Snob Essentials

Cautionary Tale of a Torn Labrum: Out of Reach

Torn LabrumWhat happens every time you get in the car with your tots? They ask for something and you reach back and give it to them or take something from them. This goes on non-stop the entire car ride, which could be hundreds of times. I started developing a strange shoulder pain where with certain reaching motions I feel a stabbing pain from the inside of my joint, like there is something in there jabbing at me. This was slight and mostly bearable so I didn’t do much about it. Then yesterday, there was one final straw of reaching back to give my daughter a snack and POP goes my shoulder. It was excruciating – the pain shot down my arm and finally ended in a numbing sensation. That’s when it hit me, it is this exact motion that I’ve done hundreds, if not thousands of times, for the last 7 years that has taken a toll on my shoulder.

Since then, I have had very limited motion with my right arm. I can do simple things – like typing right now – and driving but I keep forgetting what my limits are so when I reach or lift beyond what is OK, I get that the shooting pain. Of course, my husband annoyed me with, “Why are you reaching over arm? Reach like this.” (under arm style where your arm rotates toward the inside rather than what I was doing which was straight out and back). I’ve asked several moms (and dads) if they have experienced this injury from doing “the reach” and I have no one to commiserate with. I can only speculate that since I’m double-jointed, I am able to extend farther than normal, causing the ligaments to get pulled beyond what they were designed to. I now have a future of physical therapy ahead of me. Make sure you limit your reaching, or modify the reaching motion to prevent shoulder strain. You do not want to be in my shoe, immovable arm 2 days before going to New York for Fashion Week (luckily I will not be required to do heavy lifting there).

Image Credit: HSS

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