Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Genetic Traps

I got a call from my Dad this morning, asking me to call him about his shoulder. Kind of an odd call. My Dad has always had problems with range of motion in his shoulder, and has had several surgeries to correct it, with limited success.

He told me that he recently found out that his sister was having similar shoulder problems, and needed to have surgery to correct it. It was clear this problem was genetic, and I thought he was calling to tell me to watch out for it, which seemed odd, since he didn't yet have a good preventative solution.

He then told me that he finally got his insurance to pay for him to see a very expensive personal trainer. My sister is learning from the same trainer, and he's supposed to be extremely skilled at what I thought was simply yelling "ONE MORE MAN! IT'S ALL YOU! YOU GOT THIS!" I was wrong.

Apparently three visits with this trainer had restored more motion than years of therapy, and two surgeries. He said that the trainer was able to identify use of the wrong muscles in certain motions. The trainer told him that he was using his traps when he should have been using his back. My ears perked up.

Me: Wait, trapezius? You were using your trapezius instead of your back, and that's the problem?
He: Yeah. He said it probably has something to do with the shape of my shoulder. He said when he started training [my sister], he noticed she was doing the same thing, and he corrected her. I've only been to three sessions, and boom, I have motion again.
Me: That's so weird. Just last week I was at the gym working out my deltoids [shoulders], and noticed that my traps were getting worked out more than my delts. I kept thinking the machine did traps and delts, but all it said was delts.
He: There you go. Our shoulders are different somehow. Good news is, we can train ourselves to use the right muscles until it's what comes naturally.

I'm defective :)

I'm going over to his house tomorrow to work out so he can correct my motion like the trainer.

Were it not for this realization, I'd be doomed to a limited range of motion, pain, and surgeries when I got older. This is good stuff to know. Has your family got any similar abnormalities you may have to plan for? Maybe you should check your family's medical history for a possible glimpse into the future.


Fletch said...

Heh. Genetic ~traps~... ~trap~ezoids...

UC wut I did thar?


Davidwhitewolf said...

Only a mutant would think that funny. Mutant. :)