I'm 60 years of age and writing from a small town in Costa Rica, where I spend as much time as possible. Eight months ago, I started experiencing pain in my left (non-dominant) shoulder. The first doctor that I saw treated it as it were rotator cuff tendinitis. He prescribed standard exercises with rubber tubing.
During the next eight months, these exercises helped but I could not return to any meaningful exercise that tugged at my left shoulder. I also tried complete rest from exercise for several weeks, some very light exercise, etc. Nothing worked.
A new doctor had me get an ultrasound test. That showed that I have subdeltoid bursitis. It also showed that my rotator cuff and tendons are fine. My new doctor said that is definitely "good news." He injected cortisone into the area of my shoulder that is most sore.
He said that I'll be able to resume exercise of my shoulder in two weeks if my shoulder seems OK then. I'm sure he'll recommend that I start with lighter exercise and gradually increase it.
Overall, my exercise regimen before the injury was not with weights. (There's no gym near here.) It was a combination of muscle tension exercises (similar to the Charles Atlas 'dynamic tension) and push-ups and some other bodyweight exercises.
My doctor seems very good. He's a general practitioner, and "sports medicine" doctors or clinics do not exist in my part of Costa Rica.
Since my doctor is not a specialist in this area, I'll appreciate your suggestions of how to recuperate from the subdeltoid bursitis once I'm given the green light to begin exercising that shoulder.
BTW, I saw another thread in which someone recommended the two books by Mattes: "Active Isolated Stretching" and "Active Isolated Strengthening." Those books are not available here. I could order them from Amazon.com and receive them in about 3 weeks.
Thanks for any suggestions.
The biggest thing with inflammation injuries like bursitis and tendonitis is to rest, massage, and ice them. These will significantly speed up recovery.
Like tendonitis, it's very easy to aggravate the condition again so you need to work back into it VERY slowly, especially since your condition is chronic. And by very slowly we mean very VERY slowly. You shouldn't be anywhere near the same level of activity for at least a month or two to be safe. Start with like 10% and build on that every 2-3 workouts.
I'm no doc or PT + this is the Internet so take it with a grain of salt.
Thanks for the information, Steven. I didn't realize that continuing to ice the shoulder after the first two days (as directed by my doctor) can be helpful. Also, I didn't know that I need to build up exercising of my shoulder that shoulder. Given how longs it's been painful, that definitely makes sense.
Does anyone recommend any particular stretching or strengthening exercises during recovery?
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