Shoulder update

Quite a few people have asked me about my shoulder, for which I’m grateful.  After telling this to the fifth person, I thought maybe doing a brief post on it might be worthwhile for any online friends who might ever need to deal with something similar.

If you didn’t see my previous posts, several months ago, I endured a couple of months of searing shoulder pain.  Attempts to improve the situation with physical therapy exercising only seemed to make it worse.  At one point, it was looking like I might need surgery.  But now, things appear to be looking much better.

In short, the physical therapy exercises finally did their thing, but only after I made a crucial alteration.  Just about every prescription I got from doctors and therapists insisted that the resistance exercises needed to be done three times a week, or once every two days.  But doing it that way only increased my pain over time.

I gradually discovered that doing the exercises every fourth day provided enough time for my shoulder to recover and strengthen.  If you ever read any bodybuilding books or websites, this isn’t a radical strategy.  Many modern trainers only exercise the same body part every 4-5 days, and once every week isn’t unusual.  The old guidelines of working out three times a week seem to be somewhat dated.  But it doesn’t seem to have seeped in yet to the physical therapy world.

So, if you ever find yourself doing medically prescribed physical therapy resistance exercises, and they don’t appear to be helping, consider increasing the rest time between the workouts.  Three days gave my shoulder enough time to recover, but it was only when I increased the time to four days that I seriously started healing.  Of course, you should always talk it over with your therapist, but consider finding a new one if they reflexively dismiss the idea.

So, that’s the situation.  Much better than the last time I posted on this.

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11 Responses to Shoulder update

  1. ratamacue0 says:

    No like button? : thumbsup:, then

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve Morris says:

    Glad to hear of your recovery, and some good advice for others too 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hariod Brawn says:

    I shall give this a whirl Mike as I have a postural issue of my own currently – thank you.

    Like

  4. James Pailly says:

    I’m glad you’re doing better. I hadn’t heard that four or five day recommendation in relation to exercise before, but it makes sense. Whenever I’ve pulled a muscle exercising, it does seem to take about four days for it to get better.

    Like

    • Thanks.

      It seems to vary somewhat by the individual. I suspect two days might work for a teenager in the middle of a growth spurt (or for adults taking steroids or growth hormones). But four days has been my sweet spot. Five works also. Longer than that and I feel like I start losing the benefits of the training. Bodybuilders doing long workouts often split them up so each body part only gets exercised once a week.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wyrd Smythe says:

    Glad you’re feeling better, Mike!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad to hear PT is paying off and it’s looking like you’ve avoided surgery. Are you still doing the exercises? Do you feel like you’re really healed or do you still have to be careful?

    Like

    • Thanks Tina.

      I’m definitely still doing the exercises. I’m actually afraid to stop. A couple of them remain moderately painful, but I do them slowly and cautiously, and the pain doesn’t persist after the workout.

      I feel like I’ve recovered to about the point I was before the flare up, and I’ve only felt comfortable saying that in the last few weeks. Which is to say, it’s still far from perfect, but the imperfection is back to a point I’ve been living with for a long time. I have enough range of motion and robustness that I can engage in regular daily tasks without much fear of pain.

      I’d ask how you are doing, but I see you emailed me, so I’ll take that up there.

      Liked by 1 person

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