It’s the start of 2018 and I find myself reflecting on the beginning of 2017 at Moora Chiropractic which kicked off with a tidal wave of shoulder injuries. There were all sorts of varieties of damaged shoulders belonging to all sorts of people. Lots of folk had been fishing over at the coast & had irritated the soft tissues around the shoulder by throwing in line after line, hoping to catch a big one to throw on the BBQ for dinner.
Then there were the shoulders of the people who’d been travelling – they were all tight from sitting on planes or in cars, and from sleeping in squashed positions on camping beds. I had to do lots of deep tissue work to get some of those shoulder muscles freed up again. That’s the trick with getting shoulders right – you have to free up all of the soft tissues that surround the shoulder joint & not just focus on the site of pain.
Ultrasound therapy is an excellent tool for reducing inflammation around the shoulder & for accelerating the body’s own healing process. Acupuncture is good too, especially if there are active trigger points in the muscles around the shoulder that need to be released in order to restore an efficient movement pattern. You can’t just treat at the site of pain – that might reduce symptoms in the short term but long term functional improvement takes a more comprehensive approach.
For most shoulder injuries, I tend to use a combination of soft tissue therapy, ultrasound, acupuncture and exercise prescription. I’ll also clear restrictions through the mid back and neck in order to maximise movement in the body and to reduce tension in the tissues.
Every so often, there is one stubborn shoulder that doesn’t respond to physical therapy, perhaps because there is too much tissue damage present for me to be able to help. I’ll often refer these people to a General Practitioner for a cortisone injection or for specialist consultation. Some people don’t want cortisone because they’ve had a bad reaction to it in the past or because they don’t have the time to be driving to Perth for injections. I tend to work with those people for a bit longer & often they will respond with more intensive work.
I’m suspecting a similar wave of shoulder injuries this January but maybe that won’t happen. Maybe shoulder injuries won’t be fashionable anymore and there will be an influx of plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis cases instead, like there was towards the end of 2017. There are always different trends and patterns in the community that I need to respond and adapt to. That’s one of most fun aspects of being a Moora Chiropractor. I never know what’s going to walk through the door!
This year I’m hoping to get to a few more live conferences for professional learning to help me to continue to serve our community in an efficient way. Last year I did most of my professional development online but this year I’d like to attend more in person learning workshops as I find them a more challenging and interactive way to learn.
I’m still away for a week but the wonderful Dr Charlene Lees is around and will be in Wongan Hills on Tuesday 9th January and in Moora on Thursday 11th January. I’ll hit the ground running on Monday 15th January in Moora and will see what everyone has in store for me then. In the meantime, I wish all of you & your loved ones a fantastic 2018. THANK YOU for having me as your Chiropractor – I absolutely LOVE working with you. See you back in Moora on the 15th ~ Allie X