Woodmansterne, Banstead, Surrey
To be absolutely honest, as a practitioner, I had the usual thoughts that I was somehow immune from the usual problems that affected my patients.
There was absolutely no history of osteoarthritis in my family, and the risk of wearing out my own joints had never occured to me.
Having treated patients as an osteopath, and employing much manipulation and deep massage over many years had already put much pressure on my AC joints. Adding 10 years of Thai boxing in my 20,s plus using heavy weights at the gym for the last 10 years should have given me a clue that perhaps, just maybe, my AC joints may ultimately pay the price !!
At 50 years old, it was time for the grim reaper of the osteoarthritis world to pay a visit.
After some months of convincing myself this pain was a ligament injury, (self diagnosis for any practitioner is like the lawyer who represents himself, and we all know what they say about him ) I paid a visit to my doctor for a cortisone injection.
I explained the symptoms, that were definitely AC joint, and he spent the next 5 minutes explaining why it couldnt possibly be AC and must be rotator cuff injury.
The blank look on his face when I mentioned AC symptoms should have given me a clue that he had no idea what I was talking about, and proceeded to inject cortisone into the rotator cuff. This is akin to plastering a patients leg when they have a broken arm!!!
So I got a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon, who immediately recognised the symptoms, promptly x rayed, and confirmed my worst fears. There are osteophytes the size of daggers in the joint, and it is worn like a tramps shoes.
We agreed that the workload I had put this poor joint through over 30 plus years had been the cause.
We tried a cortisone shot into the joint under ultrasound guidance, but all I gained from this endeavour was 3 days of feeling like a Rottweiller had attacked my shoulder (from the needle entering the joint!!) followed by 2 days mild relief.
It was as bad as ever, and still is. I have to sleep with my arm hanging off the bed, which gaps the joint.
If I want to sleep facing my lady, I have to lay with my head on two pillows, my shoulder underneath the pillows, and my arm out straight.
Weight lifting is out of the question, its just too painful, so my gym work consists only of cardio.
The one saving grace is that it doesnt affect me working on patients one bit.
The surgeon offered me an operation, but told me it would be a minimum of six to eight weeks before I could return to work.
So I guess I have to live with it!!!
However if the pain gets too bad, I use infra red heat and electroacupuncture to aid the pain.
I also take glucosamine and cod liver oil to help long term.
And joy of joys...My right shoulder is deciding to join in the fun....
Bring on the zimmer frame...!!!!
About Dr Les Bailey phd,DO, acopm.apta(int part)
A Les Bailey orthotics article, Woodmansterne, Banstead, Surrey
Direct phone number 07801418080
Dr Les Bailey began in physical therapies in 1981,qualifying in remedial massage,and later going on to qualify as an osteopath.
He gained his phd from OIUCM for a thesis on the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
He was awarded a teaching/lecturing diploma from the northern school of osteopaths in 1993.
He also holds a diploma in foot biomechanics .
Dr Les Bailey works from his clinic near Woodmansterne, Banstead in surrey.