September 24, 2008

STLtoday - Cards ace may face another surgery

STLtoday - Cards ace may face another surgery: "The latest complication played a part in the muscle strain that forced Carpenter from an Aug. 10 start against the Chicago Cubs. Carpenter was diagnosed with a strain of the teres major, a flattened muscle beneath and behind his right shoulder. Doctors believe the strain occurred because of undue stress placed on the muscle as it compensated for several other muscles’ inability to 'fire.'"

... It has been my belief (non-professional) that muscles will strengthen or provide enhanced performance only as well as the "weakest link" muscle (solitary or small group) due to a theory that muscles that make up the entire group (or person) will be reluctant, so to speak, to progress, sort of "waiting up" for the "runt" muscle. So, strengthen the runt and the rest will progress, willingly.

This is similar to Carpenter's current condition (again, in my non-professional opinion), in the way that, by the available descriptions, his (normally) functioning muscles are not able to provide enhanced performance because they "think" they have a "weak link." Of course, whichever muscle is not responding properly due to the damaged nerve is yet strong (for now), but without the associated nerve able to send along that "all is well" message to the brain, the subsequent messages sent back to the other muscles or the region is to make up for the non-responsive muscle. Such contortion obviously doesn't fit the complex nature of Carpenter's muscles' learned behavior. Those surrounding muscles will, in my estimation, tend to "wait" for the non-responsive muscle to catch up, something it will not do without repair.

If pushed to perform without correction, almost certainly, more complications will result in the form of additional injury.

More non-professional opinion: Rehab will do the trick with successful correction of the problem at hand, but the type of rehabilitation, and the execution of that rehabilitation, especially in the beginning, will be crucial, and most likely supervised by professional trainers. At least to start out, this probably will not be a self-administered rehab assignment. The reason for this specificity is my non-professional opinion that runs along side the theory that muscles "want" to strengthen equally, if you will. This is why I believe those who seem to do the best at working to gain strength do so with a well-distributed work-out plan.

Consult a professional trainer or doctor or specialist, however, if you need help with your condition, because I am none of those things. I've learned that much after all these years.
photo by Barbara Moore