It came as a major blow to my ego that despite twice-weekly yoga sessions and thrice-weekly weightlifting, my left shoulder was defeated by my recent dabbling in wall painting. All this pain, just from painting! Granted, it was 8 solid hours of painting, a few days each week...
Still, one doesn't like to think that a low-impact activity can do such damage to one's relatively young and decently strong body. And yet — it did, and my left shoulder hasn't felt right for weeks. After the initial pain, I've done my best to switch it up and paint with my right hand, but all of the detailed trim/edge work has to be done with my left. Even with the reduced workload, my left shoulder is still infuriated with me and I've had to take two weeks off from lifting weights, which infuriates me. What can you learn from my mistake?
- The Colorado Center For Orthopedics recommends the following treatments for shoulder pain, especially that resulting from painting walls: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
- Cedars-Sinai has thorough, helpful information on symptoms and treatment, but also mentions: "One of the most common shoulder conditions for people over 40 years old is a rotator cuff tear", and that overhead painting is a common cause. I am not ready to be over 40...
- OrthoTexas thinks the problem might be shoulder impingement, and that I should consult an orthopedic doctor.
- Our Health Network concurs, and offers fascinating illustrations of how shoulders work. I just want my shoulder to work — the pool finally opens this week.
- The Telegraph has a completely disheartening painting-related shoulder pain article implying that all of my problems are age-related and that I have the shoulders of a senior citizen and that it's all "a marked increase in degenerative changes" from now on. The silver lining is the suggestion that massage might help...
- Operations Incorporated published a study, The Influence Of Wall Painting On Shoulder Muscle Activity And Horizontal Push Force, which concluded that ergonomic rollers and mid-height painting were least likely to cause fatigue. No word on how to get the ceiling painted.
- Prevention has a nice feature on the 9 Solutions For Rotator Cuff Pain, and notes that, "Lifting your arms over your head — when painting walls, for example, or playing tennis — puts you at risk." But I wanted to learn to play tennis this summer, too!
Have you ever experienced shoulder pain — or any other pain — after painting a whole house? Any other renovation-related injury tales to tell?