Eliminating shoulder pain


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Regular physical activity is good for your overall health, but depending on the activity you choose… your body may start to feel some wear and tear over time.

Mike Dowling has lived a very active lifestyle for most of his life. One of the activities he says he excelled in, is powerlifting.

“I spent 20, 25 years in the powerlifting sport. And I noticed as time went by that my shoulders were just getting to… causing me problems,” Dowling said.

The pain became so bad that Dowling was unable to even cross his arms. After speaking with doctors, he decided to have a bilateral total shoulder replacement.

“Shoulder replacement patients are typically my happiest patients. They’ve been dealing with pain for a long time, their function is usually significantly better than what they had before,” Dr. Jason Hurd said.

In addition to eliminating pain, Sanford Health orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jason Hurd says the procedure also comes with a quick recovery time.

But after the recovery period, Hurd says resuming certain activities including powerlifting isn’t recommended.

“We know if we, let them, lift heavyweights like in the gym or… we also don’t let them use vibratory equipment above shoulder height because it will loosen the socket side and that can lead to problems down the road,” Hurd said.

While Dowling had to retire from powerlifting, his time in the gym hasn’t been cut short.

“I’m not going to be bench pressing 400 pounds anymore. You know, those days really are kind of done, but that’s okay. I just still can get in the gym. I can still do the things I want to do and I can still make the gains and… and feel good and feel healthy and feel strong and, and keep the muscle tone and those types of things,” Dowling said.

Staying active is important to Dowling, which is why he’s sharing his story– to let others know you can still be healthy and active after a total shoulder replacement.
In fact, he calls the procedure a life changing decision.

“There’s just the simple things. The simple things have been amazing to me, you know, I haven’t been able to cross my arms in 15 years and I, when I stand there now and cross my arms, I go, wow, look at me,” Dowling said.

To learn more about total shoulder replacements at Sanford Health, click here.

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