I’ve mentioned my shoulder injury here and there on my website and if you scroll back on my Instagram you will find pictures and updates about the journey but I figured why not put it in a blog. This way all the information can be on here. Now I just need to think how technical and factual I will get in this post. I guess I will see how it goes.
Alright so the best place to start is; how did I injure my shoulder? I briefly mentioned it in my airplane horror story but why send you there if I can sum it up here? You should still go give that blog post a read. Yes self promotion at its finest, but seriously it’s quite an entertaining read. Go read it. I will link it below to make things easy for you. I know I’m going of subject a little but you’re still here right? Right? Don’t go! Come back!
Baby come back! Song reference for the win!
I’m going to copy and paste this part because well I already explained how I injured my shoulder so prepare for some sense of déjà vu. There was two hours in between my flights and not a lot of time to spare. My two flights were literally at the opposite ends. I was so close to my boarding gate when it happened. Someone called: “Cassandra!” Cassandra being my name and the chance that there was another Cassandra in the airport, in the exact location I was at 2am in the morning is so small I responded to my name in a panic. Now you got to know I was mid run (trying to find and get to my gate in time) and carrying a shit ton of weight on my one side. The beloved laptop that I’m using to write this very blog. With all my important documents in the mix my laptop bag weights over 10kg. The weight is not that important but just the action I took when I heard my name. I turned to the voice so quick, I got whiplash. Whiplash alone is nothing pleasant but the weight threw things off even more. A horrible snap sound followed and a blaring pain shot through my entire body. The pain so intense I nearly screamed like a little girl and dropped my laptop. The searing pain made it unbearable to even lift my arms or move a inch. The last thing I wanted to do was fly for 9 hours.
The rest of this post is all original content and I’m sorry that I’m bubbling so much. I have no idea why. It’s just how this story is coming out from my mind and I try to keep my blogs free and true to my personality. How ironic that my little explanation on why I’m all over the show and constantly off topic only took me further off topic. I will however get my shit together and really explain shit. Oh wow so much shit. Okay. Sorry. I will start now.
After the injury I took a few days of rest. I was hoping it would be one of those things that would disappear with time. If I remember correctly I took a week and a half off from any strengthening training. Eventually I barely had any pain or discomfort so I figured it was something of the past and the muscle simply healed itself. It happens right? It took me one training session to irritate the so called ‘healed’ muscle and frequent pain and discomfort became a part of my life. I again took a week and a half off in hopes that time would heal my wound. Again I tried another training session after the time has passed and regret. So much regret. It then occurred to me maybe I wasn’t giving it enough time and all my training session did was just making it worse. So I vowed to take an entire month off from training and if the pain doesn’t go away I will see someone for it.
The month passed and the pain didn’t go away. I do want to add at this point all of my pain was in my neck. Sleeping was agony. I then figured the best person to see was a chiropractor. My spine was out of alignment (I think it’s been a year, something wasn’t in the right place) and he snapped it back for me and promised within a few days the pain will be gone. Almost immediately the pain moved from my neck to my shoulder. I waited a week before I figured the pain won’t go away and I need help. At this time my father was seeing a physio for one of his injuries and he discussed my pain and she recommended I come in to see her. So I went. I was desperate for pain relief and I wanted to get this injury over with and get back to training. I had two sessions with her. The first one she pressed and pulled out the needles for pain relief. If I remember correctly she said that the muscle was tense or something like that. She promised that within a few days the pain will be gone. Guess what? It didn’t happen so I went in for my second appointment after a few days and again the same treatment. Pressing, probing and needles. Promise of pain relief…if I’m honest I don’t think the physiotherapist knew exactly what muscle I injured and thus the treatment wasn’t working.
I moved back to my mother’s place and found a new physio almost immediately. My new physio struggled a little to find the problem as it’s such an uncommon injured muscle. So when the first treatment didn’t work she figured it out. Once the root of the problem was identified we could finally treat the cause. This was when I could really feel the difference. My shoulder was finally healing. With regular appointments and with the right treatment things were looking up. We came to a point where it looked like my shoulder was only a few treatments from good as new. I was back at my father’s for the weekend. He needed help with renewing the water in his fish pond. I told him that my shoulder wasn’t ready for it but he couldn’t do it either and as my body is younger I had to step in and I mean literally step in the gross water pond. His fish was dying. There wasn’t anyone else that could do so Cassandra to the rescue. I hated every second mostly because I couldn’t see the fish and the water was dark, muddy and slippery. Gruesome. Anyway I had to fill a bucket and throw it out the side. I tried to keep the bucket as empty as possible so the weight won’t be too heavy. Using only one arm was difficult and I felt like eventually I would just hurt my other shoulder so yeah. Both arms in and the frequent movement coupled with the weight just threw my shoulder three months back.
It was frustrating as prior to the fish pond I was so close. I could smell the finish line. I was falling more and more off track. Strap. Ouch. Probe. Press. Strap. Ouch. Probe. Press. Strap. The cycle continued till eventually the day arrived where I could start recovery reps which is basically a modified exercise. Wall push ups. At this point it’s been close to 12 months and I was ready to put the shoulder injury behind me. I can’t really express the joy I felt when the physio cleared me for more training. She advised a few movements I could do and at the pace I should go. I’ve been training my arms very slowly as to this day if I push it too far the pain comes back. I’ve been meaning to see a new physio here in the Netherlands for a check up but I guess now that this is going up I really should just get it over with. Hopefully it’s all good.
For the people who might be interested in some technical stuff here is part of the letter my South African physio wrote for my new physio.
“She had hurt her shoulder with a ‘above head’ movement. M Serratus anterior was definitely involved and weak with tests, which I thought was the main muscle of injury. All scapula humeral muscles were involved at that time due to pain, inflammation and immobilising of the shoulder by the patient, due to pain. I have worked a lot on fascia release and re-educating the correct movement patterns. We have strapped (leukotape…rigid) it several times to take some load off the shoulder girdle muscles. That seemed to work really well. Her shoulder is getting stronger and she is almost pain free!”
That’s about it. Sorry if this blog has been all over the place. Basically the road to recovery has been long and I’m still not back to normal arm strength as my shoulder is still sensitive to weight and movement.
Link to connective post:
The Airplane Flight Straight From My Nightmares: https://butterflyfingers.com/2017/09/08/the-airplane-flight-straight-from-my-nightmares/