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Dr.Ben

Best suggestions for shoulder protection

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All,

Please excuse the newbie post. I'm at that point where I am forced to buy a faster and more powerful wheel because even though I am perfectly happy at age 51 to be tooling around the local parks at 15 mph or less, my One S1 simply has nowhere near the range I need. So, a 16XL has been ordered so that  the wheel does not limit how long, within reason, I want to ride.

I am fully on board with the need for gear. I will have a full face helmet and have been riding with the usual knee and wrist protection, and open faced helmet. The one injury that I think haunts most of us is a shoulder dislocation or similar. We can be philosophical about the need to tuck and roll, but we know well enough that face plants happen in a flash, and we are basically hard wired to extend out arms to protect ourselves. Wrists and hands fair well, but I struggle to choose what offers the best shoulder protection. My background is in medicine, so I know the physics of shoulder injuries is not so directly tied to padding/support or the absence thereof as it is with knees, elbows, and wrists. If @Marty Backe sees this, I know you took a bad fall and broke your shoulder. In retrospect, do you think the 5.5 body armor you are wearing now would have helped to protect your shoulder?

So.....with money not being a big factor (because you only get to eff up a shoulder once), what gear do you think offers the best protection for reducing (of course not eliminating) the likelihood of shoulder injury in a fall? I know that we can't ride in a plastic bubble, but I also know that a lot of you have taken some wicked falls and lived to tell the tale because of gear. I just want to learn the most I can about the shoulder protection.

Thanks so much.

Ben

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@Marty Backe do you find that this is true to size? I'm right at the boundary between M and L (100 cm almost exactly :)) and would be wanting to wear both on top and underneath. Go for the bigger one? Or keep it closer to my actual size? Thanks!

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44 minutes ago, jonm42 said:

@Marty Backe do you find that this is true to size? I'm right at the boundary between M and L (100 cm almost exactly :)) and would be wanting to wear both on top and underneath. Go for the bigger one? Or keep it closer to my actual size? Thanks!

These fit like compression shirts (which is good - you don't want the pads shifting on you), and are very comfortable.

I normally wear medium size shirts. Chest size 38 - 40 inches.  I bought mine from Revzilla and originally asked them for sizing advice. The recommendation was XL and they were spot-on.

So for you, I'd say go with XL.

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@Marty Backe I had posted a follow up question this Sun am for you which showed as pending moderator approval, but I see no record of it now. I can't pm you either, so I'm going to try again and see if this goes through before I retype the thing all over again.

Sorry for the bother.

 

Ben

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1 hour ago, Dr.Ben said:

@Marty Backe I had posted a follow up question this Sun am for you which showed as pending moderator approval, but I see no record of it now. I can't pm you either, so I'm going to try again and see if this goes through before I retype the thing all over again.

Sorry for the bother.

 

Ben

No bother. It's a pain in the butt for newbies on this Forum, but it soon passes after a few posts, reputations points, and time :)

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On 11/23/2019 at 1:55 PM, Dr.Ben said:

We can be philosophical about the need to tuck and roll

Ive found my fall footing wants to place me into the Superman pose, where the wristguards and kneepads take the initial hit followed by the chest bump.  Afraid one day it'll be a sideways fall that'll make me hit the shoulder.

I love my bulky triple8 kneepads, now just need a version like that for the shoulders.  I kinda picture one could just restrap a size smaller to wrap on arm and crisscross the chest and wear. I'd think a hit coming at an angle during the fall on the shoulder will be bad as an unprotected knee cap.

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On 11/24/2019 at 12:55 AM, Dr.Ben said:

My background is in medicine, so I know the physics of shoulder injuries is not so directly tied to padding/support or the absence thereof as it is with knees, elbows, and wrists. If @Marty Backe sees this, I know you took a bad fall and broke your shoulder.

Exactly to this realisation I have come meanwhile also, that a shoulder protection pad probably brings nothing at all, if one wants to protect oneself against a break or dislocated shoulder.

I spent another half day yesterday trying to find something. But no matter if Leatt 5.5, Troy Lee Design BG 5955, FOX Airframe Pro or other top manufacturers, nothing seems to protect against this kind of injury. At least if you believe the reports in various forums!

I wouldn't like to torture myself with a chest protector if it could only prevent a few abrasions on my shoulder.

Of course I don't want to fall with the ribs on a stone or a root either, because such a chest protector would certainly be perfect for that. But that's not what this thread is about. :)

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1 hour ago, buell47 said:

Exactly to this realisation I have come meanwhile also, that a shoulder protection pad probably brings nothing at all, if one wants to protect oneself against a break or dislocated shoulder.

I spent another half day yesterday trying to find something. But no matter if Leatt 5.5, Troy Lee Design BG 5955, FOX Airframe Pro or other top manufacturers, nothing seems to protect against this kind of injury. At least if you believe the reports in various forums!

I wouldn't like to torture myself with a chest protector if it could only prevent a few abrasions on my shoulder.

Of course I don't want to fall with the ribs on a stone or a root either, because such a chest protector would certainly be perfect for that. But that's not what this thread is about. :)

I understand that shoulder pads aren't necessarily going to prevent broken bones, but I find it hard to believe they aren't beneficial. I'm going to stick with my Body-T.

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If I could ride in a T-shirt like you, my decision would be easier. But it gets more complicated when you change clothes all the time because of the weather. Today only a T-shirt, tomorrow a sweater over it, the day after tomorrow you need a thin jacket too and a week later a thicker one, a month later a winter jacket over 2 shirts and a sweater.
You can't put on everything anymore, the chest protector probably won't fit over/under the sweater or jacket any more.

