Shoulder injury....running with a sling?

Hi all!

I was really hoping someone could offer me some advice regarding running with a shoulder injury.

i was knocked off my bike a week ago and have injured my right shoulder when it hit the ground. Xrays have revealed no fractures but i am waiting on an MRI to check the soft tissues. I am currently unable to move the shoulder much and am having to take quite a few painkillers to manage the pain. I am however due to run the london marathon in 5 weeks and having had to pull out last year due to post viral fatigue I am desperate to get to the startline this year!

Training had been going well so I want to keep going and although I am able to use a bike to keep my legs fit I really want to get in the odd running session. I was therefore wondering if anyone has any experience of using a sling or another form of shoulder immobilser to run with??

I knwo it sounds crazy and I should just give up and focus on recovering but I am sure many of you can understand what it is like to be determined to do a race come hell or high water!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

R2R x


  • Could you not try a ski machine in the gym - its a lot like running but without the impact ? Safer than running - and you'll be off balance with the sling ?

    Hope it gets fixed for you soon.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    I've recently broken a collarbone and while my arm was in a sling (about 5 weeks) there was no way I could run!  Pain too immense.


    In your case you could try it with plenty of pks.  It will affect your gait and be much more fatiguing.  Bear in mind in London you'll be jostled, etc.


    Good luck.

  • It is do able!  You have to be careful.  If you cant use your arms really focus on core work, you should be tapering now.  THe stronger the core the less pressure on your shoulders and arms

    Good luck



  • I got round a half marathon a week after shoulder surgery and against medical advice just by letting my arm hang at my side and not swinging it about. Started at the rear of the field to avoid jostling and walked the first mile to make sure I didn't get carried away with competitiveness and try running it properly. Started jogging slowly and eventually made it round in 2:45 compared wuith my usual HM time of 1:50-2:00... I tried shuffling with a sling on but found it more annoying and more gait-disrupting than without it on...

  • Old post but I've just had the EXACT same thing happen to my shoulder and was googling a solution! R2R how did you get on in the end, did you carry on training and do the race? Did you run with a sling or without and how long before it felt normal again?
  • My brother broke his shoulder when he got knocked off his push bike last week, he's ok, but not a good idea to move - until it's healed.
  • ting - a little over two years ago I broke my collar bone and ruptured my shoulder ligaments and was in a sling 24/7 for twelve weeks. At first it would have been far too painful to do anything but after a few weeks I was able to use the turbo albeit in an upright position and with the sling strapped round my waist to hold the shoulder as still as possible. It went some way towards maintaining sanity and regaining fitness. Walking is under rated, before I was able to run again I was walking up to 16 miles - but then I had plenty of time as I was unable to work.
    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • ting - I snapped the neck of my humerus, smashed the head of the humerus, dislocated it, ruptured the ligaments and gashed my forearm from elbow to wrist. I had the shoulder  surgically rebuilt and it is plated and pinned. I spent 5 months in a sling. I didn't run at all for 3 months but walked everywhere instead and then got on my  exercise bike. I started back running as soon as the surgeon said I could and began with short distances with the sling on and gradually started to run with it out of the sling and my arm by my side. As part of running again normally and regaining strength my physio got me to run with a light weight in my hand. Running in a sling does effect your balance and losing that arm swing makes going uphill more difficult so take it easy, but before you do anything get medical advice about whether you can run.
  • Reg WandReg Wand ✭✭✭
    Last year I was also knocked off my bike, by a car. I had no break, just some soft tissue and the nobbly bone bit on the top of the shoulder now sticks out more having been pushed up by the impact. I feel it was very close to being a broken collarbone but I got away with it.

    I carried on running, it caused some additional pain but not much. I ran with the sling up to a 10 miler. I tried it out with a short run and it didn't seem to cause any issues so I carried on running. I got some funny looks though.

    I used pain as my guide.

  • PaulMarshPaulMarsh ✭✭✭
    edited February 28
    I broke my shoulder when I was 18, think I still have an X-ray of it somewhere. I fell off my bike, but that was me being stupid - doing jumps off a steep hill when the wheel broke and went over.
    It didn't hurt, just felt weird.
    Found these old photos a while back

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