you can feed your self this time! You seem to be doing a lot better!"
Ellen said as we ate dinner.
"Really...you know I had forgotten
about that but, yeah, you're right. My shoulder isn't as beat up this
time around as last time," I replied.
About five hours earlier, I
had finished the second round of prolotherapy administered by Brad
Fullerton, MD. The process was still painful. He hit some real zingers
but overall, I had fewer injections and when I left, I noticed I could
move my arm without much pain. Of course, I knew that wouldn't last as
the lidocaine wore off but it meant that he hit the right structures
Last time, Dr. Fullerton spent quite a while trying to
track down the source of the pain I was having with rotation and flexion
of the shoulder. He couldn't find it but this time he seemed to have a
renewed level of resolve. "We've got to zap that thing this time," he
said in between bars of humming to Warren Zevon's "Lawyers, Guns, and Money".
He found two
trigger points in my shoulder that were really sore and painful and when
he punched on them, pain galloped up into my head and down the front of
my arm. As my body sort of twisted around like Gumby, he said something
like, "Freddenbocker schmoker socker" to help me not turn into Steve
Carell in the scene from "40 Year Old Virgin" when he gets hair ripped
off his body. I appreciated that - made me laugh.
then took a needle and stuck it into the trigger points until he got a
twitch from the muscle. Ok, so that hurts. Not like child birth or
anything but still, it makes your toes curl. He had to hit the muscle a
few times. When he was done, he re-tested my arm. Bingo. Full motion
with almost no pain.
"So, this pain is not from the tear then,
right?" I asked.
"Yep. Looks like it's trigger points. But, you
have to wonder why you have some many of them though," he replied.
points. Some days I feel like somebody slipped into my brain and
padlocked the file drawer that says, "What You Know About Pain and
The weird thing about trigger point pain is that where
you hurt is not where the problem is and still, you can be really tender
there. So, it's easy to get distracted. You think, for example, that
the problem is in your neck. Your neck hurts, it's tender to touch, to
stretch. But, the source could easily be a trigger point in the upper
trapezius muscle belly several inches away from the pain.
shoulder, one of the trigger points was the infraspinatus muscle on the
back side of the shoulder. It refers pain to the front. In the image,
the "X" is the
trigger point and the red area is where you feel the pain. Notice that
it goes into the hand so you can misinterpret the issue. Because you
hurt in the hand and arm, you might think, and logically so, that the
source is the neck. I also had a lot of tenderness in the red zone.
After the point was needled, most of the pain and tenderness was gone.
Next, I chill for a few days. I can do some general conditioning but I
have to let my shoulder rest. Then, I start Phase I drills for about
ten days and then move into Phase II. I'm headed back for a third
prolotherapy session in the middle of May.
I'm optimistic about this whole process. I think in a few weeks, just
based on how I feel and can move today, that I'm going to be a lot
better. It takes a while for the tissue to heal, remodel, get stronger
but when I'm done, I'll have a solid shoulder.
recovery from a rotator cuff tear here.I post new stuff every day or two
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