Shoulder Pain Story

Playing with children is a lot of fun. I don’t know about others, but I do enjoy playing with kids. While doing so, sometimes, we tend to behave and act like them. One day, after returning home from work, my children insisted that we go outside and play some games.

Initially my children were playing among themselves, but as we all know, after they play for some time, we have to intervene and solve their “childish” quarrels. To pacify them, I joined them and started playing with them. We were playing rugby and I started giving them passing and catching practice. We were having a lot of fun…when my youngest son hurtled the ball at high speed and it flew in a high arc… In the excitement, I forgot that I was 38 years old and weighed 210 pounds… (OMG).!!!!. and tried to catch the ball by making a heroic dive forward and landed on my right shoulder putting all of my glorified 210 pounds on my right shoulder…. and my poor shoulder bore the brunt of my whole weight, the result of which was excruciating pain. For the next few minutes I was writhing with pain. My children looked on very fearful for me. However, the pain subsided after some minutes.

Shoulder Pain

Since my body was heated due to the catching and passing practice and playing with the kids, I didn’t feel the pain for some time and I thought the pain had subsided completely and I need not worry further. After the practice was over, we went home hungry and tired. My body had cooled down by then. I went to the kitchen and lifted my right arm to take the cookie jar off the top shelf in the kitchen, when I experienced the Godzilla of all pains..!! The pain was so intense, that I was unable to lift my arm and had to use my other hand to reach the cookie jar. Immediately I applied an ice pack to my shoulder and took a painkiller (naproxen), which I had at home.

By that evening, I was hardly able to move my right hand or shoulder and was hardly able to do any work. By now there was redness in my shoulder area and the pain had increased. I again took some naproxen and after some time there was some difference in the pain, but not that much. I watched soccer for some time and went to bed. After tossing and turning, I managed to sleep, but the pain started to increase and I woke up from my sleep with a badly aching and throbbing pain in my right shoulder. I was not able to lie on my right because of the pain. I had to lie either supine or on my left shoulder. That night, I could not sleep at all.

The next day, I woke up with a throbbing pain and stiffness in my shoulder joint. I thought of seeing a doctor, but I had an urgent meeting at my work place and therefore I postponed my visit to the doctor. I could feel the pain throughout the day while performing all the activities, starting from brushing my teeth, having a shower, putting on my clothes, eating, driving to the office and working in the office. The pain persisted and there was not even 1% decrease in the intensity of the pain. When I was not doing anything or was in a standstill position, I didn’t feel any pain, but when I did any activity or tried to raise my arm over my head, I had unbearable pain.

That evening, I visited a physician, and as expected he gave me some analgesic tablets and advised me complete rest for the next two weeks. When I inquired the doctor if any X-ray or scan is required, the doctor laughed it off by saying that it was a minor contusion (bruise) to the shoulder which would heal in a few days. He advised me to take the tablets for 3 days and additional tablet only in a SOS situation, i.e. when the pain was severe. He told me that he would review after a week. The week passed by with no change in the pain. I had some relief with the pain killers, but as their effect would wear off, the pain would resurface again, as if to mock me “I am still here and not going anywhere,”…

As per the advice of my doctor I took complete rest for the next two weeks. After two weeks, the intensity of the pain gradually started decreasing. I will not say that the pain had gone completely, there was still some pain. I went and visited my doctor once again, as the pain hadn’t completely gone. The doc advised an X-ray of my shoulder. I got the x-rays, but they were inconclusive. The doctor suggested a wait-and-watch approach for some more time and prescribed some stronger painkillers. Taking these painkillers daily was giving me stomach upset and I was feeling fuzzy too. A month passed, the pain was decreasing, but at a snail’s speed. During my daily activities such as raising my hand above my head etc., I felt the pain. The pain was not willing to let go off me as if it was my best buddy and did not want to leave me.

I visited another doc, but he said the same thing that everything seems to be fine and the pain will go on its own. I have tried ice therapy, heat therapy, massage, stretching ……u name it and I have done it, but even after months of that incident, I can still feel some pain …especially during night, when I am trying to sleep, it hurts to lie on my right side. I started to favor my right shoulder and arm ….. Sometimes I am pain free, but after a hectic day, when I come home, my shoulder starts to throb, reminding that I am still not completely pain free…. this chronic pain has become my life partner now…completely adhering to the vows of “till death do us part”..(sigh sigh) ……But life goes on, I do my daily activities of working, bathing, playing with my kids…… I hope that one day the pain will subside completely and I will be like my old self again. I have tried to make some healthy lifestyle changes…losing some weight, eating healthy and trying to walk daily in order to condition my body more…sometimes when I am alone and brooding, I think about the incident and laugh that a silly heroic stunt of mine of diving and catching the ball like a pro in order to impress my kids has caused me so much pain, given me so many sleepless nights, and definitely decreased my quality of life. Life is just that, unexpected, sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter……the path is strewn with pain and pleasure; the best we can do is to learn to tread cautiously to avoid pain…..


Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 27, 2019

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