First I turned 40, then I had my first knee surgery to replace a torn ACL after landing wrong my right foot and hyper-extending the knee during an indoor soccer game. Three years later, almost to the day, I had my second knee surgery, after another soccer incident, tearing my meniscus in my left knee. Last year at age 44 it was my left shoulder. Why the cause of the shredded bicep tendon is still unknown to to point, I can only assume it was from lifting weights. That soreness I experienced in my shoulder that was mistaken as “tightness” was probably tendonitis and stretching the shoulder out and continuing to lift only aggravated the injury. I feel as if I have been in shoulder hell the last year or so.
On Tuesday I returned to physical therapy to receive treatment for my left shoulder. The pain I had prior to surgery has return with no decrease of intensity (7-8 on pain scale of 10) on a daily basis. I know I did too much, too soon last year after the initial surgery in October and caused added pain at times, but I don’t believe that accounts for the pain I am experiencing now.
The physician assistant I met a few weeks back opened with, “So what do you want me to do?” That statement allowed cause frustration and concern that I was just going through the motions. She offered up Cortisone, which I refuse to have injected into my shoulder a second time. While it can relieve the inflammation, I don’t believe it had any positive results on relieving the pain I have been in. She countered with ultrasound and while not as involved as an MRI, it did give her a look inside my shoulder to see if there was anything going on. It did reveal some tendonitis, in the shoulder joint, as well as inflammation of the shoulder capsule.
She provided a single exercise and nothing more for my $15 office visit and “call our office again, if the pain persists.” Wow! It wasn’t but 2 days later I was frustrated and called and requested a referral for physical therapy. The othropedic’s office still believes there is nothing going on in my shoulder. They believe the original problem was the only problem, a shredded bicep tendon, which has been reattched and is now problem free. The ongoing pain they cannot account for.
Talking to the therapist, a gal I had for my first knee surgery sees the shoulder pain in a completely different light than the orthopedic’s office. After the initial session, she was not going to rule out a tear in the labrum, which could result in surgery. In the meantime, she is giving me 3 weeks (6 therapy session) to see if the pain and inflammation can be reduced. Motion of the left arm is very limited, not being able to scratch my back bring it across my chest.
While I had been lifting weights training for Tough Mudder, moving a barbell has been put on hold. No weight training until further notice. I can however do some modified rows, in order to strengthen back muscles to relieve some of the pain in the shoulder. I am still able to run, so there were no restrictions on staying active. Even if I am not lifting weights, working around the house is still a challenge. Lifting, pushing, pulling and moving things in my daily life cause varying levels of pain. One thing is for certain, I won’t miss Tough Mudder. It might mean I won’t be able to compete in all the obstacles, but I will be participating and supporting my team.