Because of my racing (really it’s due to crashes while racing), I have broken a lot of bones, including three shoulders. It has been my experience that shoulder injuries take the longest to heal and rehabilitate.
If you experience a shoulder injury, then pain and discomfort will be unavoidable on your journey to full mobility, strength and function of your shoulder.
Your physical therapist is your friend
Your physical therapist is your friend. It has been my experience that some of the exercises and tasks that they will perform don’t make them appear friendly, but they are genuinely trying to help you. My therapists at Total Rehab in Auburn Alabama, were acutely tuned to my pain tolerance. This is a necessity. In order for you to regain full function, your physical therapy will be aggressive, but your willingness and your pain tolerance will be two of the determining factors in your progression.
Research is necessary for understanding
I didn’t understand how long the process could take, so I started doing some research into shoulder injuries, shoulder surgery and shoulder rehabilitation. This helped me to have a better understanding and allowed me to communicate intelligently with both my orthopedic surgeon (Dr. Raymond Godsil, Auburn Orthopedic Clinic) and my physical therapists (Ty Garner, Tom Evans and Dr. John Mann).
It is my opinion that anyone who experiences an injury should do as much research as possible. This is so that you can be educated about the pain, rehabilitation process, possibility of future complications and the pros and cons of surgical and non-surgical management. People should always be open and honest with their doctors and therapists. Ask questions until you feel that you have a comfortable understanding of the situation and all that is involved.
- research your injury
- research treatments for that injury
- research your options (there are always options)
- research the rehabilitation process
- seek professional attention and assistance
- ask question (lots of questions – make sure that you understand everything)
- communicate openly with all doctors, therapists and athletic trainers
- ask about exercises that you can perform at home
- ask if there is anything that you can do to expedite the rehabilitation process
- be patient
- ask about exercises that can help prevent future injuries
- argue with medical professionals
- hesitate to seek a second or third opinion
- pretend that you are better if you aren’t
- skip treatments or appointments
- attempt to do any exercises or tasks without consulting your doctors or therapists first
- expect miracles
Knowledge is power
Education and knowledge are a powerful asset when you are suffering from an injury. Gain as much information as you can, so that you can communicate with the medical professionals about your injury and rehab process. This may also give you greater peace of mind and reduce any apprehension that you may be experiencing.
Lack of knowledge can induce undue stress and worry. Gain the understanding and comfort that you deserve.