Shoulder Pain in the Foot?

Sallie had bright blue eyes, a quick wit and big smile. She taught theater for years before retiring. Like my other theater friends, she had an extra volt of electricity to her personality. She practically glowed when she entered the room on this cold November morning.

At our first meeting, I watched Sallie walk toward my table and noticed several issues right off the bat: a pronounced limp with a leaning posture to the left, a left shoulder sitting just a little too low and unnaturally short steps that favored her right leg. They were subtle. Most people wouldn’t even notice these things. It’s just my job, like a forest ranger spotting a wild animal in the distance no one else can see.


Sallie had several problems consistent with my observations: chronic left shoulder and neck pain and left-sided low back pain for as long as she could remember. She had scoliosis, which was not so unusual given her age of 70. Sallie also had right knee pain which hurt most when
walking and gardening—her pleasures in life.

Smiling Sallie told me that her left shoulder was her top priority. She couldn’t lift a bag of groceries without extreme pain. She couldn’t get dishes from her cabinet or food from her fridge using that left arm. She had to use her right arm instead, which started to act up, too. Her left arm was virtually useless and her back and right knee pain were so severe that…

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