A GEM

 

Convinced you can find anything on Amazon, I searched for a book about frozen shoulders and found a gem. It is a strange subject to feel excitement about, but indeed I do.  From Heal Your Frozen Shoulder: an At-Home Rehab Program to End Pain and Regain Range of Motion, the common symptoms of frozen shoulder are

Pain in all directions

Reduced range of motion

Shoulder pain when lying on it

Shoulder stiffness

I have them all, a gimpy left shoulder for which my orthopedic physician says, “Call me when it hurts so bad you want it cut off.”  Grim.  In other words, the MRI showed enough arthritis to merit a replacement. The problem is that shoulders aren’t like knees and hips for which function is readily restored. As another physician said, shoulder replacements are dicey.

But this blog is actually a book review and not a ploy for sympathy—although as I write I am wearing an uncomfortable shoulder apparatus that is supposed to restore good posture and help with the pain. And it does, as long as I can stand wearing it.

Heal Your Frozen Shoulder  by Karl Knopf is a gem because 1) it is clearly written; 2) it has excellent photographs and drawings of exercises and anatomy;  and 3) it is smartly organized into three phases according to restoration of function and diminishment of pain. Knof has worked in the fitness industry for over 40 years and is a believer in restorative exercises.

Some of his tips are about changing the mechanics of your day to day life to protect your shoulder. Others are about activities to avoid – such as don’t work for more than 15 – 20 minutes without a rest for your shoulder and don’t perform prolonged overhead work.

Currently, I’m having acupuncture treatments that have helped loosen up tight muscles and have reduced the pain. Now, I am working on range of motion. Eventually, if the progression continues, I will move to phase 3 in the book which includes strengthening exercises and return to full function.

This is not a speedy process. While injury may be a contributor, a lifetime of misuse also contributes to a frozen shoulder.  It may take a couple of years to return to somewhat normal function.  Hopefully, us bloggers, writers and computer users will thoughtfully protect the wear-out joints: fingers, shoulders, neck, elbows.  For those of us with shoulder problems, this book is a gem.

 

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