SHOULDER PAIN TREATMENT
by Nick Bryant
Having injured my rotator cuff about six months back I have spent a great deal of my time researching shoulder injuries and shoulder exercises on the internet and have discovered that exercise alone can cure a huge proportion of shoulder injuries.
At the end of last year I tore my left rotator cuff. It was a nasty tear and I ended up with an impinged tendon. Basically this tendon got inflamed after I lifted something that was too heavy and pulled one of the muscles in my rotator cuff. Because it was inflamed it was getting pinched or impinged by my collar bone. The pain was excruciating. Every time I moved my shoulder in certain directions my tendon was getting worn against the bone.
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I tried a three month course of Ibuprofen, a steroid injection into the muscle and cold compresses to reduce the swelling. All of them gave some relief and reduced the symptoms but nothing sorted it out for me. In the end I was offered surgery to shave away a small piece of my collar bone to free up the tendon so that it could heal. Being based in England, with the NHS waiting lists, the operation date was three months away and having already suffered three months of pain and discomfort I was reluctant to wait that long.
So I started my research on shoulder injuries and shoulder exercise and came across the website of an American Physiotherapist who specializes in shoulder exercises and sorting out injured shoulders.
I was skeptical because my arm was painful enough to stop me doing most things and the thought of doing shoulder exercises seemed absurd but I signed up to his program and started with small exercises on a daily basis. It is important not to experience pain when exercising as any pain shows that you are damaging the muscles further so the program started slowly and built up over about six weeks until I found myself with a pain free shoulder that had its full range of movement restored.
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Ten weeks on and I have just played my first round of golf. The shoulder exercises have not only sorted out my shoulder injury but they also seem to have improved my swing, or is that just wishful thinking?
How did it work? I think that as we get older our posture changes, we don't stand as straight as we used to, we move differently to when we were younger. I think the shoulder exercises have woken up some lazy muscles and changed my posture, only slightly, but enough to free up the problem muscles. Would I recommend exercise as a therapy for a damaged shoulder?
Definitely! Not every shoulder injury will respond to exercise. Common sense would say that it must depend on what you have managed to do to yourself but ten weeks after I was told that surgery was the answer I am pain free and feel great. The surgery is postponed indefinitely at the moment.
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