Injury Blues

Circle near neck is where the scalene muscles are but pain is felt all along the red marks.
Circle near neck is where the scalene muscles are but when they are inflamed, pain is felt all along the red marks.

Yesterday was the regular ladies club day at my home course.  I showed up, ready to play, excited to see how I would do now that I’ve begun to work through some swing bugs.  I was also curious if nerves would get to me.  Since the club had a meeting following golf, it was a shotgun start.  My two playing mates and I walked out to the tee box on the eighth hole, did a few stretches and lined up metals in one hand, balls and tees in the other to begin our round.  I was the last to hit.

When I got up to the tee, I swung the club, made decent contact with my ball and watched it go wildly to the right and out of bounds.  This was a strange trajectory and I could hardly believe my eyes as I experienced a could this really be happening moment.  The first swing of the day!  I declared that I would hit a provisional.  It too went far right and landed in the well of a tree – but at least it was a playable lie.

As I walked over to where my first ball disappeared past the dreaded white stakes, I was in disbelief and started noticing pain in my upper right chest and back.  I punched out of the tree well and the shot was good enough to land me in a spot where I could at least hit the damn thing with no impediments.  I pulled out my hybrid and whacked a solid shot down the fairway closer to the green, grimacing in pain and knowing I already lay 4.  It all happened so fast.  Crap!

My next shot got me just short enough of the green to require a pitch rather than a chip.  I was confident that if I pitched well I could be up and down in two, which is exactly how the hole played out for me.  My pitch was a beauty and got me within five feet.  I made the putt.  Yes I scored seven but it could have been much worse.

Before my pitch onto the green I declared to my playing mates that I might have pulled a muscle.  I was in pain and I was going to try to ‘work’ out of it.  I knew we’d be playing nine next and if it was too painful, my car was right there in the parking lot and I could drop out.

I teed off on the ninth hole and pulled it far left this time.  My second shot pulled left too and I knew then that I couldn’t play.  I messed something up between my boob and my back.  I wasn’t sure if it was a pectoral, trapezious or latissimus dorci problem but something wasn’t right and my big swings off the tee and in the fairway were not helping.  I played out the hole for a double bogey but told the ladies I had to drop out.  They understood and wished me well.

Later at home I googled everything I could about my injury which was extremely painful for the first 18 hours.  I could hardly move and when I did, I had to take great pains to not aggravate the injury.  I couldn’t tell if it was my chest or back muscles and after much clicking around, I discovered it was neither.  I aggravated the scalene muscles.  I’ve done this before but not to this degree.  Usually it just affects whether or not I can turn my neck but this time, the trigger point travelled down my upper chest and inside of my shoulder blade.

I slept on it and woke up very sore.  But I found stretches and home care suggestions and did every one of them.  I used some ‘biofreeze’ on it, spreading it around the affected area on my back as best I could.  It could not have been in a more difficult place to self apply a gel!  It is now

3 p.m. the day after and I think it’s feeling quite a bit better.  Yes I’ve been taking ibuprofen and lots of it but I really think it’s better.

I’ve been asked to golf tomorrow and I may just try.



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