Tuesday, April 3, 2012

End of my rest week and a shoulder update

Yesterday was the end of a deliberate rest week after I was done with teaching skiing for the winter. Because the roads were icy in the morning, I opted to work at home rather than going to my office.

Yesterday's workout was pretty simple. I ran for about 25 minutes, with 10 x 30 seconds of harder effort thrown in. My Garmin showed that I ran those 10 segments at about 7 mpm or so. It was windy, but other than that, it was a fairly pleasant run.

Today, I had an appointment with a sports orthopedist to look at the shoulder I hurt 6+ weeks ago. I've been having trouble sleeping almost every night since I hurt the shoulder. A year ago, I'd hurt the same shoulder, and both times, I hurt myself in a skiing fall. Last year, it was a side impact and this time, a front impact.

A year ago, I mainly hurt a tendon that connects the infraspinatus muscle to bone. With physical therapy, and a number of Active Release Technique and Graston Technique treatments, the shoulder was just about back to 100% over the last few months. I'd been improving in the Olympic lifts again and felt stable on those lifts.

This time, the x-ray came out clean again. The ultrasound showed that there is either unresolved healing in the infraspinatus tendon or a new injury there. There appears to be a more significant injury to a supraspinatus tendon. And, the inflammation in the joint was pretty significant.

The doctor was most concerned about the fact that I have a definite loss of strength while moving in many directions.

For today, he decided to start somewhat conservatively. He gave me a cortisone shot to help with the inflammation (I know that some people won't consider that to be very conservative, but he didn't send me for an MRI, or send me to a surgeon). I got some exercises to do on my own. No Olympic lifting. No military presses. No bench presses. Push-ups only if they don't hurt, which probably means knee push-ups or none at all.

In four weeks, I'll go back. If my strength isn't significantly better, they'll do an MRI. And, if one or more tendons has a significant tear, I'll have to decide between aggressive physical therapy, platelet rich plasma treatments, or, in the worst case, surgery. The recovery from rotator cuff surgery is very unpleasant (locked into position for weeks, sleeping in a chair, etc.), so I will do everything I can to avoid that.

So, after work today, I'll find some exercise to do that won't hurt my shoulder. I'm leaning towards some rowing and maybe some bodyweight movements - air squats, sit-ups, etc.


Laurel said...

If you can avoid shoulder surgery, do whatever it takes. My shoulder is much much better now than before surgery, but still weak. It's been 5 months since surgery and it is still healing and getting better all the time, but what a long process! Good luck with your recovery. I'll have to challenge you to an arm wrestle with our gimpy arms next time we meet.

Harriet said...

My rotator cuff pain was waking me up at night for a few months. I used to dread going to sleep.

But time and physical therapy did the trick; pull ups and swimming (even a bit of butterfly stroke) is ok.

Jeff Farbaniec said...

Good luck with the recov Damon. Fingers crossed for no surgery.