Many thanks for posting this question via my forum.
Well i would like to begin with, giving a brief description about the VAD -
VAD = Vertebral Artery Dissection, where there is a small hematoma, which may increase in size also, causing problem in the vessels of the brain.
Actually it's the most common cause of stroke in people less than 40-45 years of age-group.
Is the VAD related to my sore shoulder?
In-general sore shoulder is not co-related to the VAD. Due to persistent lifting of kids on your shoulder, you may have a small spasm over the shoulder muscles, due to which your shoulder is getting "SORE"
-What else in my history may have contributed to the VAD? Why did I get this?
VAD, is due to persistent increasing hematoma, inside the lumen of the blood vessels. The factors like Hypertension, migrane, smoking, alcohol history ,etc can contribute to VAD.
-If related to shoulder, how can I relax this shoulder permanently? (I am currently obsessed with keeping it warm, but am terrified to use it in meaningful way.)
You need to get an MRI done for the shoulder, in order to rule out rotator cuff muscle tear in your shoulder. If the MRI is normal, then it would mean that your shoulder muscles are weak, due to which the spasm is persisting. In this case scenario, we will do shoulder physiotherapy only.
-Will I be able to return to weight lifting? (It seems like if I could strengthen my overall musculature, then my body could better deal with this shoulder. Does that make any sense?)
MRI report of the shoulder will give us information.
-My neurosurgeon suggested that I never ride a roller coaster again... What does this really mean? What about cartwheels? jumping? Riding ATVs? Skiing? Windsuring? Carrying kids?
Any activity which causes high velocity head movement, should not be done as the hematoma (ie the blood clot) can get dislodge and move freely in the circulation which may cause "STROKE".
Same with Skiing, riding ATV,Jumping, etc. Till the time your clot is resolved, we really be extra careful, in order to stop the progression of the clot.
My dear friend, please note that this is not a high risk disease (ie VAD), but if the clot gets dislodge and gets circulated, then it may manifest as "Stroke".
And the shoulder problem is related to different etiology.MRI will help.
Feel free to discuss more as a pew post.