You know the joke about the man who shows his hyper-extended arm to his doctor, says "doc, it hurts when i do this," and the doc says, "well then don't do that!"? I am now that joke. Help me not be.
For a long time I used to sleep on my side with my right arm straight out, under my pillow, partially supporting my head. Eventually I began to notice that when I hyper-extended this arm at other times, it hurt, quite a lot, around my shoulder joint. I never lost any important range of motion, but i couldn't, for instance, put my hand behind my back and move it as far up my spine as I could the other hand.
I mentioned it to my doctor, she ordered an x-ray, it showed nothing. She prescribed double-strength ibuprofen 3 times a day for 3 weeks; when that didn't help we ruled out swelling. She suggested Physical Therapy but because it seemed so trivial to me, I did nothing.
Eventually, the other arm started to hurt under the same circumstances, though I had not been sleeping on it. I went (for unrelated reasons) through a series of Rolfings
, and the right arm started to feel better, but the left arm got worse. This trend continued after the Rolfing sessions ended. The right arm is now fine, but the left arm hurts when i hyper-extend it.
I have tried ordinary massage, and it has no effect. Even if the Rolfing helped, I'm not convinced it could be repeated, so I'm not doing that again (besides, it's really
expensive). I had several chiropractic sessions which also did not help. The next step is Physical Therapy, but I still hate to spend so much time and money on something that really isn't stopping me from doing anything. I also tend to think that since the right arm eventually fixed itself, so might the left. Can you suggest some things I could try to hurry that along?
I have one more clue: hot water (like in a shower) applied to the left shoulder joint definitely improves my range of motion for the left arm and makes it hurt less. I was thinking about wrapping it in something warming while I sleep and seeing if that helps. What do you think of this? If you think it might work, do you have any recommendations on what to use to warm it?