We recently moved into a new neighborhood. A couple of days ago I saw my neighbor wearing a sling on his arm and moving in obvious pain. I went over to talk to him (6 feet distance) to ask him what happened. He told me he had fallen on the ice while trying to show his kids some of his hockey moves. He had landed on his outstretched arm and felt immediate sharp pain in his shoulder which has been getting worse by the day. He told me he is unable to sleep at night, can’t move his arm and that his pain is a 9 out of 10. He complained that he is miserable but does not want to go to the hospital because he suspects it is an unhealthy environment and they are busy enough treating and assessing Covid cases.
Does this sound familiar? I’m sure a lot of us find ourselves in this new reality – stuck at home, stressed out and maybe in pain but not sure what to do about it.
I put on my Chiropractors hat and jumped in to help. I asked if he had tried icing his shoulder and doing some slow movements to mobilze his arm and prevent the dreaded frozen shoulder. He said he was unable to move it without a lot of pain. Knowing that cases like this needed to be treated early, I suggested he come into our office as we are allowed to see emergency cases such as his in person. We were able to do an assessment and determine he had a mild dislocation of his shoulder. We realigned his shoulder to relieve the intense pain and explained some self care things he could do at home:
1. Ice his shoulder 15 minutes 3 times/day to reduce inflammation.
2. Pendulum shoulder exercises to slowly increase mobility. Taking a 4-5 lb. weight like a milk jug and bending at the waste with his affected arm hanging down holding the jug. Slowly and carefully swing his arm back and forth 10 times then side to side 10 times and then circles one way and then the other getting progressively larger circles within pain tolerance. Do this twice each day.
3. I explained how to gently mobilize his shoulder by sitting at the kitchen table with his affected arm stretched out straight on the table top. By slowly leaning forward he could slide his arm forward effectively mobilizing his shoulder.
4. Lastly I explained to him how to lie on a tennis ball to work out his shoulder trigger points.
I began to wonder how many others are in the same boat of increased pain at home with seemingly no place to turn right now. This made me think about our office and how we could effectively serve people like my neighbor. This experience has resulted in reaching out to all of our community to let them know we are open to help them. We are setting up a virtual visit format that will allow us to do virtual consults and treatments as well as being available to do emergency in person visits.
If you or a family member or friend is in pain – don’t suffer. Help is available. Call 403-252-33216 Jocelyn will answer your call and help with deciding your options.
Oh, back to my neighbor. He is feeling much better and his wife is happy that he is not such a grouch around the house. He was thrilled when his insurance company Sunlife told him they are now covering virtual visits for many health providers.
Now that he is out of acute pain we can manage his rehab with virtual visits to track his progress and show him more exercises and home care suggestions.