Friday, May 6, 2011

Shoulder Bursitis

My shoulder has felt fine the last couple of open water swims, but still gives me occasional shots of pain when moving my arm fast, or in a certain direction.  So I opted to keep my appointment with Dr. Spencer Richards, a sports medicine Dr.  I explained my symptoms and he had me do range of motion and strength tests.  He said my strength was fine and didn't suspect a tear, so he did an ultrasound.  He took a few pictures.


This isn't me, but is exactly where I got the shot.  
He showed me some dark sections underneath what he explained was muscle and between the bones.  They were inflammation.  He called it Shoulder Bursitis.  It's an inflammation, that is from overuse or strain.  He said that I could either take 800 mg of Ibuprofen three times a day over several weeks, or if I needed a faster result, a cortizone shot.  I told him I wanted fast results, as I only have three weeks until my GSL swim.  So he gave me a cortizone shot.  It wasn't too bad. 

I also read recently on LoneSwimmer's site about "Magic Cups"  Looks like a great way to be prepared to administer ice.  Normally I just put it in a baggie and leave it on my shoulder, but then it just falls off.  Then I hold it there and freeze my hand.  This is a cool way to administer it.  I'll have to go find some cups like that and get them in the freezer. 

He said I should take ibuprofen while I'm training to keep the swelling under control, which I definitely plan to do.  It might be in my head, but I feel it getting better already.  He said I'm OK to swim over the next few days, but to take it easy and let the swelling subside before really putting more strain on it.  So tonight's swim is only a mile and I'll take it easy. 

Tomorrow I swim with Goody in GSL and I'll just take a really easy pace.  I'm very happy that I now have a diagnosis, an immediate treatment to reverse the inflammation and a set of precautionary practices to reduce the chance of it happening again.
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