Wow, this could describe most of the last six weeks! Actually, these words were uttered by me to a new patient in the office last week. She wasn't new to chiropractic though. She had just recently moved to the area from out of state and needed to get connected with a new doc. She was sent in by her husband and came in primarily for an acute episode of back pain with sitting a lot working from home. As we talked about her health history, she indicated how much chiropractic care had helped her family over the years and, specifically, a long standing "frozen" shoulder she had that only began to "thaw" after starting care at her previous D.C.'s office.
I will be honest with you. I have seen some frozen shoulders in my time, but not always successfully! Sometimes they do respond and this woman had a good outcome with hers, although upon examination, it was obvious she still had some limitations on how far she could move it before it hung up and became painful.
After working on her lower back, we started in on the shoulder. Often times, in long standing shoulder issues, there is an active trigger point (tight knot causing pain and limitation in a muscle) in the subscapularus muscle of the shoulder. This little guy lives up and under your shoulder blade, basically in the back of your arm pit. Most of you that are patients know that we often times work on trigger points by applying slow steady pressure, right into the middle of the knot until it starts to "melt." If you think that it might be uncomfortable to have someone stick their thumb in your arm pit, you would be right! That's why I said: "This might hurt a little bit" before starting.
"That's okay, I know it will help..."
I have heard that response before, but I am always humbled and a little bit in awe when people willingly move towards pain because they know it will help in the long run. All of us deal with pain that comes our way - sometimes well, sometimes poorly. However, when people actually step into or towards pain, knowing it will hurt but moving forward anyway because they know it is a necessary part of growth and getting better, that is something special. As a practitioner, when you come across that type of attitude you can almost count on the patient improving. They know it might be tough, but there is no other way around, just through!
We have all seen our share of pain these last six or eight weeks. If you are like me, I have handled some of it well and some of it poorly. However, my encounter with my patient helped remind me that pain is a very real part of life, and stepping forward and dealing with results in the best outcome! I hope as you move through this season, you find a renewed resilience and attitude for the hard things and can look back over the next few months and years and see where stepping towards it has helped you become more complete and whole, physically, mentally, and spiritually!
Care Chiropractic - Lafayette, Indiana