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Short-Term Pain for Long-Term Gain

I read a comment on my blog recently where someone said, in essence, thanks for always sharing the best of what’s happening in your life. I do focus on the positive here on my blog—and that makes sense to me. Like everybody else, I struggle—life can be hard. Those struggles can range from simple, everyday nuisances to some pretty serious struggles, but most often they are very personal and not necessarily things I choose to blog about. And I try to stay positive, even when life is difficult.

That said, I have been struggling with one of those everyday nuisances that I thought I would share. Several months ago—not sure exactly when—my shoulder and upper arm began hurting when I moved certain ways. It bothered me at yoga, when I was riding. . . all sorts different things. I knew I had to do something, so last week I started intense muscle work, which is somewhat similar to sports injury therapy. . . although I like to call it massage on steroids.

But don’t let the word massage fool you. Oh, no! This is definitely not massage like most of the world knows it! This is painful; I told the therapist it reminded me of labor, the pain was so intense. I have to lay there on the table and breathe through the pain, just like I did when I had my babies. She told me she hears that analogy a lot!

The treatment is based on the theory that, at some point the muscles were injured, and they compensated by working differently than they are supposed to. Now, that compensation has created its own set of problems, so this muscle work is designed to retrain the muscles to work properly.

My upper arm is bruised and painful to the touch, and I have moments when I wonder if the cure is worse than the disease, but after three treatments, I’m starting to see and feel a difference. . . I can actually hold my arm over my head now! I’m thinking it’s one of those instances where short-term pain is worth the long-term gain, and I’m just grateful for options—and improvement!


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    Football is definitely one of the biggest sports in America. It has a significant following.
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Reader Comments (10)

Hi Shelli, it almost sounds what I had a year ago, frozen shoulder...yet it travels down your arm. I could not even reach around to do up my bra, it takes a long time to go away, I still have troubles once in a while. I hope you get better real soon. I can't wait to see you at convention. Hugs, Di
June 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Gibbs
I hope that this treatment continues to give you relief Shelli. I have been struggling with pain in my right shoulder for several months so I know how uncomfortable and painful it can be. And sometimes it makes simple every day chores so much harder. Wishing you a speedy recovery! xx
June 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJodene
So sorry to hear about your pain. Is this a stamping/ repetitive motion injury?
June 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSHH
Shelly, feel better soon. I understand pain. I was diagnosed with SLE 10 years ago but only after I couldn't walk because of too much pain. Sounds like the treatment is going well and not only are you a creative person, you are a brave person to endure and share. Take good care!!
June 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia
Shelli, it sounds terrible but I am very glad it is producing a positive outcome. It's amazing what we soldier on with as women and mothers.
June 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTristan Dawes
For me, it was a leg injury ... and like you, I compensated and kept moving on. Bad idea ... 13 weeks of physical therapy and I was much better, but learn from my mistake: if they give you exercises to do daily, do them daily! "Square One" sneaks up on you quickly and I lost a lot of the improvement because I got too busy. Our health is one of our biggest assets; best wishes for a complete recovery.
June 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan Eno
Glad the therapy is helping. Chronic pain is no fun. Hope you feel much better by convention - you'll be getting lots of hugs!
June 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWendie Waldman
I am praying for your quick recovery and this will continue to be helpful.
June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna Corp
Oh, Shelli! I had to laugh, but not at your pain, but at your description of "massage" therapy. I had rotator cuff surgery last year, and am dealing with years of compensation. I have a great therapist, but he's always telling me to keep breathing through the pain! I had so many bruises from my last session! Hang in there! I've done this before, and it's sad, but I almost welcome that sort of pain, because I've learned it helps the chronic pain! Be well!
June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Nelson
I too suffered for more than a year with shoulder pain. Thought I injured it exercising. After PT didn't help an ultrasound reveled calcium deposits in the muscle. When they begin to move they hurt like kidney stones! A quick 30 minute procedure to break up the deposits and aspirate them and it was literally like new that day!

Hope yours gets better soon!
June 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBonny H.

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