September 23, 2008

A Sore Shoulder and more

If you don't want to read about aches and pains, skip this log entry.

I've had a sore shoulder for over a month. I think I strained it when we went to the driving range. I hadn't swung a golf club in a long time and I wasn't in shape. Then later when I was walking Ben and he pulled on the leash, I felt pain in my right shoulder. Ever since then, it hurts if I extend that arm or lift anything heavy, etc.

I had to stop going to yoga for a while. (You might be surprised how much weight you put on your arms performing yoga.) And I've had to ask Frank to lift things, open jars, stuff like that. And the range of motion in my right arm is very limited right now.

My chiropractor in Woodstock seems to think it's not too serious, and indeed it is improving slowly but steadily. But I get frustrated with the limitations imposed by pain, and the pain itself can be sudden and sharp, brought on by simple things like reaching to pull a blanket over me, or even by just being jostled. And I wake up at night whenever I start to roll onto my right side. It hurts and I have to roll back. Which has turned out to have a positive side-effect: my lower back is bothering me less.

Long ago I injured my sacro-iliac joint on the right side in a fall. Since then I have had hip pain and back pain off and on. At the time (around 1990) I sought care from Erbe Chiropractic Center in Falls Church, VA. Dr. Erbe helped me tremendously and after a couple of years the pain became fairly minor. Then I moved to Prince William County and eventually stopped making the long drive to Falls Church. (Sitting in a car for long periods is hard on the low back.) And after a while the pain became more bothersome. I tried a nearby chiropractor with little success, and sought help from a neurologist when I started having other symptoms (tingling in my toes, for instance). He ran a battery of tests and said "Something is going on." Then I got frustrated with his billing department and my health insurance so I stopped going.

There were other doctors who didn't help. I tried a form of physical therapy and a few exercise programs. Some exercises are detrimental - I learned the hard way to avoid leg lifts.

As years passed there was little improvement and then I had additional symptoms. Sometimes pain shot down my right leg; sometimes an ankle would go weak so suddenly that I'd stumble. A medical doctor said I probably had a pinched nerve. My yoga instructor gave me the names of a couple of chiropractors in Woodstock. I decided to try Dr. MacDonald and he has been helpful. Naturally when I hurt my shoulder I had him check it out.

Anyway, the shoulder is improving. But I wanted to vent a little. And since it helps my hip and back to avoid sleeping on my right side, I wonder how I'm going to keep doing that after the shoulder stops hurting. It doesn't hurt the hip enough to wake me up.

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