Bump in the road

New format training is definitely working! I felt noticeably stronger during my last hoop session especially through my core. Unfortunately, I also took note of a sore spot in my left shoulder that has been showing up on and off for about 3 months. At first it would resolve itself between training sessions, but for the last few weeks it has become a constant. I’m old enough to know that ignoring something like this is likely to result in permanent damage so I found a physiotherapist last week and went in for professional advice.

After running through a diagnostic test series, he identified my rotator cuff and bicipital tendon as the irritated components. Not at all surprising considering that a large component of aerial work involves hanging with my arms overhead. Add in moves done from skin the cat that combine hanging with arms turned inward and behind the back and the shoulder stresses are pretty easy to identify. I probably could have self-diagnosed via google, but I felt it was important to get a real diagnosis to ensure that any steps I take to fix the problem don’t end up making it worse. The physiotherapist recommended a series of ultrasound and massage treatments to speed healing in the joint along with daily exercises to strengthen the supporting muscles and help prevent future injury. Only time will tell for sure, but I’m hopeful that I’ve acted early enough to allow for many more years of hanging upside-down. I’m taking a break from training moves with extreme shoulder positioning while it heals, but there was no recommendation to stop completely which I was very happy to hear.

This week, I used the shoulder issue as an opportunity to switch things up and take a beginner lesson on silks. After a year on the hoop, I consider myself pretty strong, but climbing and gripping on fabrics seemed to require totally different muscles. My hands pumped out which hasn’t happened on lyra in many months. Happily, I was able to climb and learned foot-lock and a couple poses. I’m signed up on the hoop for the upcoming spring session, but will try to fit some fabric climbing in where I can to build my grip strength. Maybe I’ll switch to fabric for the summer session and go back to being a beginner. Hoop isn’t nearly as popular as silks so I’m sure I’d be able to jump onto one every now and then.

About Renee

Fiftysomething biomechanical engineer, parent, partner, and recreational acrobat.
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