Overuse Injuries

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overuseAbout two weeks ago, life had a few extras stressors – estate sales, moving family members into new homes, and more. My right shoulder started acting up with a case of tendonitis, which happens every so often as a result of overuse (basically adjusting people for years and years has taken it’s toll on my right shoulder, so I have to be careful with it). This time, instead of being able to rest and recover, we decided to help my dad with a remodel in a small bathroom.

On Tuesday, I used too much force as we were trying to tighten a pipe, and ended up straining my neck, pulling ribs out, and worsening my inflamed shoulder. I was in a good amount of pain where I wasn’t able to sleep, and my arm burned from my neck all the way down to my right elbow. The following day, my chiropractor adjusted me, and the knife-like feeling behind my right shoulder blade was relieved. That night, I iced and massaged the area, and that helped a little.

By Thursday, I still in quite a bit of pain. This time, both shoulder blades and my neck released tension, and the pain reduced noticeably. After a half hour massage, I went back to helping with the bathroom remodeling. Thursday night, I iced my neck and right shoulder, but ended up in horrible pain all night, unable to sleep. Thankfully, I was not working the next day due to the office being closed for Good Friday, and I went to Urgent Care. The pain was becoming unbearable, and I wanted a second opinion to make sure that nothing else was wrong.

Urgent Care completed a thorough workup and found nothing else wrong other than what I suspected, as well as tendonitis in my bicep muscles. They prescribed an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer, which I took as recommended. They did seem to help a little, though I hadn’t taken the medications before and wasn’t sure what to expect. After a week of taking the medication and working normally, with continued icing, massages, and, of course, adjustments, I’m on the mend. I have, however, learned a few lessons that I want to share:

  1. Overuse injuries can return and with increased stress can worsen to intense pain.
  2. You can have multiple injuries and conditions occurring at the same time.
  3. The healing process takes time. It’s been three weeks and I’m about 60% improved, but still continuing my treatments for a full recovery.
  4. Follow doctor recommendations! If rest is recommended, you should rest, not aggravate the injury by doing the same activity that hurt it in the first place.

I have several Chiropractor buddies in the area who are always willing to adjust me, and I have to say, sometimes certain injuries require daily adjustments. I was getting adjusted every day for almost two weeks before things started to become tolerable again. And each time I’d get an adjustment, I really needed it! The doctor always confirmed that my neck had resubluxated itself (when an adjustment does not “hold” for any length of time, it’s often caused by a weakening of the muscles due to injury).

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