If you are injured and have pain, and exercise ‘blind’ you are setting yourself up for a whole world of more pain….
I was chatting to an injured chappie this morning at swimming.
He’s keen to get fit and get back to ‘doing something’ so has taken up swimming again. Problem is he can’t swim more than 6 length as his shoulder hurts.
He said it feels on top of the shoulder and when he’s doing his stroke it gets sore. By 6 lengths it’s then deep in the joint and front and he has to stop.
He then also said he has had a shoulder repair on the other one a few years ago as his tendon was damaged and he had shoulder pain. The tendon was repaired and all was good.
His assumption was – I’ll just do the same exercises I was given for the first shoulder as it came good, and then I’ll be fine. Problem is, this new sore shoulder is not responding. It’s not getting better by doing the old stretchy band exercises and it’s getting worse with swimming.
So what to do.
This is such a common thing we hear. His opinion is he’ll wait and see the GP and then get a scan on his shoulder to assess what is going on. In the meantime he’ll just keep going and see what happens. If it gets worse and ‘goes’ then it was the same issue……
He knows he should really go and get assessed and looked at, but he’s had a problem on the other side so surely this is the same thing.
I can’t stress enough how stupid this sounds. Why would you just wait for what you think will be the inevitable ( gross injury and surgery) when you can get an accurate diagnosis and management plan with a qualified good physio and know what’s actually going on within an hour?
It’s like saying I know I’ve got a rattle in my car , but I had a problem last year with a wheel which was rattling, so it must be the same thing….
Would you self diagnose your car. No way. You know you need it to ferry kids around, get from A to B, and you most likely will go and get a few quotes and get it seen to straight away. We know leaving the car will cost money and great inconvenience.
We most certainly WON”T go and thrash it until it’s REALLY rattling (swim 6 lengths) and then park it up again til we decide to have another go at it. The analogy here would be- I changed tyre and pumped it up so that should be it….( but no I didn’t check the wheel balance or alignment).
The simple solution here is go to a professional who knows their stuff.
Get an accurate assessment which includes your history, what’s going on and what the problem is.
What we do…
We look at your posture to check it’s not mechanical ( alignment/ balance)
We look at your joints to check its not a joint issue
We look at your ligaments and check they’re all functioning properly
We check tendons, muscles, their length and strength so we can ascertain is it a weakness issue, a muscle tear issue, an tendon issue, a bursa issue, or are they all working well there is just a muscle imbalance issue.
Only then can you say – this is your problem ( diagnosis) and this is what we need to do to fix it (plan and management)
It may be your trunk is not rotating fully when you swim so the arm has to work harder and gets sore.
It may be the arm is impinging due to poor posture ( very common these days)
It may be you have a bursitis or tendon issue that is getting ‘trapped’ and squashes when you swim and you irritate it after 6 lengths.
It may be you just need to re train some muscles to work better.
The shoulder is such a complex joint as it has great mobility for which it sacrifices stability – in doing so there are so many moving parts that it is generally never just one thing – unless you have had a specific trauma when you damage a certain area. Mainly its a combination of a couple of things gonig awry that lead to pain over time….
Either way – you need to know what’s going on in order to manage it and exercising ‘blind’ can do more damage.
If we think there is an issue where we can’t help – we will send you on for further testing, but let’s face it – if its any of the above problems, they will all get managed conservatively anyway.
The only things that go for steroid injection and or surgery now are things that really need it ( partial/complete ruptures and tears) or things that don’t respond to conservative management.
Do yourself a favour.
Get your injury or pain looked at NOW. Don’t leave it til you NEED to do something about it because it has impacted your life so much you can’t do anything at all.
Oh and pointing at an area on your shoulder and expecting a diagnosis and management plan there and then is like leaving your car outside the mechanics and asking for a quote from their front desk…….
Want an appointment – call us on 08 9306 8819 – or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve got you covered.