Thursday, June 11, 2015

Shoulder Problems and Remediation

My right shoulder has been injured for a long time.  The injury has reduced my range of motion to some extent, reduced my strength, and, occasionally, causes me considerable pain when I move my arm and shoulder at a particular angle.  Most of the time, the shoulder discomfort is a minor concern; but, it has been worsening the last four months. 

I met with Dr. Robert Chase, a sport's orthopedist, in Red Bluff yesterday.  He viewed my X-rays, interviewed me, and gave me a thorough physical examination.  I appreciated his diagnostic skills, pleasant and approachable manner, obvious expertise, and suggestions for remedial actions.  He is a University of California at Irvine graduate. 

I will have an MRI on 6/11, and see him again on 6/23.  Medical interventions considered are drugs for pain, cortisone injections to reduce inflammation, physical therapy, and arthroscopic surgery. 

On 6/23, Dr. Chase told me that based upon my complaints and comments, his examination, and the MRI results he thinks I have a tear of a tendon on the rotator cuff caused by arthritic bone spurs.  I have troublesome osteoarthritis in my right big toe, tailbone, and shoulder joints; as well as aching finger joints.  The arthritis in my shoulder results in impingement: the arthritic bone spurs press and cut rotator cuff tendons in certain positions. He recommended surgery in the next six months to shave down the bone spurs and reattach the tendon. 

I am modifying and reducing my weekly strength training program that involves the use of my right shoulder.  I will use less weight, do more more isolation dumbbell work, and a do a reduced number of weightlifting workouts per week.  No max lifts with barbells, no overhead pressing, no flys.  No weightlifting for two weeks, but plenty of walking, gardening, home improvement projects, yoga, and taijiquan.  Resting the shoulder from weightlifting is an intelligent choice at this time, as well as taking some ibuprofen.

I will be placing much more emphasis on leg work, cardio-vascular conditioning, and ab work during the month of June.

Discomfort and pain in my right shoulder and right bicep has been increasing during the entire month of June.  

Help with Arthritis: Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Yoga, Walking, and Diet   Bibliography, links, resources, recommended books, information, quotations, tips, and research.  By Michael P. Garofalo.  


  1. Best of luck, Michael. I have half your years but I've had a couple of dislocations myself, increasing pain and don't give it the rehab work due. But you're making me look bad so I'm going to act on my shame and take a more active role in my recuperation and strengthening efforts. Cheers!

  2. I will need some luck. I've been doing some of the exercises recommended in Dr. Karl Knopf's book "Healthy Shoulder Handbook." I do the recommended exercises using a cane, a stretch band, and a cylinder roller, as well as stretching without equipment. Also, as I mentioned - no heavy weightlifting involving the shoulder.