Saturday, November 25, 2006

I'm paying for this?

Did you know that you can shift the position of your bones by pushing on them? Apparently you can - it's been done to me.

That migraine I wrote about in September was actually a misdiagnosed pinched nerve - which explains the jerking of my arm and the tingling in my fingers. I went to a physiotherapist who diagnosed me with thoracic outlet syndrome, which is basically a pinching of nerves from compression of bones or ligaments around the spine. The physio's solution for this was to manipulate my shoulder by pressing, tugging, turning, taping... to open it up so it would stop pinching the nerve that weaves through these bones. In three painful sessions she tried to shove my shoulder into "the right place".

Physiotherapy is not only painful, but expensive, so after a few of these sessions I told her that I would work on the exercises she gave me and perhaps come back to see her in a few months. On our last session she used super-tape to pull my shoulder down.

Foolishly I went to a yoga class that night, with my taped up shoulder freshly raw from the physio's pummeling. Half-way through the class I was unable to lift my arm above my head or support any weight with it.

That was almost 2 months ago. Since then I have been in almost constant pain - often it seems like hot knife blades are stabbing my shoulder. The weight of my small purse is too much for that shoulder. Reaching back to put my arms in the sleeves of my jacket is torturous.

But I went to 2 doctors, one of which told me (and I kid you not, I am quoting here) "Sit down and shut up... I don't care about your pain." Another one said it was a rotator cuff injury and to come back in 6 months if I still had pain. Sigh.

And I sit around getting fat since even going for a walk is too jarring. Yoga is out of the question, as are any of the other fitness classes I was doing. Dropped out of curling. No to volleyball invitations...

I was reluctant to go back to the physio who did this to me in the first place, but yesterday I finally went to see her, figuring that at least she knows my history and may listen to me...

So it turns out that she had been successful in pulling down my shoulder. Problem is - the collarbone didn't go with. She now thinks I have a separated shoulder - yup, that's the kind of injury that sidelines pro football players.

See where the clavicle is supposed to touch your shoulder? Well, mine doesn't. It's sticking up like there is marble tucked under the skin of my shoulder. Technically, I have an acromioclavicular joint separation, or AC separation.

The brilliant solution? Push them back together! I'm not kidding, I lay on my left side while she pushed on that painful tip of clavicle that's poking up. She alternated this with ultrasound to try and keep the swelling down.

Yes, first she pulls my bones apart, now she is pushing them back together.

And I'm paying for this??


  1. But did it work?

  2. *hugs* Yikes... Completely unfair. Good to at least know what's happening, though (I've heard too many stories of people going for years before a decent diagnosis comes along). But really not fair.

    Has pushing everything back together helped a bit?