Episode 005 — Prevent Shoulder Subluxation

Housekeeping

Welcome to Week 5 of the Strokecast. What do you think so far? Let me know in the comments below, or email me at Bill@strokecast.com

You may have noticed the “Bill Suggests” menu at the top of the page. That’s a collection of books and tools related to stroke recovery or public speaking that I find useful. They are also affiliate links. That means that if you click on them Amazon will send me a portion of the sales for the next 24 hours. It doesn’t change your pricing or impact you in anyway. If you see a link to a product on Amazon on this site, you can assume it’s an affiliate link.

In Episode 004 last week, I talked about my experience on the JoCo cruise with a focus on disabilities. I actually travelled with my friend Jon Clarke this year and we recorded an episode of his podcast over the course of several days. In it, he tries to figure out just what this whole cruise thing is. You can hear this discussion here, or subscribe to Caffeinated Comics in your favorite podcast app.

Shoulder Subluxation

The shoulder is a mess of a joint. When hemiparesis sets in, as happened after my stroke, it means the arm (and leg) on that side of the body stop working. Since the shoulder is such a complicated amalgam of muscle, bone, tendon, and ligament, it has to work right to stay together. Subluxation is basically what happens when the shoulder starts to pull itself apart.

When this happens, it’s difficult to exercise, it’s difficult to get the rest of the arm back on line, and it can hurt.

There are two main ways to prevent shoulder subluxation and to minimize it — support and exercise.

Bill wearing the GivMohr sling
Bill wearing the GivMohr sling

 

Support is about minimizing gravity’s insidious effects. It can include:

Ultimately the way to address it for most folks is exercise. It’s why I do things like:

  • Shoulder shrugs
  • Shoulder rolls
  • Shoulder blade pinches
  • Cross body reaching
  • …and more

Long term, strength is key. To get the strength,

  1. Get the exercise
  2. Get the fuel
  3. Get the support
  4. Get the rest

Hack of the week

Cane in a mop holder
This is my original cane with stickers on it hanging in a mop holder in the bathroom.
Mermaid cane in a mop holder
This is my mermaid cane. It’s hanging on the wall in a mop holder.

Mop Holders are great tools for holding my cane. I have about 6 of them stuck up around my apartment in the living room, the bedroom, the bathroom, and near the dining table. I can easily clip my cane to the wall so no one trips on it, and I can still grab it easily and quickly when I want it. I also lose it less often since I know where to look.

Where do we go from here?

  • Do you have a story you’d like to share on Strokecast? Email me at Bill@strokecast.com.
  • How do you deal with sublux? Let us know in the comments below.
  • If you enjoy Strokecast, please subscribe to the show in your favorite Podcast app.
  • If you use a cane, check out the mop holders you can mount around your home or office.
  • Don’t get best…get better.

 

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