My left shoulder was painful at the front. I could still use it, but not when combining the shoulder muscle with chest exercises, for example doing incline bench presses. My right shoulder was worse. I could not throw, I could not pull my body weight up in a chin-up…. but I could do lateral pull downs… Football was already over for me, but now water polo was as well. I could not throw at all with my right arm, or swim. My only option was to play goalie. The goalie is the guy in water polo that the other guys throw balls at from super close range. It’s like dodge ball, except only aiming at your head, and from closer range. Not fun.

I was pretty deflated, I was almost old enough to play veterans and figured I’d have another 20 years of play in me but now at 38 I was on the scrap heap. I saw a doctor, and he prescribed a course of strong pain killers and anti inflammatory drugs. I went and saw a shoulder specialist. He said I needed surgery (did not want it!) and in the interim gave me sots of cortisone in each shoulder.

I assumed my shoulders were just stuffed, and there was nothing more I could do. The drugs played havoc with my stomach so I stopped taking them. My shoulders both grew worse and I found myself holding them at odd angles to try and relieve the pain…. this seemed to make things better in the short term, worse in the long term.

So I went to a physiotherapist. Apart from some rehab exercises he suggest me to try with Kratom powder or tea.

Kratom tea is made by brewing the leaves of the kratom tree or mixing kratom leaf powder into boiling water. “The leaves contain mitragynine, a chemical that evidence suggests works similarly to opioid pain relievers such as morphine and codeine,” says California-based nutritionist Maggie Moon, MS, RD. It can also be chewed, smoked, or taken as a supplement in capsules. More Topic-Kratom information can be found here.

What are the effects of using kratom? It supposedly works as a treatment for pain, anxiety, and depression, and it’s been heavily marketed as a “safe” plant-based treatment for these conditions. People also use kratom for its stimulating effects to heighten sexual performance, improve mood, and enhance physical endurance. “There is insufficient evidence to back up any of these claims,” says Moon.