It's never easy...

I started physical therapy this week.  I'd forgotten just how much it freaking hurts.

I've had trouble with my shoulders since high school.  I was a competitive swimmer for 9 years, I started when I was 8 and went without a break until I graduated high school.  I loved swimming, I loved competing, and I loved being part of a team.  I was never especially good, but I was good enough to be on the high school's varsity team all 4 years.  When I was a sophomore I started experiencing shoulder pain during workouts, it felt like someone was driving nails through my shoulder joint.  This being the early '00s before we as a society had really dedicated much into studying sports related injuries I just pushed through it (thanks to my coach not letting me taking it easy).  I went to an ortho once to tell them that it hurt, they gave me a cortisone shot and told me to start doing PT.  I did the PT multiple times a week, but all the while I was working out just as hard as I ever was; effectively nulling any progress that the PT made on healing my shoulder.

Fast forward to now, I haven't swam for fitness in well over a decade.  I told myself it was because I didn't have access/time to dedicate myself to it, although I have tried a couple of times and always had to stop after a few weeks due to shoulder pain.  After moving to Pittsburgh I got my very first job where I'm required to sit at a desk all day, and surprise surprise it's started doing a number on my shoulder.

It started as what felt like a muscle knot over my right shoulder blade.  Jacob says that he can see it and it's about the size of a small orange (dayum!). So I saw a chiropractor (read: voodoo doctor) for a while and they tried to use stim therapy to get the knot to release but it did nothing but cost me a co-pay twice a week.  I've had regular massage for about a year now and that hasn't moved it either, so I finally mentioned it to my primary care doctor (who is amazing) and she prescribed PT.

I saw the PT for the first time this past Tuesday and she was immediately able to tell me what was going on.  My right shoulder has "swimmer's shoulder".  Which is where, due to all the swimming I did, as caused the capsule that holds the shoulder joint in place has become incredibly loose allowing my right shoulder to become a "trick" joint.  It flops around and just has not stability at all, I have about 120 degrees of backwards rotation in the joint.  Combine that with my desk job, the shoulder flops forward pulling my posture forward putting a large amount of strain and impingement on my biceps tendon.  This has also caused the large muscle knot in my back, and the neck pain I've been dealing with.

They've set out to train my muscles to compensate for my poor shoulder stability and increase the coordination in those muscles, and also to strengthen/train my posture muscles so I .  It hurts like a real bitch since I've basically not used those muscles in years.  

Moral of the story: If it hurts mention it to your doctor. They get really annoyed when you tell them that you've just been "dealing" with the discomfort.  Also listen to Jacob when he gives advice, because he's right an annoying amount of the time.