This is for anyone who’s given up or contemplating giving up their favorite sport, whether it be backyard football, archery, shooting or even fishing, because of nagging, persistent shoulder pain or injury.
A Traverse City doctor says he has created a simple device that exercises the shoulder in such a way that relieves that pain in 98 percent of those who’ve tried it. Without invasive surgery. Without sometimes mind-numbing drugs. Without those painful steroid shots (I know; I’ve had’em).
All not necessary, he says, because of a new type of sling that’s used at night to help heal his own pain first, and that of others while you sleep, and prevent some of the causes of that pain in the first place.
His invention is called the Rotatoreliever, and the “he” is Michael F. Carroll, M.D. Carroll developed it following incessant shoulder pain that bothered him especially at night. His revelation has turned into a way to get relief without the dangers of surgery, drugs or too much radiation from cancer-causing and expensive multiple shoulder CAT scans to find the causes.
The Rotatoreliever is a simple way to strengthen the tissue surrounding the shoulder, which is what he feels is underlying causes of rotator cuff pain for which so many people undergo operations and that is the cause of more than 90 percent of shoulder pain.
As Dr. Carroll says, , the simplest treatment is often the best, and his simple tool fits that bill that you should try first. Hopefully, it will be all you need instead of a date with a surgeon.
It all started eight years ago, he said. He woke up with the same intense shoulder pain he’d been experiencing for a while.
“I was dying with pain, and I grabbed my arm and pulled it down, and said to myself, ‘that actually feels better,’” he related. Carroll then made a crude version of his Rotatoreliever with an Ace bandage to keep his arm and shoulder pulled down at night. He woke the next morning realizing his shoulder actually felt better, and that he was on to something.
“I have a general family practice office in Traverse City and I see a ton of should pain in my practice, and nothing was working. For me personally, I’d gone to therapy and done steroid injections into the shoulder, and northing was helping,” he said, and that exercises prescribed for this type of pain did not touch the correct muscles that needed strengthening.
So, he began doing research. Among his findings:
Shoulder problems are pretty common after age 30 and the older you get, generally the worse those problems get.
Pain develops something like this: tissues in the shoulder are irritated, and that irritation is exacerbated sometimes by just the way we sleep on them. His patent-pending Rotatoreliever provides relieves the pressure off shoulder joints and muscles, during sleep, allowing them to begin healing.
Sixty percent of 60-year-olds have a rotator cuff tear, he says. “That tells you that many have it and don’t even feel it, so it also tells you that not all tears require a scalpel to fix,” he said. Of those with shoulder problems, 92 percent don’t have a specific injury, but the constant irritation posed by everything from sleeping the wrong way to other movements leads to other problems.
That research and plenty of trial and error led to Dr. Carroll’s invention, the Rotatoreliever. It is a simple strap that attaches to your leg. The other end attaches to the arm with pain.
“It does not immobilize the joint. It just prevents the joint from being pinched and irritated from you sleeping on your arm or sleeping with your arm above your head, which also does not allow the injury to heal. This reverses the injury cycle, as you’re trying to get better during the day, you’re still hurting yourself for eight hours each night because of the way you sleep on that shoulder and arm. The Rotatoreliever lets blood flow into the area at night instead of reinjuring or re-irritating the joint,” he said.
“At its most basic level, most shoulder pain is a muscle and balance problem. My Rotatoreliever strengths core muscles around the shoulder to develop a strong foundation to end pain,” he said.
Dr. Carroll’s findings were well-received at a meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, however, because major companies are interested in making the most bucks for the bang, they weren’t interested. The Rotatoreliever was so simple and thus so inexpensive that they said they wouldn’t make enough money.
That brought Carroll to to produce it himself. In two years and with little promotion other than his Internet and a Facebook site, he’s sold 3,600. All it takes is one visit to either to see the unsolicited comments on users who’ve found relief , some in just a few days of use.
Some of his customers include former NFL greats like Detroit native and Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Delamielleure, former Dallas Cowboys player Randy White, and Shaun Mirjavadi, heavyweight Mixed Martial Arts fighter.
They also include others like the Muskegon grandmother who was going to pay to lower all her kitchen cupboards l because she could no longer reach them due to shoulder pain and stiffness.
She tried Dr. Carroll’s invention for two weeks, and after experiencing a huge improvement, cancelled her contract with the carpenters. Her testimonial is there as well.
Others who’ve been helped are on the Rotatoreliever Facebook page, and in several Youtube videos extolling the product.
Dr. Carroll said his product also is perfect for outdoorsmen and others who have given up their favorite sports, whether it be bow hunting, fly fishing, shooting, tennis, racquetball, or any other sport that requires shoulder movement and strength.
Each Rotatoreliever kit comes with the strap to be worn at night, and four exercise balls of different weights, plus a DVD and accompanying instructions explaining how to use them.
Cost is $159 and it comes with a money back guarantee. So far, Carroll said, only 52 of the 3,600 sold have been returned.
For some testimonials, go to the product’s Facebook site, and also go to rotatoreliever.com.
Before you go under the knife, try anything else. And that includes this Traverse City doctor’s invention.