Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What it is

I met with the physical therapist today for the evaluation of my shoulder, and I finally learned exactly what 'adhesive capsulitis' is, in terms I can understand. I'm a big enough geek to find it fascinating and just self-absorbed enough to share it all with you.

Apparently, the sheath covering the shoulder is like a deflated beach ball -- lots of wrinkles and folds. As long as the shoulder is moving around, everything stays nice and supple. But if, for some reason, the shoulder doesn't get moved around (like because it HURTS), the folds can get stuck together and the sheath gets all stiff, like a deflated beach ball that lays in the trunk under the spare tire all winter. And then you can't raise your arm high enough to shave your right armpit. (Wait... maybe that's just me.)

Once that happens, adhesions (scar tissue) form, sticking the folds together but good. (Note: This doesn't usually happen to beach balls.)

The goal of PT is to break up the adhesions and get the folds unstuck. Imagine what fun that's going to be!

The coolest thing of the day was this iontophresis patch* he put on my shoulder to deliver the cortisone, instead of an injection. It has a little watch battery in it and everything! I didn't even know such things existed.

I'm thinking this whole PT business is going to consume a fair amount of my mental energy for the near future, not to mention a large portion of my sick time. And I'm guessing there will be large amounts of whining involved, as well.

Fair warning.

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