We’ve all had our fair share of injuries. Read on for Jake’s story.
While playing professional hockey for the Manitoba Moose I received a hit that caused a popping sensation followed by severe pain in my right shoulder. After an MRI, my injury was diagnosed as a grade 3 SLAP tear (this is a full tear from the anterior to posterior labrum inside the shoulder joint). This injury requires arthroscopic surgery to repair the labrum. Post operation I was in a sling for a month followed by five months of constant rehabilitation with medical practitioners. Hockey is a sport that can create many muscular imbalances, a major one being the shoulders. Shooting and stick-handling causes players to be constantly internally rotated through the shoulders. So years of playing the sport without proper maintenance can cause imbalances leaving you prone to injury.
One major downside of this surgery is the time it takes to recover. The sling was provided for a full month to hold my shoulder tightly in place to recreate stability in the joints and muscles. The next step was to start working on mobility and strength. This step required consistent and careful movements. My treatment plan was with a physiotherapist and massage therapist for several months. A lot of my physio was strengthening the posterior muscles of my shoulder. This was extremely important for me because with the sport I was focusing on I was constantly working on my anterior shoulder muscles. Massage and stretching were also used to help regain my mobility from the surgery. This took a long time to get back. Without proper treatment and behind dedicated to my own self-care the chances of getting full mobility back was extremely low and I was told the longer I waited to rehabilitate the more difficult it was going to be.
In the later stages of my rehab I started getting IMS treatment done by my physiotherapist. I found this incredibly helpful in increasing the mobility in my shoulder. Thankfully In the end, my shoulder came back stronger and more mobile than before the injury. Experiencing this process first hand allowed me to see the value in proper and consistent treatment and self care. I now use a log of what I have learned throughout my injury to prevent myself from future injuries.