“Everybody has a bad shoulder”, “It’s a near epidemic, growing among teen-agers.” So the experts said after my writing shoulder started hurting suddenly.
A year later, my shoulder has healed itself and I spent no money on drugs. It took me ages to figure these things out. Maybe my advice will help you get better faster than I did, or maybe nature’s own timetable is slow but sure:
1. Get a Diagnosis from Your Doctor
The doctor said it was arthritis, calcification and impingement from wear and tear over 80 years and might never get better. I felt differently.
2. Get Someone Else to Help You with Chores and Recreation
I shoved off chores like making beds, doing laundry, chopping, carving, pushing shopping carts, lifting, stretching and carrying parcels onto to my husband.
3. Change Your Lifestyle
I started wearing button-front tops and bras that didn’t hurt. First I limited my time on the computer but that was impossible so I just quit. I read, walked and swam ‘dog paddle’ breast stroke, instead of crawl. I corrected my posture and used an ipad support.
4. Go to a Physiotherapy Clinic
The home exercises the physiotherapist gave me became painful so I stopped doing them. ‘Oiling’ my shoulder on the clinic’s pulley rings kept it from freezing up. His sonar massages felt soothing and supposedly reduced the hard, painful bump. On the other hand, a strenuous massage at the acupunturist’s left me with a deep purple bruise.
5. Wear a Thoracic Sling and Change Your Body Positions
I slept on my back without a pillow as that was the only comfortable position, even if boring. I wore a thoracic sling when walking because the weight of my dangling arm was too much to bear. I kept my arm in a Napoleonic position supported by a cushion when I sat. But the pain just got worse after wearing the sling. Sometimes I wore it in company (not in pyjamas) to protect my shoulder and explain why I was not participating in activities as normally expected.
6.Get Eventual Medical Help
Dr. Gaspard is in charge of all orthopedic emergency surgery, as well as all clinic patients, at the Orthopedic Clinic of the Hull Hospital. Non urgent sufferers like me had to wait six months to see him! He saw just a little cloud of arthritis and bump of calcification on my xrays and told me I was free now, just to be careful and come in for a cortisone shot if the arthritic pain flared up. He said my doctor’s two other diagnoses, “thickening of the capsule” and “tendinopathy sus epineux” were mainly words for the inflammation caused by the other two conditions. As for “impingement”, he said it was quite common for people to have a little. He smiled, I beamed, and he promised not to tell my husband I was well enough to do the housework again.
It’s amazing what a good rest and a good spouse will do!