious but worked OK and I didn’t get too antsy. I also picked back up on super easy/moderate riding after about 3 1/2 weeks on most occasions, just commuting, not training. By week 4 or 5 I usually am back up and able to ride hard, just keeping it easy on the shoulder so not really sprinting or riding much out of the saddle.

Varies completely though, as some people need a lot more time. The ac separation I had was back to usable pretty quick, but took longer overall to regain the strength in my shoulder than any of my collarbone breaks. I did that one in the spring also and can’t remember how long it took me to get back to being able to do upper body stuff, but eventually i was able to do push ups, overhead press, etc. to try and get the strength back till it felt super solid and have had no issues since.

Thanks, guys.

It definitely hasn’t affected my day-to-day life much. At 2 weeks, I’m back to having most of my range of motion back with the injured arm/shoulder, but I can’t put much weight or torque or anything on it. It hurts to do the weirdest things (like washing my face), but it’s not holding me back from much except riding and lifting, which is frustrating. Hoping I’ll be able to get back to riding my basket bike a bit at least in the next week or so.

Amy, did you do anything specific to work back up to being able to do things like overhead presses and all that?

I put a big boner stem on my CX bike when I separated my AC some years back and just rode mostly one handed. My PT said I shouldn’t, told him I was going to, he conceded and said to stop if I was in pain. Healed up OK.

I don’t believe so. I had just started working at bike gallery when I did it, so my main memories are that I struggled to get bikes down off of hooks for several weeks into starting that job. So from guessing, i would think that being forced to pull bikes down probably was my way of working up to lifting things above my head. Now that I am thinking about it, I think I also broke my collarbone in august that year (after the ac seperation on the other shoulder in april), so I probably didn’t get much strength back until after the second injury, as I usually do most lifting in the off season.

Also - I just looked it up on strava and though I remember my shoulder bothering me a lot after the AC separation, apparently I did de ronde 2 weeks afterwards, so I must be more stubborn than I remember.

i have had two right shoulder surgeries for labrum tears which is close enough. i’m on dislocation number 8 at this point? i recommend going to the gym and doing leg press/leg extension/leg curl and basically any other lower body exercises you can find. you can also do a lot of stuff while balancing on a bosu ball. that’s really the only thing that kept me sane during the recovery periods. the stretchy bands are also a good way to use your upper body. stop right when it hurts and you’ll find you can go a little further every day.

have you acquired a physical therapist yet? if you don’t already know the routines i’d say that’s essential.

I rode on zwift a bit, I think I was back on city bikes after two weeks and on the road at week 3 or so. But mostly got fat and lost all of my fitness in the months after and am now trying to get it back.

Fix, I have a PT, so I have specific PT exercises I’m doing, and they’re helping. She’s also who told me not to ride yet and not to jog.

That’s a good idea about the gym, though. I’ve been working with a trainer doing olympic-style lifting and also some crossfire-esque stuff in her gym, and it hadn’t really occurred to me that I could go to a regular ol’ gym with machines that don’t require me to use my arms. Maybe I’ll try the stair master.

When I broke my arm this summer it was trainer, elliptical, and stair monster for cardio. Squats, leg extens, hammy curls, back extensions, incline sit ups for strength.

After 6 weeks I phased the pushy pully stuff back in. I made a point of rehabbing until I was even a bit stronger than before accident. Because fuck injuries.

I just sat around a lot. I was between jobs and incredibly depressed at the time so I’m pretty sure I ended up drinking and doing more drugs than any point in my life before or since. A month later I got a new job and starting bike commuting 20 miles a day and suddenly life was good again.

I think if it happened again I’d get a gym membership or something. Anything to keep up my (currently minimal) level of physical activity.

It still hurts almost every day, ten years later. Shitty humboldt county hospital did a terrible job with it.

Jordan, as part of your recovery consider getting a home TENS unit. I’ve found that it is quite effective for shoulders. Get a decent one–not the one they sell for $30 at the drug store.

[quote=jeffro]When I broke my arm this summer it was trainer, elliptical, and stair monster for cardio. Squats, leg extens, hammy curls, back extensions, incline sit ups for strength.

After 6 weeks I phased the pushy pully stuff back in. I made a point of rehabbing until I was even a bit stronger than before accident. Because fuck injuries.[/quote]

Emor above reminded me of a detail I left out. I drank a ton of whiskey while on the mend because scared of percocet and Advil doesn’t go with bone breaks. I’d do it again.

But do all of the rehab exercises and ask for more. That pays off.

I just smoked a ton of pot because the Norco clogged me up real bad, and when I was able to get back on the trainer I’d play smash Bros while spinning to help kill time

stair master is good! you just have to set it fast enough that you’re basically jogging up the stairs, otherwise it’s just plodding.

i always just sat on the leg press machine and would go ape on that thing. it’s basically the only gym activity i’m good at.