My story is similar to tha of a lot of people I have talked too. I never had shoulder problems before and suddenly suffered an acute cuff injury. I was advised quite correctly to do some rehab work.
Well I didn’t do the rehab and eventually underwent a mini rotator cuff repair. I was then provided with all of the help and support I needed, a thorough rotator cuff protocol to follow, a nice new rotator cuff sling and lots of exercises to do.
Guess what I let myself down again. Yes, I regained pretty much full range of movement post op and the tear did heal. I was given an expectation of rotator cuff surgery recovery time but I knew better!! Despite knowing I had a problem; I simply went straight back to doing what I did before the injury.
Result? Simple, I suffered another tear only eight months after the initial surgery. I was lucky in some respects as insurance covered me but I think the total cost was again around $10k, so $20k in total.
My approach this time was completely different I was positive from the start. I was determined to follow my rotator cuff surgery rehab schedule to the letter and I did. I was given a complete protocol to follow and follow it I did. My family were a huge help encouraging me if I slowed up.
Get someone to help you, get a mentor and choose someone accessible and who you really respect – some tough love is called for here. It is no use having a mentor you can overrule; they have to be prepared to bully, cajole and push you all the way.
The results were not immediate; recovery time for me was in the region of six months. I was stronger fitter and free of pain for the first time in three years. I am still doing the rehab now well over ten years later and remain fitter and stronger than ever before.
- Get involved in your rotator cuff protocol have it explained until you understand exactly what is expected of you.
- Get fitter do some aerobic work even just walking.
- Keep a diary – record your experiences and thoughts.
- Be prepared to push yourself but DO NOT try to get ahead. Always stop on pain.
- Ice – use it regularly especially early on.
- Buy equipment of your own e.g. hand weights and therabands.
- Strengthen the surrounding muscles
- Do something else – reading helped me pass the time.
- Never stop the program