Happy New Year. All things are new. Actually all the time all things are new. In the great book, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein, the narrator of the story is the family dog. The dog quotes famous race car drivers.
One of his most memorable quotes is, “Memories are time folding back on itself. Race car drivers can’t afford to indulge in memories. They must be fully present, moment by moment in what the car is doing and where it is going”. This is a very literate, knowledgeable dog who has gained his information from watching television. The book is a good read.
I do have the best job in the world in that I get to encourage others as best as I can to be fully present, moment by moment in their physical, emotional and spiritual health. “Living, like race care driving, no matter how you do it, is dangerous to your health”.
The Veterans Hospital performed an MRI on my shoulder. The results clearly showed my biceps muscle tendon is frayed.
Ohhhh, poor me. I saw my doctor today. Dr. Meghan Wilson MD, greeted me in her wheel chair. She explained she broke her neck in a skiing accident while in High School. She finished college and Medical School while in a wheel chair. She was assisted by two others in her expert and through examination of me and my shoulder issues. She will be completing her board studies in spinal chord injury treatment. After talking with her I am grateful for my simple problems.
My conservative care and physio-therapy will be continued. I have discovered that, once again, posture is king with these structural injuries. I tend to have a rounded shoulder posture presentation. This rounding of the shoulders will compress the shoulder girdle over the arm bone and leave one prone to injury.
One Doc asked, “How did this happen?”
I said, “I have been doing 250 pushups a day for several years. I am 71 years old.”
He responded with,
“We don’t have a diagnosis code for “stupid” just yet”
I didn’t laugh too much.
The rounded shoulder posture is consistent to a depressed upper chest. When I lift my breast bone up, the shoulder girdles roll back and open up the space where the tendons are. So, the treatment is standing up straighter, with my chest uplifted and my arms hanging back behind my butt. This is actually stops the pain. And I feel like I am being a bully or too aggressive or something different from “nice Jim”. This is just my subjective feeling about the change in posture. No one else seems to notice. I look like I’m standing up straighter.
And I get to feel a bit more confident with my chest lifted. A yoga teacher told me the “solar plexus” was so named because that area is to be lifted up looking at the sun.
I am going back to Hellerwork and Structural Integration to further tweek my postures in moving and walking. I got a session with Dan Rawson in Structural Integration in Laguna Beach. This amazing work had me discover moving my arms and shoulders with my feet and hips as a basis for grounding. This practice, along with lifting my chest, also relieves the shoulder pain dramatically.
Adopting a new posture or movement is like learning a new dance step. It feels awkward at first. However in my case the relief of pain makes the transitions easier.
Old dogs can learn new tricks when our attention is on right now and preparing for what’s around the next turn.
The only time this injury hurts me is when I lift my arms above my shoulders. Lucky for me and my patients I rarely need to do this. I am working a full time schedule and loving it as usual.
Be kind to yourself. Keep an eye on the road and the next turn. No matter how old we are there is always a “next turn”.
Dr Jim Dohn Hellerwork, DC