Shoulders are a bitch to rehab…

One of my colleagues was absent this week, recovering from shoulder surgery. Rumors flew around the teachers’ lounge- no, she didn’t injure it attempting to strangle an 8th grader, it was something else. She had been sure she’d recover fast and be back to work by Wednesday. Ummm…no.

Gotta love the Anatomy Coloring Book- it really helps clarify what goes where.

Your shoulder joint is super complicated, and it is used in almost all daily activities. Forget just the ordinary teacherly activities of writing on the board or passing out papers that my colleague has to worry about, what about reaching for food in the refrigerator or brushing her teeth?

We evolved to be able to move our shoulders in all directions, and the cost for that amount of mobility is potential for injury. The humerus is held in place only by soft tissue, there isn’t a “socket” there at all. According to my Anatomy Coloring book “The socket of the glenohumeral joint is too shallow to offer any bony security for the head of the humerus.” (Kapit and Elson, page 53) (heh heh, bony security…) When that soft tissue is injured, it takes time to heal.

That’s a lot of soft tissue to sort out…

If you’re hurt, get help, and do what the helper, whether that is a doctor or physical therapist, says. Don’t damage yourself more.

If you’re wondering how to prevent shoulder problems in the first place? Well, check back in the next few weeks. I have some ideas.

What are your thoughts and experiences? What has helped in recovery, and in preventing re-injury?



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