I wanted to give an update on the shoulder and a better understanding of the injury. This will probably benefit you some in the understanding of the shoulder joint, ligamentous healing time, and of course my current course.
The shoulder is pretty complex, yet my injury is not. There are two types of “dislocation” injuries of the shoulder. A dislocation, which is the gleno-humeral joint. This means that the humerus (arm) has somehow dislocated from the glenoid cavity. This weakens ligaments and tears them to some extent from the significant amount of stretch. I have never had one of these.
A separation involves the other joint of the shoulder, the acromio-clavicular joint (A/C). This involves the acromion proess of the shoulder blade (scapula) and the clavicle (collar bone). This singular articulation, is the only joint that holds the entire shoulder girdle onto the skeleton of the body. The rest of what holds it on, is muscle, which is why damage to this joint is usually accompanied by secondary muscle injury as well. This is my injury, and it is the eighth. I last separated my left shoulder about 20 years ago. My right one was about 13 years ago, and it was enough to completely separate it (grade III), which means all ligaments of the joint were torn completely. My right arm has hung off my body with no skeletal connection ever since.
So this one was a Grade I separation. The most mild, it was enough damage to mean – don’t push it for 3-4 weeks, and all will be healed. So I pushed it after two weeks of rest, and by the third day of adjusting, I pushed on a few people too many, and re-diagnosed myself as a Grade II the next day. This diagnosis comes from visually seeing that the joint (A/C) is more separated, and the bump of the clavicle is more pronounced. Grade II means that there is a significant amount of ligamentous tearing and stretching of the remaning tissue. My concern, justified, is that at this level the possibility of permanent disfigurement goes up, as well as permanent weakness (surgery is not the most functional for this type of problem).
As you might be able to guess, that step backwards hit me pretty hard. I didn’t think for a minute that I was in a place so susceptible that I could actually get worse from adjusting. Since that day, I have gone nearly three weeks without adjusting with my left arm at all. Then I began to add it in for some very minor support this last few days. My plan has been since the re-injury that I would not use my left arm for any pushing (adjusting the mid – upper back) or pulling (adjusting the lower back) for a total of six weeks.
Well, I have decided to re-assess once again, as my shoulder was throbbing Saturday afternoon after using my left arm for some mild assistance in the adjustments on Friday and Saturday, and I would say that the “bump” of my clavicle has once again grown. So, I am back to the plan of no use for six total weeks, but I mean no use. I need to be really wise about this. The reason is that ligaments do not heal like muscles. Muscles can heal under usage, as that keeps them from scarring. Ligaments are not supposed to stretch, ever. You want them to hold fast, and scar tissue is not of much concern as it is in muscle tissue. So every time I strrtch the ligament, I cause it to creep a bit further, thus weakening my joint.
This same principle of healing would apply to you, and any ligament injury that you might incur. Most commonly, ligamentous injuries happen to the foot/ankle or the hand/wrist. A simple sprain of either is a ligamentous injury, and I know many of you are very used to a loose, floppy foot or hand, where popping and crunching in the joint is common. These injuries are manageable in most cases, but if they get too loose, forget it.
So, here on out, I am going to continue adjusting wherever I can, but I probably will stay away from the necks as that seemed to be the “silent” damage. Not giving me any sign that I was hurting myself, but likely caused the throbbing and visual change. I will use the activator, drops, and single hand adjustments, as well as some side posture with my right hand while leveraging you with me left shoulder.
I need to say this – your adjustment is not about how you feel. You might think it is, but that is so wrong. I have told you forever, my job is not to make you feel good so you can go out into the world and die, my job is to make you function well, which has nothing to do with a “crack”. It is all about the adjustment, which is simply the pressure. If it pops or doesn’t, it does not make a difference to your health, only to that moment. If you are getting adjusted to walk away feeling different, then you look at chiropractic as glorified massage. The two are completely different.
Do not stay away because you don’t want an activator adjustment or an intern to be doing your adjusting. The interns are great, my activator is great, your nervous system health is an urgent concern. In addition, your cellular health is an urgent concern. Tuesday night is all about urgency, as I will be teaching a workshop that is so valuable to you as part of your long term neurological health comes from your pH. We never preach pH, and now we will… don’t miss this chance.
God Bless you all, I appreciate your patience for my return to full health, but don’t be patient with your spine, every single adjustment matters. Missing 1 visit out of 3 in a week, is 30% of your care, which is huge. Missing a visit every other week out of a weekly plan, is 50%. We need your commitment so that we can be committed to you! Thank you!
With all my love – Dr. E