October 7th, 2005



Paid my visit to the physical therapist, and he said that my range of motion is absolutely fine, and there's no sign of tearing or other serious damage to cartilage or muscle, and the time for mollycoddlying is through. So off came the sling. Yay!

Now is the time to concentrate on strengthening the muscles and getting them to talk to my brain. Apparently, when my shoulder was dislocated, I stretched the joint capsule (as far as I understand, this is a collection of ligament-like tissue that holds the shoulder in place as well as containing the joint fluid). Because of this, the brain doesn't get the signals that it's expecting when I move my arm into one of the more insecure positions -- the joint slides around more than expected, and so it won't communicate to the muscles properly. (I saw this in action when he was testing my range; I found he could move the joint much more freely when he compressed the capsule by leaning on it with his elbow.) The damage to the capsule is permanent, but we can strengthen the muscles and get them reconnected to my mind. I received Therabands in several pretty colors and was given strict marching orders on exercises. The PT (who I liked a lot, but then I've always had good experiences with physical therapists) said that everything I need to do, I can do on my own, but I'm going back in two weeks to keep myself honest about doing the exercises and paying attention to how everything is feeling. So we'll see how it goes.