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Update: Two days later, left shoulder is still pretty off position. Pain wise, I’m at about 7/10. There is a fair amount of tightness along my neck and around the shoulder blade which is rather normal. When a joint goes out of position, the muscles around that joint tend to work even harder, tightening, to hold the joint in place. The effect of which is basically over-compensation of the entire body, leaving you feeling more fatigued. The tightness in the muscles around the joint tends to cause more pain than the actual, baseline pain due to sublaxation.

Take a look at my photos and try comparing it with the photo of anterior dislocation. You should be able to see some dents, areas darker than the rest. If you take a closer look at the first photo, which is actually taken two days after my shoulder sublaxed, you’ll be able to see that my humorous is slightly off the glenoid.

In a couple of days from now, I hope to go back to strengthening of the shoulder. You have to give it enough rest before starting the strengthening work, however, the longer you take to start the strengthening process, the longer the shoulder takes to recover. I usually rest it out long enough – i wait till my body gives me a green light or till I have enough confidence to start the strengthening process.

Unfortunately, the strengthening process in itself causes more pain, more tightness and someone a bit of muscle spasms. I end up needing more rest and more trigger point release once I begin the strengthening process. Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different and how it responds is vastly differently too.

Go at your own pace. Know when to listen to your body and when yo listen to your physiotherapist.

 

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Day 26: Bedbound

It seems my lower back is just going to take its time to heal and I’m slowly starting to ease in. Once it starts to show signs of recovery, I’m confident I’d be able to build it up all over again (you fall, you get hurt, you accept, you adjust, you love, you heal, you put yourself together and you keep going) because I’ve done it time and again.

I might need to investigate if there’s any new injury or anything to worry about as this has been a rather severe back flare up in the last few months. Let’s hope there’s nothing new in there. I plan to get it checked in a few days, once I get through a few more sessions of physiotherapy and Ayurveda treatment to see if my back responds. I postponed getting it checked earlier because I’m aware of a couple of factors which could be hindering the recovery process.

I’m done resisting the present, hoping and expecting my back to respond just because I have a time frame in mind. I’m slowly easing in, accepting that despite my plans for January 2017, there was a need for me to slow down. And here I am finally allowing myself to. I can’t be more grateful for the support I have right now which makes it possible for me to give my back a break for the time being. I’ve dealt with a great deal of instability for years altogether and realise the importance of having support/stability AND also being grateful for whatever of it you have.

This is not to say that I can wait for too long to feel more like myself again. I feel like a zombie version of myself right now! Truth being said, nobody enjoys experiencing so much pain or dealing with limitations. I seriously despise being unable to do things I’ve worked so hard to get myself to over the last couple of years. I think it’s always good to pause as long as you don’t quit. The  present situation  calls for me to rest, to let go more so my back heals and regains its strength again. I know I’ll be back on my feet soon enough.

Love to all,

MD

❤︎

My Response To A Request : Tips For Taping Of Joints (Unstable Shoulder).

A couple of days back, I received a request from a wonderful Family Nurse Practitioner in Seattle, Medea Karr (http://medeakarrfnp.com/), to share any tips or recommendations I might have about the use and application of Kinesio Tape (KT). For years now, I’ve had to make use of all kinds of guards, slings and “protective shields” for the eight (oops, no, Nine!) joints that I have to deal with and manage on a daily basis.
Medea mentioned that she has a patient who tends to have her shoulder joint move out of place while sleeping and wanted to know if taping might help. Yes! taping helps me keep my joints in place even at night. Once I put the tape on, it stays fine for about three to four days. It’s not as if it completely erases the chances of injuries during sleep (or in the day!) but it surely provides a decent level of support, as good or even better than some guards. I experience multi-directional instability in both my shoulders and trust me that I know, it can get exceedingly painful and annoying to wake up through the night because your shoulder joint is a little off. So I truly understand.
There are various methods of application, each focusing on a different set of muscles or ligaments, or for a different benefit/relief altogether. Personally, my symptoms are ever changing  and so I’ve had to experiment quite a bit before noticing the slight difference each pattern can make. I’ll be sharing some links to videos with specific patterns that have been working for me, along with a few tips to keep in mind while using the tape. I really hope this is of some help!
Please (here goes my little disclaimer), I am not certified in Kinesiology and I know from speaking with my Physiotherapists, that there is a particular art and technique behind using this tape. I would genuinely recommend you seek advice from a Therapist who is certified in Kinesiology and see what pattern would work the best for your condition and requirement. It also depends on the degree to which your joint is off, etc. If the tape isn’t applied in a particular manner, it is only as good as  some body art :)
You’ll probably find a lot of brands for the tape out in the market and naturally, some are stronger than the others in terms of tension. You might find that one brand irritates your skin lesser than the other and stuff like that. This is something you’ll have to just experiment and figure out. My personal favourite is the Rock Tape (http://www.rocktape.com/) .  A lot of athletes tend to use this brand, possibl because it seems like one of the toughest and most durable. I’ve seen for myself that the adhesive side really sticks onto my body well.
Here are the links to patterns that have been helping me with my shoulder instability, pain due to rotator cuff injuries and also with general posture improvement. I thought these videos were very informative and super easy to follow.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoWa1s56VNI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPx_cODeuTw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FPlptjGiSk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxOHLjkLzXU
Some tips to keep in mind while using the tape:
  1. Do not use the tape on any damaged, broken or sensitive areas of the body. It is recommended that you do a mini” sensitive skin test” whereby you put a small piece on a part of your body and watch if your skin has any adverse reaction to it.
  2. Once you know you’re safe and are ready to use it : Make sure you’ve cleaned the skin properly, removed any oils or lotions that may be on it. I use soap and pat dry the area before application. You could also use rubbing alcohol.
  3. Remember to always take a rough or an approximate measurement of the area you want to tape up before cutting out the pieces. That way you’re not unnecessarily wasting your tape.
  4. Make sure to snip off the sharp edges and make them rounded. Sharp edges and upturned corners  tend to stick to the clothing and causes the tape to peel off faster.
  5. Be careful not to touch the adhesive side of the tape too much while handling it. I suggest you roll open the adhesive side as you apply it over the skin instead of peeling off the sticker first.
  6. While putting on the tape, remember not to stretch the ends of it. Any sort of stretch or pull is usually in the mid section of the tape; never at the starting point or the end (the anchors). We need to leave these two points entirely un-stretched so that they’re able to hold the tape down for us. 
  7. Remember to rub the tape after application – the starting point, the ending point and along the whole structure/pattern. This is to create friction and generate heat so as to activate the adhesive. It ensures that the tape stays on for longer. 
  8. You can shower or bathe as per normal with this tape on. However, try to keep the area as free of soap as possible. For me,  if the residue from the soap sticks onto the adhesive side of the tape, I get an allergic reaction on that spot and the bumps and redness takes a very long time to subside. I have to leave that area to rest for a few days before I’m able to use tape on it again.
Other than making sure I have my shoulders taped up on the days they’re feeling loose and dangly and giving me too much issues, I make sure I create a little nest for myself every single night. I’m so sure most of us do this. I use a lot of pillows, cushions and towels when I sleep. They each have a strategic location on my bed and they work together to nest me up as I sleep through the night. I have had to train myself to sleep on my back because any other position is just too painful and seem to exert too much pressure on some of my joints. Sleeping on my back throughout the night is not the most comfortable but it is  something I’ve learnt to get used to. I make the most out of whatever soft items that I have, and in the past, it has even been my huge, fluffy teddy bear. 

❤︎