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Arthritis? Do I have to quit shooting trap?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by bluedsteel, Dec 27, 2007.

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  1. bluedsteel

    bluedsteel Member

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    After a 30 year hiatus, I have recently resumed shooting trap, and so far, I enjoy it more than I ever did. However, since I started shooting again a little over a month ago, I have suffered a severe flare-up of arthritis. My arthritis is in my back (vertebra), in the lower section of my thoracic spine (just below my shoulder blades). My. Dr. gave me a 7 day course of prednisone, which has helped immensely, but as most of you probably know, I can't stay on this medication.

    I am pretty sure the flare-up is due to the trap shooting. Is there anything I can do besides quit shooting trap? Is there a different mount or hold I can employ, or a brace I can use? Would a different gun make a difference? I shoot an 1100, and sometimes an over/under sporter. I had planned to buy a dedicated trap gun, but now I don't know.

    Any advice/experiences would be most appreciated. Please note my problem is not muscular, or muscle-spasm related, but osteoarthritis. Thanks.

    bluedsteel
     
  2. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Blue.......I think I know where you're coming from. I have a touch of arthritis in my right shoulder to[I'm right handed].I don't know if this might work for you but I take about 3 bufferin [325 Grams ea] about 30-45 min before shooting. It gets me by for about two hours. Don't take anything else at the same time, and ask your Doc first. I don't know of a specific brace that would help, but there might be one, or you might be able to get something made? The only other thought is to be sure you have everything possible on the gun to reduce recoil as much as possible.And shoot light loads. One thing you DON'T want to do is make it worse, even if you have to stop shooting! It ain't worth it! I know this isn't much help, but I hope you can continue to shoot without a lot of pain. Take care.
     
  3. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    If you can exercise to build up your shoulder and back muscles it will do a lot to stabilize your joints and reduce the effects of recoil.
     
  4. jakearoo

    jakearoo Active Member

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  5. bluedsteel

    bluedsteel Member

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    Thanks guys, so far. I have thought about using buffered aspirin before I shoot. That may be an option.

    Ironically, I took up yoga full-bore about four months ago. It helps immensely with stretching and balancing (great class scenery too!), but I was disappointed it did not prevent the flare-up.

    Was the Beretta 391 recommended because of it's lighter weight?

    I don't believe my problem is related to recoil. My 1100 recoils mildly, and I wear a padded shooting vest.

    I believe the problem is the stress on my back from my lean-forward position when the gun is mounted. This position allows me to shoot well, but it must place undue strain on my spine, I guess.

    I just don't know. FWIW, I am 50 years old. Shooting has been a lifelong passion, and this is a real bummer.

    bluedsteel
     
  6. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    bluedsteel, I happen to know first hand what your going through!! I have it in my neck and back! I'm down to 1 ounce and 7/8ths oz. loads in order to continue shooting trap. I have good days once in a while but the pain never leaves completely. I moved to AZ because of the hot dry weather,that helps a lot and I can have a few more decent shooting days without the excruciating pain from head snap. My email addy is above, I can tell you everything that helps me some with recoil if you'd like? Hap
     
  7. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    My fix for the same dilemmas is 7/8 oz loads at about 1220fps for close shots and 1210fps, 1 oz loads for long handicap - someone took offense cuz I use the term "Long" as if it can only describe 27 yards but I'm currently 25 yards?? Then I ensure a good quality kickEez recoil pad, and the big secret is 1 Aleve (Naproxen Sodium) taken as I head for the range or perhaps 1 hour before shooting. I rarely have to take a second one. You may think it's not exacerbated by the recoil of your soft shooting 1100 but I'll wager you'll notice the difference if you try light loads.....breakemall....Bob Dodd
     
  8. BuckGuru

    BuckGuru Member

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    bluedsteel

    I share your pain. I have osteoarthritis is every part of my body, and lots of days, the pain from shooting outweighs the fun I get from it. I have cut way back on the number of targets I shoot because of the arthritis.

    If you feel your forward position is aggravating your arthritis, you could try a more upright stance, keeping your spine in a more vertical position. I have seen a number of shooters do quite well with that kind of a stance. It might take you a while to get used to it, but then again, it might just solve your problem.

    Good luck.
     
  9. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    bluedsteel- First, get in touch with Hap. He is an excellent shooter and has had some major battles with arthritis. Secondly, look at 1 oz loads and look many times at a Precision Fit Stock. I know of two local shooters who had to quit shooting until they discovered Precision Fit Stocks.

    Pat Ireland
     
  10. chatbrat

    chatbrat TS Member

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    I have extremely bad spinal degeneration, as far as any gun goes I can only tell you what I did---got a Beretta 391 and had it fitted by Dennis Devault/ no recoil, I use 7/8 & one once loads----I walk & carry 3/5 lbs hand weights---also have an indoor endless pool and wear a floation band when I water jog---see a pain dr. every 6 months/yr get a series of shots in the spine---may need surgery in the future---waiting for the next miracle cure---had to give up anything that gives a verticle shock to the spine (boating/tennis)---good luck ---Phil
     
  11. Roger IL

    Roger IL TS Member

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    I have it in both knees, back, and shoulders. Sometimes it can help your concentration..............It doesn't hurt any less sitting in a chair....Roger
     
  12. claybrdr

    claybrdr Well-Known Member

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    I'm 68 and got a steroid shot last Friday in C4 for arthritis in the joint. I only shoot 7/8 oz any more for sporting clays and generally shoot a 390 with weight added. I take 400 mg of Celebrex a day during flareups.
     
  13. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Blue.....One other thought you might consider. Browning used to make a Recoiless shotgun....don't know if they still do. It might work for you? As best I remember, it was fairly cheap, but it WORKED! Don't know how easy it would be to find one....maybe one of the guys on this site has one? Regards!
     
  14. Pavo

    Pavo TS Member

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    The advice you have received on these threads is sound and to the point.I,m 18 years your senior and have the same problems in spades.All we old guys probably share the rath of father time.What has helped me the most is to spend some time in the gym with a trainer.I,m shooting "A"class and my beloved trap gun is a Beretta 687eell which weighs about nine and a half lbs.We old guys simply have to keep the old body in motion.The truth is we grey hair wonders all have to shoot with a little pain.Rest assured you,re not alone.Do not get discouraged and do not give up trap shooting.At the end of a long shoot I,m tird as hell and my back feels like I,ve been ran over by a Mack truck.To have spent a day shooting with my son and friends is priceless and well worth the pain.Rember Blue,in most of our eyes you,re still a kid.

    Regards Pavo
     
  15. Post  2

    Post 2 TS Member

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    Bluedsteel, I can also tell you what works for me as far as elimenating back pain. ATA regulations may not agree with my solution but PITA has nothing against it. Buy a toe rest for your gun and use it between shots. You can use the one that attaches to you shoe or the pad with a magnet on it or have the extention soldierd on you barrel. The object is to lesson the strain on your back when ever possible. It works for me and in no way enterfears with my shooting or anyone else.
    Post-2
     
  16. Bvr Tail

    Bvr Tail Well-Known Member

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    Orthopaedic surgeon just started me back on FELDENE.

    I took this for 17 years for my arthritis, and then had surgery. More complications now, so back on the meds.

    Check with your Dr. This can cause stomach ulcers, but has never bothered me.

    Danny
     
  17. Trap2

    Trap2 Well-Known Member

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    Bluedsteel.... Pavo, above, has it pretty well figured out. I do 50-100 gun lifts every night just before, and during the season to keep my muscle memory strength up for those long shoots. I also have some shoulder problems with my left shoulder, and being left handed, it can get quite painfull at times. I take one aspirin before each event to lessen the effects. I also shoot with a toe pad so I can rest my gun between shots. I carry a weight lifters back support in my truck for when the back really starts to ache. Getting old is inevitable, but there are several ways to keep your body in tune to help prevent the aches and pains we sometimes have to live with while trapshooting....Just my experience....Dan Thome (Trap2)
     
  18. TommyTEREX

    TommyTEREX Member

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    Bluesteel, I also have arthritus in my back, plus I have 6 vertibre fused, with rods, screws, and what ever ace hardware had on sale that day. My doctor set me up with a brace that has a hard back, soft front, elastic side bands, and sinch straps. Ihad to learn to twist at the hips when I swing, but it helps immensely. I also take an advil about an hour before I shoot, plus I put on some aspercream. This seems like alot of screwing around, but I`m still in the game, although I can only shoot 50 at a crack, it`s better than none.

    Talk to your doctor about a brace. If he prescribes it your insurance may cover the cost.

    Tom R.

    ps. I`ve got myself back up to 94%, not great, but I`m happy
     
  19. bluedsteel

    bluedsteel Member

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    Thanks again everyone for the advice and counsel. I will definitely try some type of anti-inflammatory before I shoot my next round...maybe buffered aspirin or one of the NSAID's.

    I work hard to keep in shape. Believe it or not, I am a certified group fitness instructor (Group Power and Body Pump), and until recently, I taught nubile 20-something females a twice weekly class (maybe that is why I hurt now...failed to know my limitations). My arthritis must be some genetic curse.

    The brace idea is appealing as well. I will talk to my Dr.

    I may give it another go tomorrow. There is a 50-50-50 event in my state, and if the weather is decent, I may go. The idea of a light gun is appealing, but
    I am afraid my shooting will go to crap, as I seem to need a heavy gun to shoot worth a darn.

    I will also try a more vertical stance....

    Remaining hopeful.

    ...and thanks again.

    bluedsteel
     
  20. mirage1

    mirage1 Member

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    I have been battling the same problem all year-had MRI and PT but it still
    bothers me a lot-I have three slightly bulded discs but they say that is
    not what is causing the muscle spasms- some arthritis and the aging process.
    However, yesterday I saw a pain specialist and he offered a lot of hope-
    possibly killing the nerve?? I still have to research/dicuss with my
    PC doctor, but i would recommend seeing a pain specialist.
    Good Luck,
    Joe
     
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