Several months ago, I noticed a sharp pain when trying to lift my left arm. The pain was down my arm and not in my shoulder – and hard to explain. It only hurt when trying to put my arm above my head – and so my obvious conclusion to this irritating and painful problem was not to do that. Ever. I found another way to get undressed and remove clothing attached and around my arms with my arm in a down position – I’m pretty creative like that :)
I told my massage therapist and she smiled and said knowingly, “this just happens as we get older”. Great. That’s what I was afraid of. And because of my repetitious movement at the computer and playing piano for a few hours each day – the problem has increased in recent years. That day and every time since, she has worked on that arm and attached ligaments and helped me to get increased mobility. The pain was only so-so – UNTIL the last time I was in to see her. By this time I noticed that I had the same pesky pain in BOTH arms when trying to raise them above my head. She worked on one side and it honestly took my breath away it hurt SO BAD.
She suggested some stretches and a heating pad to loosen up the locked up area – and Greg decided to get in on the action by “suggesting” some stretches. He has me get down on the floor flat on my back and raise my arms above my head. It sounds so easy – anyone should be able to do it, right? But for me – it’s very difficult. Because I’m a good sport (and to humor him) I am trying this – lifting my arms as far as I can and letting gravity pull them down on my floor. It is very hard NOT to arch my lower back – but I am at least trying. Not an easy task while our puppy is all excited that we’re down on the floor with her – she thinks we’re down there to play with her and keeps jumping on my sore arms – OUCH!
And although these stretches, plus the other ones suggested to me are good for me – I do not like them. I’m not a fan of pain, physical, emotion or any other kind. But I have come to terms with pain – have made friends with it and am trying to let it teach me the lesson that it needs to. Pain will have its way – teach its lesson and hopefully move on. At least in other aspects of my life – this has been the case.
Ah – pain! The great teacher. That moment making us change and do something different. Making us take great efforts to avoid, get fixed up and obliterate forever.
Like those awful stretches. I will do them because I do not like the alternative.
How about you? Do you have some painful stretches in your life? Are they worth it? Is it better than the alternative?