I thought I’d write a post to update what is going on with my back right now – I can’t believe I’m nearly 6 years post opp (eeeek!)
So last year I started running, which I never thought I’d be able to do following scoliosis surgery. At one stage, I was running several times a week and managed to run a 10K race after only training for about 5 weeks. After this I was hooked. It felt great and so I kept doing it. I signed up to a 5K race and really started pushing myself, trying to improve my time. Unfortunately, it led to me injuring my left shoulder muscles/nerves and not being able to run for a while. Since then I’ve seen my GP, a personal trainer and two physios and the conclusion is that the injury was partly related to my scoliosis and the fact that my shoulder muscles on that side were not very strong as a result of the condition and surgery.
Because I have scoliosis and a residual curve following surgery, my back muscles on my right side are much weaker than the left side (unsurprising, as I also have a winged scapula on the right side). So what happened, with all the running and repetitive shoulder motions, my left side was having to work twice as hard to compensate for my right side, which eventually caused an injury resulting in pain and soreness in the muscles around the left shoulder blade. This pain has been ongoing on and off for about 9 months!! At one point it was so bad that I couldn’t even lift my right arm and the skin was very sore to touch.
I was starting to think I would never run again and that this was going to be a long term thing. Also I was worried about my metalwork, had I done something to the screws?
I think in all honesty, it probably is a long term thing for me but I’ve been told that I can reduce and even eliminate the pain by strengthening my shoulders through exercise and physio.
So, this is what I’ve been doing for the past 6 months or so! I’ve been focusing on exercises that target my shoulder and core muscles in order to strengthen my body so that when I’m running, it doesn’t aggravate my shoulder as much. I’ve been reassured that it is not the metalwork, as it takes a lot more than running to damage titanium apparently – it’s incredibly strong!!
Exercises I’ve been doing include…
- The plank
- Sit ups on an exercise ball
- Squats using an exercise ball
- Shoulder presses at the gym
- Chest presses at the gym
- Leg presses at the gym
- Shoulder rows at the gym
I have found that already these exercises have made a big difference, my shoulder pain is not 100% better but I can feel myself getting stronger and the other day, I even managed to run 5K with no shoulder issues!!
I think the key thing to learn from this, is that running should always be supplemented by strengthening exercises to prevent injury, whether you have scoliosis or not, but it’s particularly important for those with scoliosis due to the existing muscle in-balances.
It’s safe to say I’ve learnt my lesson – I am not invincible. I am going to continue my strengthening exercises and won’t be pushing myself too hard with the running for a while!!
I had scoliosis surgery in 2010 and blog about my experiences living with scoliosis. My aim is to raise awareness of scoliosis and help and inspire others with the condition.