I follow a pretty strict, some would say very strict, Paleo diet. I am also very leery of drugs. I'm not asking for medical advice; I'm just hoping some of you may have some insight or previous experience with my dilema.
I was recently injured at work, nothing life-threating, a sprain or strain in my shoulder that may be connected to the rotator cuff. The prescribed treatments have included generic versions of Vicodin, an anti-imflamatory, and Prilosec to protect my stomach from the first two. I haven't taken any of them, so now the doctor is suggesting steroids shot directly into my shoulder. I guess I asked too many (or just enough) questions because he's sending me to physical therapy for now and putting off the drug treatments. I'm hoping someone has other suggestions for reducing inflamation in the shoulder. My doctor is suggesting it's necessary. I absolutely will not consider any responses medical advice.
I'm a weight-lifter/athlete and have been dealing with chronic injuries/pain on and off since I was 16 (am 35 now). Over the years I've discovered two ways to counter injury and inflammation.
Build muscle around the affected area. For rotator cuff that means rotator cuff exercises 3X a week. It means doing shoulder presses (I'd use dumbbells) and lateral raises (side and front) two to three times a week. Start very, very light. Slowly but surely, week by week, add a little weight.
Intermittent Fasting - I was startled how this has lowered my inflammation. It's really incredible. I follow the 16/8 methodology prescribed by leangains.com
But overall building muscle is the key. I'm convinced that the root cause of most injuries is muscle weakness/imbalances. This is definitely true for rotator cuffs, which I've personally been through.
Check out arnica, there are both topical and oral forms.
I don't know how paleo they are! but I use the penetrex brand from Amazon. If it's just the pain you want relief from check out Sombra or other capsaicin creams ~ that stuff is amazing!
Curcumin has been the only saving grace for my injured ankle. I take the Jarrow brand, two in the evening and one or two in the morning if I'm noticeably swollen - right now I'm down to just one in the evenings and maintaining just fine.
Fasting has a significant positive affect on the inflammation and overall pain, as well.
I've found acupuncture to be great for not pain reduction and in reduction of inflammation with my shoulder injuries.
Eating ginger/drinking ginger tea is also a good systemic anti-inflammatory and works about as well as over the counter NSAIDs.
Arnica is a great topical homeopathic option, but I find works best immediately after injury as opposed to over the long term.
Heat before physical therapy exercises, then ice after helps significantly (I had a shoulder injury followed by months of shoulder impingement and 6 months of physical therapy). I agree with the other poster re: fasting helps inflammation in general. My blood pressure readings always drop 10-15 points on my fasting days. Crazy, but true. Accupuncture works for a couple of days, but honestly, I think the best thing would be to take the cortisone injection if it's offered and do the strengthening/stretching offered by the physical therapy and let it work its way out. You might have increased blood sugar readings/cravings while you have the cortisone (I was very strict Paleo when I had my cortisone injection) so it isn't ideal, but man it works on shoulders - and quickly. It allowed me to do the physical therapy strengthening and stretching exercises and heal more quickly.
Never tried it, but just read that peppermint soap can treat tendonitis. http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/2012/05/dr-oz-pain-hotcold-receptors.html
Apparently the peppermint can "stimulate hot/cold receptors that have nothing to do with changing the temperature of deeper tissues, but these treatments are very effective in stimulating general endorphin production that reduces troublesome inflammation and pain."
I've not read this book, but it's highly rated on Amazon:
"Based entirely on research from peer-reviewed journals and randomized controlled trials, Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff is a complete program to prevent and rehabilitate rotator cuff injuries for athletes and non-athletes alike. In less than 100 pages, readers will learn precisely how the rotator cuff works, what can go wrong with it, and then are guided step-by-step through an evidence-based program that takes just minutes a week to complete. Drawing from the latest rotator cuff research, Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff will be especially useful for those who have been diagnosed with either a partial or full-thickness rotator cuff tear, experience shoulder pain, do upper body weight lifting, play a sport or have a job that involves repeated arm motions above shoulder level, have been diagnosed with "impingement syndrome," or for anyone simply wanting a healthy and properly functioning rotator cuff."
Can't see how to reply directly, but I second the "Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff" suggestion. See the physio and get the book would be my advice. I have his knee book and the rotator cuff one, my knees are pretty good now after a few months strengthening up my legs and making sure I get some exercise. The rotator cuff is a longer term thing (I injured it years ago) but after years of rest and slow recovery I'm now trying to rebuild some strength - the book seems to give good advice.
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