Shoulder On

I had been getting along pretty well with my left shoulder, almost to the point of thinking that whatever had bothered it during the summer had resolved itself and gone away. Then came last weekend’s shopping extravaganza, and my packing and flights to Chicago, and now I’m achey again.
Obvious Lesson One: Be gentle to my left shoulder when carrying loads. It’s easier said than done, because after a while toting whatever is heavy with my right shoulder, the temptation to switch the load to my left is practically irresistible. Likewise sleeping on my left side: try as I may to sleep on the right most of the night, I feel a compulsion to roll over, and that puts pressure/weight on my left shoulder. Still, I should definitely try both things.
Not-so-obvious possibility two: It occurs to me that the problem with my shoulder may be the same as the problem with my thumbs — that is, some form of hypermobility. With the extra stress I put on my left shoulder this summer, packing and moving unpacking and moving and packing and moving, then traveling all over with heavy suitcases, then more unpacking, and so on, I can easily imagine my left shoulder just pulling out of its usual snug fit, and then causing havoc as it shifts around. At least, that’s the way it feels to me: nothing feels broken, no particular muscle or ligament distinctly strained. It mostly feels bruised inside. Clearly I’m not a physician, but this explanation would be consistent with other joint problems I have had, and would account for the type of pain and the circumstances for my shoulder being aggravated.
And yes, now that I have an NHS number, I will definitely have someone look at it when I get back to Scotland. I’d have done so already, except that the aggravation took place over the weekend, before I came to the States.

3 thoughts on “Shoulder On

  1. For quite some time I used to carry my camera in a shoulder bag, on my right side. When I replaced the bag I bought a camera rucksack, which I also carried on my right shoulder. Why I had a rucksack and did not use both straps I do not know. However I now use both and the waist strap. This way the load is more evenly spread, especially when hving to trudge round airports to gates which always seem to give you the impression that you are walking to your destination.

    I now have a laptop bag which is in rucksack form, and my latest camera bag has space for the laptop when travelling with both, although I wish I had bought the next up in the rang which is also has wheels.

    And just to prove I do not learn – I recently bought a new shoulder camera bag – but this usually only comes out when travelling by car when I am taking most of the lenses and flashgun kit.

  2. Ice for 20 minutes then heat for an hour, to be repeated at bedtime and when you get up, then midday. Ibuprophen probably at bedtime is best. Dr. Adam calling.

  3. In our house we use St Johns Wort Oil – an infusion of the plant in a carrier oil – for a multitude of aches and pains. I’m sure you can find it at any self-respecting health food store/whole foods type store, etc. Apply liberally to the painful area – we’ve found it to be more useful as a first aid treatment than systemic cure but your milage may vary. Feel better!

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