If I were your neighbor, we'd probably be twins riding across the country. :efee612b4b:

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5 hours ago, buell47 said:

If I could ride in a T-shirt like you, my decision would be easier. But it gets more complicated when you change clothes all the time because of the weather. Today only a T-shirt, tomorrow a sweater over it, the day after tomorrow you need a thin jacket too and a week later a thicker one, a month later a winter jacket over 2 shirts and a sweater.
You can't put on everything anymore, the chest protector probably won't fit over/under the sweater or jacket any more.

If I were your neighbor, we'd probably be twins riding across the country. :efee612b4b:

:cheers:

BTW, the Body-T is worn under or over anything. That's what I like about it. When it's hot that's all I wear. When it's cold, I wear it over a shirt and then I can put a jacket on. So it's very easy to always ride with some additional level of shoulder protection.

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@Marty Backe, thank you for your kind and thorough reply, the standard for you always. Tell me if indeed you can even remember (because you went down flash and were justifiably quite shaken), did your right shoulder take its hit with a superman full extension or blunt trauma across the front and on its point? I presume it was a bit of the latter, because you said armor would have helped you.

Thank you,

Ben

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50 minutes ago, Dr.Ben said:

@Marty Backe, thank you for your kind and thorough reply, the standard for you always. Tell me if indeed you can even remember (because you went down flash and were justifiably quite shaken), did your right shoulder take its hit with a superman full extension or blunt trauma across the front and on its point? I presume it was a bit of the latter, because you said armor would have helped you.

Thank you,

Ben

Definitely was not a Superman crash since my wheel twisted and threw me semi-sideways. My elbow hit and there was slight bruising in that area, but the major bruising was up and down my upper arm. No bruising on the shoulder itself. I was not wearing elbow protection.

Too bad there wasn't video to see how I hit. Maybe elbow protection is more important? At this point I'm hoping that if all the hard pointy bits on my body are padded I'll reduce my future risk of injury.

IMG_20181208_182553033_HDR

 

IMG_20181212_100913992_HDR

 

Shoulder Fracture

 

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Yeah........your upper arm and shoulder took a real wallop.

Based on that fracture and your description and pics, top shoulder padding might not have been a big help. That humeral head absorbed both a twisting force and one which tried to push it literally out the top and back of the joint. Elbow pads could have helped to absorb to initial impact transferring the upward forces to the humerus.  I know that shoulder is still bothering you, but you were blessed that the fracture didn't get into the articular part of the cartilage. The scar tissue is a bitch and a half, but at least you don't have instant arthritis.

Knees and shoulders....... they're fragile.

I'm still getting full top armor per your suggestion.

Thanks so much for sharing the post crash details.

Ben

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I dislocated my shoulder a month ago. :) Thankfully without any lasting damage.
I simply bent my right arm in an unnatural position. No padding would help
with that.
A compression shirt? Maybe...

What's the best shoulder protection? Ride slowly, avoid leaves and puddles. I can't think of anything else.

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The best shoulder protection outside of shoulder padding is to do your pushups; with full range of motion (the twisting motion of a “perfect push-up” device). Creating stability and strength in that ball and socket joint will create a stiff environment that will resist subluxation and dislocation. 
 

I have hyper-mobility in my shoulder joints that manifested itself during the growing years (middle school). I could be stretching my arms above my head and subluxate my shoulder(partial dislocation) and have to figure out how to pop it back in if it didn’t automatically pop back.
 

At my shoulders weakest I couldn’t even lay in bed with it at an odd angle without it popping out of place. The cure is surgery, but strength exercises/weightlifting has stiffened the joints enough to give me enough stability to not have to worry about it much anymore. You can look at my profile photo (im the shorter, sleeveless guy) and see how bulky my shoulders are from the training.

Edited by Darrell Wesh

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8 hours ago, Darrell Wesh said:

The best shoulder protection outside of shoulder padding is to do your pushups; with full range of motion (the twisting motion of a “perfect push-up” device). Creating stability and strength in that ball and socket joint will create a stiff environment that will resist subluxation and dislocation. 
 

I have hyper-mobility in my shoulder joints that manifested itself during the growing years (middle school). I could be stretching my arms above my head and subluxate my shoulder(partial dislocation) and have to figure out how to pop it back in if it didn’t automatically pop back.
 

At my shoulders weakest I couldn’t even lay in bed with it at an odd angle without it popping out of place. The cure is surgery, but strength exercises/weightlifting has stiffened the joints enough to give me enough stability to not have to worry about it much anymore. You can look at my profile photo (im the shorter, sleeveless guy) and see how bulky my shoulders are from the training.

Maybe because it's my favorite training exercise, but I think full extension wide grip pull-ups are fantastic for the shoulders :thumbup: 

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2 hours ago, Marty Backe said:

Maybe because it's my favorite training exercise, but I think full extension wide grip pull-ups are fantastic for the shoulders :thumbup: 

True, but there is a natural rotation the shoulder wants to go through that we can’t get without rotating handles. 


Perfect Pullup

It looks like a gimmick but it’s definitely not. The rotating handles of the perfect pull-up, or using an Olympic ring to do pull-ups on, achieves that natural motion, greatly increasing stability demands needed for the exercise as well as optimal shoulder health/mobility. 

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16 hours ago, Marty Backe said:

Maybe because it's my favorite training exercise, but I think full extension wide grip pull-ups are fantastic for the shoulders :thumbup: 

I find that alternating pints between each hand ensures a good fluid balance!   :cheers:

Edited by The Fat Unicyclist

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5 hours ago, The Fat Unicyclist said:

I find that alternating pints between each hand ensures a good fluid balance!   :cheers:

But a loss of most other forms of balance in the medium-longer term.

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