February 22, 2023 Dr. Danny Govenar

“FROM DOCTOR TO PATIENT: THE HEALING POWER OF INJURIES ”

I love getting injured! You heard me! I love getting injured.  Sure, there is pain and time lost doing the activities I enjoy.  But with every injury I grow stronger physically, and mentally more resilient.  But more importantly it helps me truly feel what my patient’s feel.   

However, 6 months ago I wasn’t singing this same tune… 

One day on the golf course a friend of mine picked up my golf ball and threw it to me.  As I reached in the air to grab it, I felt a searing pain in my left shoulder. I continued playing and got through the round.  But over the next few days I began to experience left shoulder pain and tightness that would ultimately cause me to lose 75% of my range of motion in my left shoulder. I could barely put on a shirt let alone paddle into a wave or swing a golf club. But even more painful was the fact that I couldn’t go surfing or play catch with my kids. That was when it became serious.  

As a chiropractor, a slightly above average athlete, and professional weekend warrior I rely heavily on my body to work and play. I found myself frustrated and worried about my ability to work with my patients. Luckily, this wasn’t the first injury I had to work through (literally). I’ve suffered from herniated discs, broken ankles, fractured ribs, and the list goes on. But rather than let this setback defeat me, I got to work immediately. 

In this blog, I will briefly discuss the shoulder joint as well as share my experience with shoulder pain and how I was able to rehabilitate my shoulder and return to my work…and play. 

Shoulder health is incredibly important for everyone, not just for those in physically demanding professions like mine. The shoulder joint is one of the most complex, mobile, and dynamic joints in the body, and it plays a crucial role in everyday movements like lifting, pushing, and pulling. Unfortunately, shoulder pain and injury are all too common, and they can be caused by a variety of factors, including overuse, poor posture, and trauma.  

My specific injury was related to many microtraumas over the years! 

Injuries to the shoulder can cause pain, weakness, and limited range of motion, as was the case for me. As a chiropractor, I understand that ignoring these symptoms can lead to further damage and longer recovery times. For this reason, I knew I needed to take immediate action to rehabilitate my shoulder and regain my range of motion. I designed a targeted treatment plan like I do for all my patients specifically tailored towards my needs and body type. Whether I am treating a patient with shoulder impingement, bicipital tendonitis, adhesive capsulitis or even a mild rotator cuff tear, the treatment objectives are similar.  

  • Strengthening the surrounding musculature of the rotator cuff, shoulder girdle, and postural muscles of the upper back. 
  • Improve mobility of the upper and mid back 
  • Stretching the shoulder capsule and surrounding musculature. 

The process was tedious and painful, but I practiced what I preached and stayed consistent. It’s all about consistency when it comes to the body and making changes.  

At the risk of being vulnerable I have a confession to make. I was genuinely scared 6 months ago. My body is my life! I was genuinely concerned about my future. But I kept plugging away. 

This is why I love injuries. We all take our bodies for granted. Including me. But what I don’t take for granted is our bodies ability to heal if given the proper plan and attention. 

But as I said I love injury. WHY? BECAUSE every time I have an injury, large or small, it reminds me of what my patients go through when they come in with that concerned look on their face. I’ve come to realize it’s not about the PAIN, but about what they CAN’T do. 

As someone who loves the ocean and surfing, this was a painful year to be out of the water. It has been one of the most consistent years in San Diego history. This shoulder injury has made me appreciate surfing, working, and playing catch with my son. I am happy to say I am very close to paddling into my first wave in 6 months. When this happens, don’t be surprised if you see a grown man with a tear in his eye that day.  

A tear of gratitude. THANK YOU INJURY!

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