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Old March 7, 2013, 07:55 AM   #1
Stacy80
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Pain after shooting for the first time

Hi, I am new to all of this. My husband took me out shooting on Tuesday for the first time. Yesterday my rib cage in my back started getting very sore and all I could figure out was that it had to be from shooting. Is this possible? Should I expect this if I do not go out regularly with him to practice? I was shooting a 9mm (probably shot almost 2 boxes of target rounds) and also shot my husband's .45 some (probably 20 target rounds). I also took one try with the shot gun but it kicked too much for me. I'm on the smaller side so it was just too big. I would like to continue shooting but hopefully this pain is only due to it being the first time and using muscles I don't use often. Thanks for any advice or tips you may have!

Stacy
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Old March 7, 2013, 08:00 AM   #2
Doyle
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It was likely cause by you tensing up as you were shooting. Learn to relax. Also, a little exercise for your back and neck would help. A toned muscle is less likely to kink up and cause problems than an untoned muscle.
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Old March 7, 2013, 08:17 AM   #3
wogpotter
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I think it may be a combination of 2 things common to new shooters.

Firstly I think you probably overdid going for the first time, using that much ammunition. Its not "normal" to stand with your arms extended for more than a few minutes at a time. Try putting the gun down, or at least resting it on the front of the bench & relaxing for a couple of minutes before each magazine.

Secondly I've sen a lot of ladies shoot for the first time & they tend to lean backwards, unlike men who seem to lean forwards. I don't know why this happens but it is very common & gender-related. Again this is an unnatural pose & puts a lot of strain on the muscles of the back, shoulders, belly & torso in general.

Icy Hot works wonders.
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Last edited by wogpotter; March 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM.
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Old March 7, 2013, 10:57 AM   #4
2ndsojourn
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Like said above, it may be some muscular strain from an improper stance.
Google Weaver stance and give that a try.
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Old March 7, 2013, 11:39 AM   #5
g.willikers
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Yes, the leaning backwards will do that, for sure.
Since your husband didn't show you the right stuff, how about taking some shooting lessons, preferably from a woman instructor?
Makes all the difference.
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Old March 7, 2013, 12:02 PM   #6
wogpotter
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I've see ladies contrive to lean back doing the weaver!
No easy task!

Seriously to the O.P. intentionally lean forwards, really make a big deal out of it. The only way I got Mrs WP to not lean back was to slip an 18" ruler into the back of her waistband sticking up her back, so she could feel it every time she started to do it!
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Old March 7, 2013, 12:03 PM   #7
kahrguy
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What were the handguns used and is the shotgun a 12ga?? The shotgun is what may have hurt you but a heavy handgun can be a pain for a new shooter with out haveing a solid shooting stance. If hands don't hurt then the pistols are not to blame .

If you can find some other ladys in your area to shoot with they could help with out getting a typical mans point of view!! Seriously many times we may not be the best teachers and tend to over gun ladys do to weight or caliber.

If there any USPSA groups near you there is probably a few ladys involved to help you get into handgun shooting as a sport and buy your own handgun maybe. A .22lr is the something ever shooter should have to. Cheap to shoot and easy to learn with.

Enjoy the sport of shooting
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Old March 7, 2013, 12:20 PM   #8
SPEMack618
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My sister complained of similar problems when she started getting into shooting her carry pistol regularly.

In addition to the advice about leaning foward in your shooting stance, I would advise also doing some stretches before shooting, as you would before any physical activity. And some stretching afterwards as part of a cool down.
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Old March 7, 2013, 12:30 PM   #9
Vanya
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Stacy, welcome to TFL.

If you haven't done so already, you (and your husband ) should check out The Cornered Cat. It's a site devoted to women shooters, and you'll find a ton of info on it -- advice about shooting stances, and answers to questions you haven't even thought of yet. It's run by our own pax, who moderates the Tactics and Training forum and is in the business of teaching women to shoot.
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Old March 7, 2013, 12:54 PM   #10
Gaerek
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Hi Stacy, my best recommendation is to get some professional instruction. Boyfriends/Husbands are terrible instructors...I know, my wife won't listen to me at all, even when the instructor suggests the same thing I suggested.

There are plenty of womens only courses available through the NRA or even local ranges. Just do a Google search, or ask at your local range. You should be able to get some instruction that way. In these classes, you'll learn proper stance and grip, and have a professional tell you how to shoot without hurting yourself. It's worth the modest fee.
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Old March 7, 2013, 02:23 PM   #11
22-rimfire
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My suspicion is that you were all tensed up while shooting. I know if I tense up I can cause some discomfort around my ribs. This is true for simply tensing up your torso for any number of reasons. A lung infection can also result in "sore ribs".

Last edited by 22-rimfire; March 7, 2013 at 03:07 PM.
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Old March 7, 2013, 05:47 PM   #12
redhologram
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Hi and welcome to TFL! I definitely agree with checking out http://www.corneredcat.com.
It's been one of my favorite go-to sites and books since I started shooting. My fiancé owns a firearms training school and he nows recommends it to his female students as well.
It sounds to me like you overdid it using muscles you don't typically use, as well as doing a lot of shooting for your first time out (and with some pretty big guns).
I suggest finding some professional training, as well as a weapon that is comfortable for you that fits you. You will know it when you hold it. I carry and shoot a 9mm comfortably. But there was a learning curve to find which gun fit me best. (I'm also the proud new owner of an AR15 but I haven't told anyone on here yet.. so shhh! lol)

Again, welcome.
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Old March 7, 2013, 07:31 PM   #13
Stacy80
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Thanks everyone! My husband kept reminding me over and over to lean forward so I'm guessing my backward leaning did it. Feeling much better today and Icy Hot was awesome. Guess I will be working on my stance more and also relaxing a little more. I'm a perfectionist so I tend to get tense in performance situations. Thanks again!
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Old March 7, 2013, 07:34 PM   #14
SPEMack618
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My sister calls the stretching she does beforehand "gun yoga" and says it helps both her stance and breathing, so therefore she shoots better.
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Old March 7, 2013, 09:07 PM   #15
22-rimfire
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The stretching is probably a good idea and taking a break to relax a bit and smell the roses is also a good idea. It doesn't have to be complicated. It's supposed to be fun.
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