Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Walking Wounded

You may have noticed that I haven't blogged much about my own training over recent months. That's partly because it's been stupefyingly boring due to my ongoing shoulder injury, and partly because any such posts would be punctuated with massive whiney-pants whinges about said stupid shoulder injury. Be grateful that I've spared you...

I figure that it's time for an update though - and I promise not to whinge. Much.

Rewind to the middle of the year, when I was having physiotherapy and dutifully doing my prescribed rehab exercises, but seeing little progress. I was sent off for a cortisone injection in late August, which helped somewhat - at least, the pain was reduced for a while and I went on holiday in September, happy that pain wasn't going to be an issue while we were away. For some reason though, over the next few weeks, I rapidly lost range of motion in the shoulder. Drat. It appeared that I had developed the onset of frozen shoulder and my physio decided to tackle it pretty aggressively with twice-weekly torture. That wasn't my favourite thing in the world, but we did see improvement.

Come late November, the physio still wasn't entirely happy with progress. There was definite impingement, preventing the shoulder getting any more than about 155 degrees of flexion. Back to my GP I went, and the next thing I knew, I was booked in to see an orthopaedic specialist. He didn't think it was frozen shoulder (good) but suspected that I might have a minor tear somewhere (bad), so I was sent off for an MRI in early December. That's the second MRI I've ever had, and the second time I've fallen asleep in the middle of it. I must be really sleep-deprived...

The diagnosis? Bursitis & tendinopathy - nothing new there; those have been issues all along. There is also some thinning and thickening of various bits, and I could have small tears in both the labrum and the rotator cuff ...that's inconclusive at this stage. I also have two small bone spurs on the underside of the acromium, which are undoubtedly causing impingement of the biceps tendon.

My specialist tells me that there is no simple fix; that my choices are:

1. Do nothing - not an option; the pain and inability to do normal stuff is driving me mad.

2. Surgery - results are likely to be good, but there's no guarantee, and I'd be looking at up to six weeks with my arm in a sling. Understandably, I want to avoid this one if at all possible.

That leaves 3. Everything else that isn't surgery. I had another cortisone injection last week, which has almost taken full effect now, and I go back to see the specialist in mid-January to decide what we do next. I'm continuing with my scapular stability rehab exercises, avoiding any other upper body work (except variations of rows and some limited arm exercises) and will be back seeing the physio when he reopens in a couple of weeks.

So I'm trying not to whine, and just doing what I can when it comes to exercise. I'm even limited with leg exercises, because I'm simply unable to hold heavy weights, so no deadlifts or barbell squats. Poop.

My training plans for now include bodyweight, dumbbell and stability ball exercises for legs and core, Pilates and lots of cycling. I have some new Spinervals titles, new shoes and pedals for the spin bike and my new mountain bike, so there's plenty to keep me amused there. My other goal is to get back to running. I'm procrastinating on that one because man, running does NOT come naturally to me. But I shall kick my own butt and get out there and do it anyway.

So today's training was a mix of rehab work and a simple lower body workout that consisted of box squats holding a plate, King deadlifts (no weight required), stability ball hamstring curls and some planks, finishing off with some foam roller work and stretching.

There. You're all caught up - if you've managed to stay awake thus far. Lord knows, I almost bored myself to death.

Now I'm going back to lying on the couch with my Kindle. Holidays rock. :)



Kathryn said...

Hope the shoulder rights itself and you are back in there. Injuries are the pits - damn bodies should know you are doing what's best for them.

Sara said...

At least you are doing SOMETHING. My exercise lately has consisted mostly of lifting a glass to my lips. I really must try to balance this between left and right arms or the biceps might become unbalanced... ;D

Debstar said...

Good thing you do not have frozen shoulder because you would not be able to do most of the exercises you are doing now including spin. Believe me, I know. Have you thought about giving trigger point therapy a go? Anyway hope it gets better sooner rather than later.

Debbish said...

How frustrating for you, but it sounds like you are doing everything you possibly can. Here's hoping 2013 sees an improvement! (Or that you're able to work around it!)


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