I went 4 years with a right elbow that couldn’t bend more than 90 degrees, learning to work around it. Trying to flex past the 90 degree mark, my elbow would feel like something was tearing. After a nothing fall while snowboarding, my hand flexed to my shoulder with my bodyweight behind it, and I thought my elbow exploded. Enough was enough, I got an xray and the tech basically said I had oysters and golfballs growing in the joint, mechanically preventing the arm from flexing.
A 3 view xray, 5 minute, and $800 summary came down to: “You need to get that fixed!”
Steadman Hawkins to the rescue. Outpatient scoping of my elbow left me walking out, with my arm still in a sling having better mobility than it had in years.
Since that time, I’ve taken much better care of myself, trying to head of the injury spread syndrome I see in so many of my friends.
Things that have helped to fix me or prevent injuries:
Dr Adam Paul Thom, http://chirowithresults.com/. His soft tissue work is unbelievable. He’s fixed a variety of neck and shoulder problems I just thought were untreatable(take some Midol and keep going). If you’re in the Denver area, I can’t recommend him enough.
Mobility work on bad areas. I highly recommend Steve Maxwell’s ‘Encyclopedia of Joint Mobility’ series. http://www.maxwellsc.com/
Kelly Starret’s mobility workout of the day. If you can get over Kelly coming off like a west coast kook, he has some truly great mobility content. http://www.mobilitywod.com/
Since I’ve taken mobility more seriously, and addressed injuries properly(ice, ice, baby) I’ve had fewer injuries and recovered quicker. Not letting the dings pile up is key.