Sports Medicine/Bicep Pain
18 months ago I ruptured my long head bicep. Before the tear I bowled about 20-30 games a week. Iím still a 225 to 230 house pattern bowler (havenít bowled on a house pattern in three years) and about 205 to 210 sports league bowler. Iíve bowled for several years in the PBA regionalís in my early 20s, so my knowledge in the game is above average. Iím still a student in the game, always analyzing the technologies and concepts around drillings and oil conditions.
I was cleared 6 months after the surgery to start bowling 1-2 games a day again or until my arm told me to stop. I did this for nearly 3 more months at 40% to 60% effort. At about 11 months I was able to bowling 100% without fear. I only throw a 14 pound ball do to the surgery. For the next 5 months, I bowled pain free and was tearing up league and tournaments. Then the same pain that I felt before the tear was coming back slowly. I could bowl 8 to 10 before I felt any soreness, and within about a four week period I couldnít more than two games without feeling the same exact pain that I felt when I tore the bicep. The pain is like someone stabbing my bicep. I went to get my arm looked at because naturally I was starting to become concerned. They did an MRI and everything was just fine.
Iím in the active duty military, so I crossfit a lot and stay fit. Now, this pain that Iím talk about never occurs during any of my fitness workouts (pull-up, push-up, weight training, you name it, my bicep never effect any of my military training), but as soon as I put a bowling ball in my hand and bowl a few game Iím in pain like Iím about to tear my bicep again.
Any thoughts? The doctors are clueless, and Iím not ready to walk away from the sport. Why just bowling?
Hi Vingator- good question - why just bowling? Seems that there is something about the motion & torque of bowling that is stressing your bicep area. Good news is that follow up MRI is negative for new injury but it's evident that you will have to "reevaluate" your return to bowling with the supervision of physical therapist or your sports physician. Evidently, your return was too aggressive even though it seems you did everything right. You mention you do crossfit a lot, which in my experience is lots of overkill in many areas so you might want to look at what specifically you're doing re wgt lifting, curls, chins, power cleans etc-
Also, as student of the bowling game, you should re-evaluate your total bowling arm swing, & mechanics to see if there is something in your technique that's involved. Chiropractic sports care might make sense also for total upper extremity eval. Also massage, & acupuncture can be helpful for recovery.
Important to not bowl until "it hurts". Even if it means one game few times/wk, make return more gradual & back off intensity of crossfit. Hope this helps.. Dr. Bob Weil