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A Shot in the Arm

June 3, 2011 Fitness 2 Comments

After nearly two months of living in pain, I finally went to the doctor for my shoulder injury. I haven’t been swimming or done arm-based exercises since May 1 and things just weren’t improving. Immediately following the fall, I had a lot of pain in the front of my shoulder. That has subsided for the most part and the rear deltoid is now in pain most of the time. I can already tell I have lost a lot of strength in this arm as a result.

My biggest concern was making a go/no-go decision on competing in Barb’s Race on July 30. I was worried that swimming freestyle would further injure the shoulder and cause permanent damage.┬áSure, I could dog-paddle my way through a 1.2 mile swim in the Russian River, but I wouldn’t want to put myself through that misery.┬áSo, it was time for an official diagnosis and treatment plan. As I mentioned in a previous post, my hope was to get a cortisone shot that would alleviate the pain enough to allow me to train and race. What did the doctor have to say?

Diagnosis? Acute rotator cuff impingement, obviously a direct effect from the fall I took on April 9.
Recommended treatment? A cortisone shot! And then physical therapy.

I am under strict orders not to get in the pool for two weeks to allow the shot to work its full magic. After that, “we’ll talk,” but he said swimming for six weeks leading up to the race won’t make things worse or cause permanent damage. I was glad he understood my motives and is willing to be lenient with me on the treatment plan.

Have you ever had a cortisone shot? This was my first and I couldn’t help but notice the thickness of the needle. He sprayed a cooling/numbing product on my shoulder and then went to work. I’m not squeamish about needles, so it wasn’t that bad. The general area burned for about 2 hours afterward, but I went to bed feeling good and it isn’t sore at all now.

This was just the shot in the arm (!!) I needed to fully motivate for the Half Ironman. We booked a vacation rental house and plan to make a mini vacation out of it. Up next is a trip to Sonoma County to pre-ride the race course. I hope to see my college roommate while I’m there. Both of us Iowa girls have made our home in Northern California!


Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. carmen16 says:

    Yay for a doctor who gets your sport! My familiy doctor is a runner which is awesome; fun to chat training at my annual appt. Glad you don’t have to DNS your upcoming race.

  2. Your experience with cortisone sounds like mine. Works well, doesn’t it? I haven’t checked in again about my knee yet, but it seems to have calmed down a lot. Good to know about being able to work with the joint in the meantime (after the two weeks). My Dad had to do a cortisone injection in his hip for osteoarthritis. This seemed to be a bigger deal. Maybe the deposition site is deeper, more complicated to reach.

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