Monday, April 29, 2013

Off the Cuff

It stares at me without pity from the pages of Wikipedia:

"Many rotator cuff tears are asymptomatic. They are known to increase in frequency with age and the commonest cause is age-related degeneration and, less frequently, sports injuries or trauma. Both partial and full thickness tears have also been found on post mortem and MRI studies in those without any history of shoulder pain or symptoms."

I could quibble over the questionable wording (commonest?) and how that might undermine the accuracy of the information, but the ache in my right shoulder tells me that the information is more accurate than not.

I never realized that I could get injured simply by doing nothing. So much for the "use-it-or-lose-it" philosophy of staying fit.  And then just below that result on the Google search was the medical article with this hope-crushing title: "Age-related prevalence of rotator cuff tears in asymptomatic shoulders."  

In other words, there are a lot of us walking around with bad shoulders, due to torn or strained rotator cuffs.  Some of us may not know it, and I suppose they are the lucky ones. Others know that there's a problem, but have no idea how they might have injured their shoulder, because it's something that just happens. 

It's hard to be an American male and not be able to throw. I've been thinking about it, and I've basically been throwing all my life.  Baseballs, footballs, balls of all types, of course; rocks, dirt clods, sticks; playing cards into hats, coins into fountains, chestnuts at kids from our rival neighborhood during the Chestnut Wars of 1978 to 1982.  Now I can still throw, but it really, really hurts when I do it.  This makes coaching baseball really difficult, and with baseball season just getting underway here in the Northeast, that's a problem. 

But what's really upsetting is that I haven't been able to play catch in the back yard with my kids. This injury has made me more aware of the fact that those moments are going to be fewer and fewer as the years go back.  A rotator cuff can happen for no apparent reason, but at least they can heal. The missed connections from a simple game of catch in the back yard is not as easy to correct.

No comments:

Post a Comment