Spending a weekend in a tent, ankle deep in mud, in a field somewhere in North Yorkshire left me with several things.
- a strong desire to buy a camper-van
- a debilitating lack of sleep
- a very sore and painful shoulder
Now this could have been brought on by some over-energetic dad dancing whilst raving into the early hours of the morning. But instead I think it was caused by a combination of lifting and carrying all our camping gear from the car to the campsite, holding my sleeping 3.5 yr old daughter for an hour whilst watching a band and then carrying all our gear back through thick mud to the car.
I woke up on Monday with a really painful and stiff shoulder wondering whether I’d be able to ride my bike to work never mind spend all day treating patients. I knew I needed to get my shoulder moving and after some Ibuprofen and paracetamol I could start to exercise and move it which helped to further reduce the pain.
I continue to be amazed at the ability of the human body to heal itself as long as we put it in the right environment to allow it to do so. Fortunately the following week I was on holiday camping with my family and a combination of early nights, being able to run every other day and relaxing on the beach not having to worry about work in combination with a few strengthening exercises allowed it completely settle.
We see a lot of people with shoulder pain with a similar story, instead of a festival shoulder it might be a 1st good gardening weekend of the year shoulder or a I’ve been painting ceilings for 3 days shoulder. Basically if we expose our shoulders to a level of activity and strain that they are not used to too quickly and don’t give the muscles and soft tissues time to adapt to this new level of load it’s going to get sore.
So the take home message is to try an pace yourself and introduce any new activities at a gradual rate to allow your body to adapt and in my case make sure we pack a lot less stuff next time we’re camping at a festival!