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Great Weekend, but I Can’t Lift my Arm Over my Head!


After a weekend of gardening, playing with the kids, a run and a bit of dancing I’m left with a niggling pain in my shoulder. I’m not sure exactly what the cause of it was but here’s a few of the things I have tried to ease it…

I try to REST it for a day, avoid any overhead lifting or strenuous activities but there’s no improvement.

That evening I use a COLD PACK. I figure it’s a recent enough injury that the cold might help to reduce some of the pain. If it was more than a few days old or an old injury then my training would tell me to use a WARM PACK, to promote blood flow and healing in the area. The cold pack seems to help a bit, until I start moving about, and the pain starts to return.

Next morning, when I reach to the top shelf of the wardrobe the same dart of pain is there. Over the day I try some gentle STRETCHING and MOVING to try and loosen things up a bit. By the end of the day, there is some improvement, but reaching up still gives a dart of pain.

I try to MASSAGE the area, but it’s not helping so I decide it’s time to look at it a bit more clinically.

The shoulder is arguably the most complex joint in the body. The open ball and socket design means a huge range of movement, but means it’s complicated. Luckily, there’s a series of tests that can be done to help diagnose the exact problem. From there a suitable treatment plan can start eliminating the pain immediately.

For me, testing shows Tendonitis of the Bicep Tendons. It’s a pair of tendons, deep in the shoulder, that are inflamed due to the injury. Luckily, with another (Yergason’s) test, there is no popping in the shoulder which means I haven’t torn the ligaments enclosing these tendons. Rest, hot & cold treatment and gentle movement will aid recovery, but I know ACUPUNCTURE and moxibustion (traditional heat treatment) will speed the recovery up.

After one treatment, my shoulder feels significantly better. I can lift my hand over my head without pain. I’m lucky enough that it’s only a mild injury. Another couple of treatments over the next few weeks should further help the healing process; I should be back to 100% in no time.

Shoulder injuries account for about 20% of sporting injuries. Clinically, we see just as many shoulder patients due to other not sporting complaints, such as frozen shoulder. Luckily, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can treat the majority of shoulder complaints effectively. This can help patients reduce or eliminate the need to take anti-inflammatories and pain killers.

If you find yourself picking up an injury, or are suffering ongoing pain as a result of an old injury or medical condition, there may be a way to ease your symptoms or often fix the problem completely. I’m always happy to help, so feel free to pick up the phone (0864059898) or send me an email (rory@roryryanacupuncture.com).

After all, it’s all about getting the balance right.

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