My Wife’s Rotator Cuff Injury

rotator cuff injuryMy lovely wife Caitlin is finally getting over a rotator cuff injury that took seven months to develop and one year to heal. Adhesive capsulitis, while being accurately descriptive is easier to remember by its lay name, frozen shoulder.

Frozen shoulder can develop from a rotator cuff injury as well as any number of shoulder issues that lead to a restricted range of motion. Caitlin’s injury never quite reached a completely immobile stage, but got pretty darned close and caused her immense pain.

It all started with kickboxing. My wife signed up for a year of kickboxing and to her enormous credit rarely missed a day. Workouts that kicked her butt for the first couple of months became effortless and actually not quite enough.

After seven months of kickboxing though, she began feeling the pain in daily activities such as putting on and taking off a jacket or a shirt. A sports bra was her hell. 

She gradually lost range of motion suffering most of her pain in the biceps tendon at the top of the inner arm leading down toward the elbow. There was also pain on the top of the shoulder likley related to the supraspinatus muscle of the rotator cuff. 

The pain reached its worst in October when range of motion became extremely limited in all of the rotator cuff muscles (infraspinatus and subscapularis and teres minor in addition to supraspinatus)as well as the deltoids.

The kickboxing school was downstairs from our apartment making it extremely convienent, though it turns out no one really taught my wife how to punch. And as with everything, there is a correct way to punch, that doesn’t lead to injury.

Life abounds with spirals. They begin with our DNA, continue through our bones and are found everywhere in existence. The straight line is an awful thing not truly found in nature. Punching is about spirals as well. A well executed punch follows a corkscrew like twisting motion that comes from the core and articulates through every joint on the journey.

They did a lot of punching in her classes and it is my belief that her punching tended to move forward through a fairly stiff wrist and elbow that pulled on, rather then incorporated, the shoulder joint.

In the next few days I’ll write more about frozen shoulder, my wife’s injury and her healing.

What is Frozen Shoulder?
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