As a parent of 2 highly energetic young kids I know how difficult it can be to make time for your own wellbeing. If you have ever read the circle of security, you will be familiar with the yoyo effect of your child wanting to run off, explore and play independently before running back for a pickup and a cuddle.
My daughter constantly comes back for a reassuring pickup and cuddle when she is off playing and let me tell you, she ain’t getting any lighter day by day. I know all too well that familiar twinge in the shoulder that you get from picking up and putting down a heavy child all day long.
I triggered my shoulder while pushing my kinder age son on the swing, and continued to aggravate it with the constant pick up and put down of my unruly toddler daughter. Unfortunately for me, while I know how to treat it when it happens to others, it’s a lot more difficult to self-treat with Acupuncture and massage. I’ll endure someone else inserting their fingers into my tight knotted muscles because I know the good it’s going to do, but I’m certainly not going to do it to myself!
If you’re familiar with this feeling of niggling in your shoulders, I’ve got the perfect treatment protocol – and I’ll be gentle, pinky promise.
What causes it?
Essentially, incorrect posture aggravated by overuse.
Primarily, overuse of the rotator cuff but also the latissimus dorsi and pectoralis muscles. In my case, my excessively tight and contracted pecs pull on the shoulder, causing friction in the joint. This friction aggravates the supraspinatus muscles whose job it is to begin the process of raising the arm before the larger deltoid takes over.
Untreated, this can lead to inflammation of the bursa (bursitis) due to overuse and sometimes can lead to further progression to adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) in which case movement is entirely restricted. Bursitis is bloody painful but there is still some movement through the pain, with frozen shoulder, it’s exactly that, frozen.
I don’t want that to happen, and I’m sure you don’t either, so…
How do we treat it?
When treating this condition, I employ the treatment principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine – rid the excess before treating the underlying cause/deficiency. The excess is the inflammation in the muscles that causes the pain. I use a combination of neuromuscular therapy and friction to release and relax the muscles.
I then use fire cups to stimulate blood flow in the local area and draw the blood stasis which gives rise to pain. The simple rule of thumb in TCM is excess causes sharp pain and deficiency causes ache and weakness in the joint.
There are several acupuncture points which are then effective in promoting healing in the joint and local area by promoting blood flow and would healing.
How long will it take?
Well to start with, promoting healing is like pushing a car – it takes a lot of effort in the beginning to get the wheels moving but once they are, it just requires a gentle nudge now and then to keep it moving. So initially weekly or bi-weekly sessions followed by fortnightly and then monthly depending on how long you’ve been suffering.
I’ll also give you some homework – stretching and strengthening exercises to enhance treatment. How enthusiastically you engage with your exercises will have a big bearing on how quickly you recover.
Something to note
Bear in mind, as a practitioner, my goal for you is optimum health. I want you to be completely pain free and will formulate a treatment plan accordingly. It’s not for me to decide how much your health is worth to you. You may decide that an 80% improvement is enough and want to stop treatment there, that’s fine – 80% will still feel like a pretty significant improvement!
I will still create a plan with complete recovery in mind so that you can play with the kids, go to the gym, and do all of the things that you love to do in life!
To book a Chinese Medicine appointment today book Online or call us on 039717 1200.