1/11/2008

01-11-08 - 1

Some things I now know better about my shoulder injury :

In the very early phases I should've tried to move it around more even though it was hella painful. Even using tons of painkiller and ice to be able to just have someone else passively move it around through full range of motion would have helped a lot.

In the recovery phase I think I tried to get back too quickly. I should have spent more time doing just physical therapy to build the stabilizers and stay away from other exercise, like 3-6 months of nothing but really serious therapy exercises.

Most of all, I should have taken HGH and steroids. Low doses in an adult have very little negative effect, and they massively improve your injury recovery. Every injured professional athlete uses them. Your injured tissues heal up faster and more fully, and it's far easier to restore the stabilizer muscle you lost. If I ever get something like an ACL tear, I'll definitely use HGH+juice to recover.

Doctors were pretty much useless. I saw orthopedic surgeons who were shoulder specialists, and physical therapists at some of the top sports recovery clinics, and none of them told me anything I couldn't pretty much find on the internet on my own.

Addendum : I just rewrote this as advice to Brian. Here's the new version :

Go see doctor right away; he won't do anything at all but it will make you stop worrying about whether you should've seen a doctor sooner.

In the first month, keep the shoulder mobile but don't put any stress on it. Move it around while lying on the floor, if possible get in a swimming pool and move it around (but don't actually swim). Move it using your other arm (passive range of motion). The goal here is avoid the shortening of ligaments and tightening of the shoulder capsule that will happen if you keep it too immobile. Try not to keep it in a sling for very long at all. Use lots of ice and NSAID to keep swelling down in this phase even if you aren't really in much pain; the swelling will make the shoulder move incorrectly which will cause the tissues to heal in the wrong location.

As the pain goes away and you can move it around more on its own - do NOT resume sports activities. Don't do anything that puts strain on the shoulder that's hard for you to control, like throwing a ball, yoga, rock climbing, weight lifting ,etc. I know you'll want to get back to normal activities to recover but don't do it. Do start working the shoulder muscles to restore function and strength of the stabilizer muscles, but only in easy to control low weight high-rep movements. You can find plenty of the weird little moves on the internet that will stress the stabilizers, or see a PT. Buy a set of resistance bands to have at home and just play with them all the time.

As you get tempted to resume normal sports activity, ease in very slowly, be careful, and again avoid dynamic moves like throwing a ball or tackling or cartwheels or anything that will apply sudden shocks to the area. Make sure that the stabilizer muscles are leading the way and are strong enough. You absolutely are going to lose some general fitness and muscle during this phase and that is fine, suck it up and let yourself lose some pec muscle, just focus on the shoulder stabilizers.

There are several complications you can pick up from any shoulder injury and your goal is to really avoid them. They are "frozen shoulder", "shoulder instability" and "sick scapula".

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