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Physical Fitness

Talk to your doctor before beginning to exercise. If you jump in to serious exercise without any guidance, it is possible that you'll injure yourself. You might have a pre-existing issue that you're not aware of. See my experience with injury below. Because of this injury, I actually check in with doctor, see this blog post.

“Those who do not find time for exercise now will have to find time for illness.” — The Earl of Derby (1873)

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Gymnastics Rings

Warning: You can easily injure yourself playing with rings. See my experience with a rotator cuff injury below. Talk to your doctor, do tonnes of warm-up, and be safe.

Gymnastics Rings Exercises

2023 Gymnastics Rings Injury

tl;dr: I injured myself for four to five months by goofing around with gymnastics rings.

In the summer of 2023, I bought some gymnastics rings and hung them in my basement. They’re a lot of fun. Mira and her toddler friends love playing on them. However, after several months of working on them I began to develop persistent shoulder pain in my right shoulder. It would be triggered even on non-work-out days and last throughout the day. The only thing that seemed to help was extensive stretching and warm-up in the morning. Eventually, I had to stop working out on the rings. The pain persisted, even once I stopped working out.

On August 17, 2023, I went to a chiropractor, who told me that I’d injured my rotator cuff. This is a complex of muscles that allows the shoulder to rotate in a bunch of directions. We figured out that I had damaged my supraspinatus (ExRx) and teres minor (ExRx) muscles.

My supraspinatus was previously injured due to wearing a heavy single-shoulder bag for many years. These muscles had gone from doing essentially no work to stabilizing my body weight. It was a massive jump in stress on them.

At our initial meeting, the chiropractor prescribed some specific physiotherapy exercises, and they helped a great deal. Within about a month, things were looking better if I did my physio every day, first thing, and didn’t do anything heavy. We had a follow-up on September 5, 2023, and I got more physio exercises to do daily.

As of January 5th, 2024, I no longer have serious persistant pain in my right shoulder. There is occassional pain if I do something unusual with my arms. For example, today, I lifted Mabel over my head and that upset my right shoulder. This is a quality-of-life hit, as I like to play with my kids. The biggest impact of the injury has been on my motivation to exercise. I took a long break from exercise while recoving from this rotator cuff injury. My exercise routine got replaced with five minutes of physio per day and a lot of walking. This sucks. I really enjoyed exercising regularly. Now, I have a slight fear of exercising because I don’t want to go through another injury.

Lesson: if I’d talked to a doctor or chiropractor before playing with the rings, I would have saved myself a lot of time and pain.





Published: Mar 18, 2023

Last Modified: Jul 13, 2024


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