A few months ago, I was awakened by a condition that was unfamiliar to me. I felt injured, yet I didn't recall experiencing a specific injury. Suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, I had discomfort and what felt like internal swelling in my left shoulder, coupled with pain that traveled down my arm. This pain it seemed, was triggered by raising and lowering my arm. It was accompanied by an unfamiliar clicking sound in my neck.
Reaching behind my back was out of the question, along with uncomfortable sleep, since jolting pain kept me awake. I suffered a complete loss of mobility and strength in my left arm for weeks.
Stunned by my swift and mysterious lack of mobility, I did what every other person with shoulder pain would probably do -- I high-tailed it to a doctor.
Red flag: Getting An Unclear Answer From Your Doctor
After a brief examination, a few injections of lidocaine and a quick check of immobility, the good doctor diagnosed me with a rotator cuff injury.
Doc couldn't give me a definitive answer. He said the pain was the result of one of three things:
- Tendinitis, caused by irritated or damaged rotator cuff tendons.
- Bursitis, an inflamed bursa due to overuse, that swelled with fluid.
- Impingement, the reason for the difficulty raising the arm to shoulder height.
Without considering my medical history or the fact that anything else could be contributing to this frozen shoulder (specifically, a non-rashing variety of the shingles virus) the good doctor bypassed the steroid treatment and recommended a bursectomy -- a removal of the small sac (the bursa) filled with fluid that reduces the friction in joint movement.
Bursectomies are painful surgeries and are commonly done laparoscopically. While this surgery is said to "relieve chronic inflammation," which is a complete and utter lie (only diet can do that.) I was skeptical. (See the painful procedure in the video below.)
The doctor talked and talked and tried to sell me on the idea of surgery.
"So, let me get this straight." I said.
"You want to create more pain, decrease my immobility for weeks, put me on painkillers and/or antibiotics, and delay my overall healing time by recommending bursa surgery?
"Hmmmmm, and you want to do this without a guarantee that I won't have any long-term limitations that are so common to this type of surgery?"
I glared at the doctor thoughtfully.
Surgery Is Never a Permanent Fix For A Chronic Condition
As nice as it would have been to regain the use of my arm (eventually), I just couldn't accept surgery as a permanent fix.
Considering that there are about 160 bursae in the human body, would the good doctor have to rip out a bursa each time one became inflamed?
There is a better way.
As I considered other options, it occurred to me that I had this pain before -- once in my right hip, once in my back and once in my knee, and these conditions healed without surgery.
Ending Chronic Inflammation Starts With Diet
At the very least I left the doctor's office knowing exactly what I didn't want --surgery. I fine-tuned my diet, and made the necessary eliminations of inflammatory foods like animal protein, dairy, corn, eggs, soy and wheat.
My healing work really began when I incorporated coconut into my life. This is when I began to see a noticeable -- no, drastic improvement in the mobility of my shoulder.
Upon cross-checking, I was thrilled to see that research backs this up: researchers in India found that the unique coconut antioxidants reduced inflammation associated with arthritis more effectively than current pharmaceutical drugs.
And so, I continued eating coconut daily in the form of yogurt.
You Can Make Your Own Coconut Yogurt
Coconut is not usually found at many local supermarkets, but is available in many freezer sections frozen. It is easy enough to prepare coconut yogurt at home using some coconut meat, coconut water, and a high quality probiotic in a high speed blender. Here's how it's done:
2 cups frozen young coconut meat
¼ tsp loose probiotic powder
¼ cup coconut water or distilled water
1 tsp honey (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a Vitamix, blender, or food processor. Process until smooth.
- Pour contents of blender into a mason jar, or container that allows the yogurt to expand by at least ⅓ in volume.
- Cover and leave in a dark, warm place for 8 hours or overnight.
- Store in fridge.
Herbal Remedies Are Also Very Effective Against Shingles
Some other herbal/wild foods besides the coconut that are very affective against the shingles virus are (links included):
Most People Who Have Shingles are Zinc Deficient
Unless you're eating massive amounts of shell fish or pumpkin seeds everyday, you're not getting enough zinc in your diet. This is an invitation for the shingles virus to strike. Most people who suffer with the various strains of the shingles virus (there are more than one) are zinc deficient.
Luckily there's an easy way to add more zinc to your diet:
Zinc is a protector of the immune system and often recommended for preventing colds and flu. If you're dealing with frozen shoulder, it is a good indication that you need more zinc in your life.
Don't Let Yourself Get Talked Into Having Unnecessary Surgery
Listen to your internal warning system! Know that if you're dealing with rotator cuff pain, or any joint pain that is not associated with a specific injury, it is likely viral and can be healed permanently with lifestyle changes, self-caring, and some good old fashioned natural healing.