Who hasn’t rolled out of bed at least once in their life? I remember making jokes in college about why my bed was just a mattress on the floor, “You can’t fall from the floor”. Of course now that I'm a mom falling from a bed doesn't seem so funny. I still remember how my heart sank the first time my son rolled off the bed when he was a baby. He was fine and I just added that memory to a pile of other memories labeled “more traumatic for mom than baby”.
Unfortunately falling out of bed can be very traumatic for the person that falls. Take for instance Trish’s fall. Recently, I met Trish because she couldn’t move her shoulder. About 5 months before I met her, she rolled off her bed during the night landing on her shoulder hard. Which would've been embarrassing enough but to add insult to injury she seriously hurt her right shoulder. After about 2 weeks of her arm hurting every time she moved her arm in any direction without any sign of it getting better.
She went to a medical provider who used heat and TENS on her shoulder. She always felt better temporarily after leaving the office but when she started to use her right arm the pain would return. Eventually she was told to stop trying to use her right arm for anything because her pain was not going away. The idea was to fully rest her shoulder to allow it to heal. She was told not to brush her hair, not to hold a coffee cup, no cooking, no cleaning. She was to do nothing at all with her right arm. She listened to the warnings and did nothing for months. But the pain in her shoulder only got worse and in fact her hand and elbow started to hurt all the time. Now she was scared the injury had spread from her shoulder to her hand. Since her shoulder injury was getting worse, she was referred to an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon ordered an MRI and gave her a steroid injection. The MRI showed a small rotator cuff tear which had progressed to a frozen shoulder. Fortunately for her the tear was so small that the surgeon suggested physical therapy; which is how she found me.
As you can imagine during our first conversation Trish was afraid she would never have the use of her right arm. She was anxious and depressed by the idea that she would never be able to cook for her family or clean her home. She told me multiple times that she was not lazy, the pain was just too much. I saw a woman that was stuck between being tired of relying on her daughters to brush her hair and being scared to make her shoulder injury worse. Trish was in this horrible place of being afraid that any movement of her injured shoulder would make the pain and the tear worse AND being afraid that if someone didn’t help her now she would never be normal again.
The evening Trish and I met for her evaluation, I listened to her full story. Then at the end of the evaluation she saw how much better her arm moved with no increase in pain. I was able to tell her how to know when the pain was telling her damage being done versus the muscle just being tired from working. She taught how to safely move her arm and what to do when her pain increased.
After the second visit we were able to build on her progress. By the 3rd visit was telling me about how she was able to clean and cook for some of the day. She wasn’t 100% but she could definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. She was very happy to be moving more normally. She could brush her own hair and let her arm relax by her side, without pain.
We are still working on getting her back to 100% but Trish is no longer worried that she needs a surgery or depressed by the thought she will never be normal again.
If your shoulder is painful or is simply not moving the way it should and you want to learn how to safely move your arm without fear of damaging your shoulder. If you want to help your shoulder get back to normal without surgery or injections click this link to set up a phone consultation with a shoulder specialist.
If you are looking for more information on how to help you shoulder at your home click this link for my ebook “5 Secrets To Stop Neck And Shoulder Pain (No Brace, Medication, or Surgery required)”
WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald