The pain in my arm that I mentioned last week increased as the day went on, until it was just a constant ache that I couldn’t stop thinking about. After Dr. Googling my symptoms – difficulty in raising my arm (especially overhead), weakness in the arm and shoulder, especially painful at night, crackling in my shoulder when I would move it – I was convinced it was a Rotator Cuff Tear. Acute rotator cuff tears often need surgery. A surgery that by all accounts included a painful and long recovery. A worrier/worst case scenario person by nature, I spent all week in pain and scared.
Luckily, I had a playdate planned with a friend who is a physical therapist on Friday. We talked about my symptoms, where the pain is, what type of pain, and she reassured me that it most likely wasn’t a tear, but bicep tendonitis, which could be treated without surgery. My weekend was much more relaxed than my week had been now that surgery didn’t seem likely. Sure enough, when I saw the orthopedist on Monday he diagnosed me with either bicep tendonitis or shoulder bursitis based on my x-rays, symptoms, and tests he performed on my arm and shoulder. 2-3/week physical therapy for the next 6ish weeks should hopefully alleviate the pain and return full range of motion to my arm and shoulder.
I stopped running the past week for fear that I was causing more damage. The doctor said that movement of my arms during running could cause discomfort, but it was okay to still run. If I found that running was aggravating the bursitis to reduce my running or be more patient with my recovery timeline. So after a week off from running + the all clear to start up again, obviously I threw on my running shoes and hit the treadmill, right? Wrong. Yep, here I am on my computer when really I could be running. Tomorrow.
The TL;DR version: my shoulder injury can be treated with physical therapy, doesn’t mean I have to stop running, and yet I am too unmotivated today to run even though I was disappointed not to be able to all last week. Also, don’t diagnose yourself via the internet.