Lessons Learned from a Shoulder Injury by Jim Keck

About six weeks ago I hurt my shoulder while at the gym, and as I have been going through my convalescence I have made many mistakes that I thought I might share with you.  These are all mistakes that I have seen many people make many times in my 8 years of working with Dr. Barb, but even though I was aware of them, I still made them anyway.

For the first two weeks of my injury I kept working out at the gym, figuring that I could work through the pain. (Mistake #1)

The pain persisted and Dr. Barb was concerned that I might have a tear in a muscle or tendon.  She told me to stop exercising the shoulder and suggested I get an MRI.  I did not. (Mistake #2)

Even though I am surrounded everyday by a Naprapath, an Acupuncturist, and a Massage Therapist, all of whom are incredible healers, I did not take advantage of Dr. Barb, Master Han, or Mimi. (Mistake #3)

Than one night at the gym I found that I could no longer even lift a weight, and when I decided to just go swim a few laps I could not even lift my arm to make a stroke!  I finally went to Dr. Barb to get an exam and a Naprapathic treatment, asked Master Han for Acupuncture, and got a long overdue shoulder massage from Mimi.

I felt better right away after the treatments and the weather had warmed up so, since I felt healed I figured it would be OK to go to the driving range and hit a bucket of golf balls. (Mistake #4)
Did I forget to mention that Dr. Barb emphatically suggested I NOT go to the driving range and hit a bucket of golf balls. (Mistake #5)

Finally I wised up and took a couple weeks off to let myself heal.  Unfortunately, I stopped exercise altogether even though I could have kept in shape by doing sit-ups, lunges, or anything else that did not impact my shoulder. (Mistake #6)

So as of today I am still not 100% but I am getting regular treatments, I am going to the gym again but limiting the activities that affect my shoulder, and most important I am listening to the advice of my Doctor, which is not so easy for me since she also happens to be my wife.

Lessons Learned

There is a big difference between the good pain that comes from activity, and the bad pain that comes from injury.  The bad pain is my body’s way of telling me to STOP

  1. An injury will seldom improve on its own.  Next time I will get help sooner – and the sooner the better.
  2. The reason I have health care practitioners that I trust, is so when they tell me to do something I know I need to DO IT.
  3. Just because one part of my body is in pain does not give me an excuse to just sit around and feel sorry for myself.  There are plenty of things I can do to stay in shape while I am convalescing.
  4. Just because the symptoms of a problem are relieved or eliminated, does not mean the cause of the problem is eliminated.  If I don’t want the problem to return I need to complete my rehabilitation.

This was such a humbling learning experience for me, and I now have new empathy for everyone who walks into our office in pain because I have now experienced firsthand how life (and stubbornness) do get in the way our healing.

And as a postscript, after a couple of weeks of listening to both my body and my Doctor, I was able to schedule a tee time for Monday.

One Response to Lessons Learned from a Shoulder Injury by Jim Keck

  1. Mary C Kendzior says:

    Welcome Jim to the other side of pain … perfect example of the saying … “When we know better we do better” … I know better, but I too am stubborn, lazy, what have you, and I don’t do better … You are surrounded by the people who know better … eventually you got to the light … Life … go figure .. Thank you for sharing your story …


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