Friday, October 5, 2007

This is your shoulder

Well okay not your shoulder. Not mine either. We all have them - two of them. We're usually not even aware of our shoulders. At least until something goes wrong with them.

Years ago at a wheelchair tennis tournament, a student doing a survey on shoulder injuries among wheelchair athletes approached me and asked me to take a survey. "I'm fine," I said. "No problems." And a few of the older players sitting there said "Just wait."

Well here I am. And the shoulder injuries, bilateral, etc. are complicated by the paralysis in my arms. But I'm not going to go into all the medical facts because it's not helpful to anyone else - every medical situation is different. There's an article in New Mobility this month where I was interviewed about buying equipment. I read it over and thought: wow - that was only some months ago and I was talking about putting my manual chair in my car and here I am - shoulder injuries, complications later - using a power chair. So I thought I'd write about this. If anyone else wants to share about their experiences with injuries, complications, changing medical equipment, etc, feel free.


Anonymous said...

Great blog! I don't get New Mobility magazine anymore but saw part of the article online. My shoulders went on me after 20 years of pushing. It was a tough transition. Luckily my wife's insurance covered buying a power chair and a van and I'm finding I have more energy now and get out more than I have in a long time. It's hardest at first just to admit you need to do it.

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

Shoulder pain- very painful. I can relate. My right shoulder gave out on me about three years ago and I went into an electric wheelchair. I tell everyone who pushes a chair who's young to watch out and protect their shoulders.

Edward said...

I sustained a shoulder injury back in January, I think while skiing. I spent months waiting for it to heal - since I use a manual wheelchair, it's hard for me to really rest my shoulder. (I'm a para.) I finally broke down at the end of June and asked for a referral to an orthopedic specialist. I was then on Celebrex for two months, which helped some, but I needed a cortisone shot last month for the shoulder to finally heal.

Ruth said...

Thanks to everyone for leaving comments- and hope I get more. This is an issue many of us -eventually - face.

Edward- I'm really glad to hear the cortisone worked for you and the shoulder healed. It's a real problem trying to heal shoulders if you're in a manual chair. Injured my shoulders doing sports too (not sure if lifting weights or actually playing tennis).