Author Topic: Frozen shoulder...  (Read 1814 times)

Frozen shoulder...
« on: July 07, 2009, 03:14:50 pm »
I seem to have developed a frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis), according to a physio friend of ours.  It's only in one shoulder, and restricts movement (painful stretched too far) so that playing tennis/badminton is now out.  :-\ Does anyone have experience of this condition? 

update. took about 12+ mths to fully resolve by itself.  No issues since.
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Regulator

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Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2009, 03:17:29 pm »
I've had similar problems.

The answer seems to be lots of physio, and gradually increasing the range of movement.  A friend of mine swore by water aerobics and water-based exercise helped me.  Mum find Pilates a help.

Steroid injections may also be useful if unresponsive to other treatments.
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Hilary

Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 12:55:34 am »
A year ago, almost to the day, my left shouder developed into a frozen shoulder. I couldn't sleep because no way was comfortable for me, the pain was constant and my range of motion became restricted to simply having my arm by my side. Sudden jarring movements would make me cry with pain.

I saw a physiotherapist and had xrays and scan which confirmed adhesive capsulitis. I had to stop seeing the physio because anything she did to it meant days and days of pain.

Actually nothing really helped until about Nov when my sister (registered nurse) suggested that I started taking paracetamol on a 6 hourly basis for a few days. That seemed to dull the pain a little and by the end of December I was relatively painfree  but still with quite restricted ROM.

Now, I am back at the physio working on getting external rotation back. It seems to be the last thing that comes back.

NB
1. If you have a real frozen shoulder it will come right on its own in good time...probably 18 months but up to 21/2 years
2. There is a correlation between idiopathic Frozen Shoulder and diabetes
3. People do have MUA (manipulation under Anaesthetic) but personally I would stay well clear of that.
4. Having had one in one shoulder predisposes you to getting one in the other, but not a second one in the same shoulder if that makes sense.

If (heaven forbid) I should get one in the other shoulder, I would not see a physio until the inflammation/pain has gone. I would use much more ice rather than heat and I would keep on walking.

Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2009, 07:07:15 am »
My experience was similar to that of Hilary except prescription pain killers would not touch it.  Sometimes there would be spasms of pain strong enough to make me almost black out.

The good news - it lasted a year; months 5 and 6 were the most painful then things steadily improved.  It took another year or more to regain full mobility.  Now, about 4 years on, I am still "aware" of that shoulder in  away I am not aware of other body parts. 

The very good news - apart from difficulty in giving a hand signal it did not stop me cycling.

I did not have any physio, just kept up a normal life as much as I could.  Steroid injections seem to be a last resort before surgery.  I am told they are painful in themselves and last only two weeks.  I tried an osteopath, even went for acupuncture in an attempt to ease the condition, nothing helped.

To end on a positive note - there is light at the end of the tunnel.  It does get better.

Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 10:24:55 am »
Thanks all... looks like a long haul.  What I'm not sure is if it's getting worse, hopefully not.  In the way of exercises it was suggested that I put both arms as vertical as possible and hold for 3x30secs - 'pulling' but not pain, and, also placing elbow against my side and moving arm away to side and holding.  I had to modify my sleeping position and now have my arm down, but fortunately no real pain at night.   A few weeks ago I tried starting the lawn mower without priming enough, and pulling too hard left me in agony - now do this with left arm.  I also find it tricky getting things into my cycling jersey/jacket rear pocket with my right arm.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Liability

Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 11:51:37 am »
I've never posted on here but find this topic too painful a memory to not try and offer some support.

I did this 5 years ago. Awful, awful pain that had me in tears from time to time but the tears were from a gradual wearing down of moral and general frustration. I have a very high pain threshold IMO/E but have never felt so sore and generally wiped by anything in my life before

Sleeping was afwul and I ended up sleeping sitting up in a recliner chair for weeks on end to try and get comfortable- this worked suprisingly well.

It just goes away eventually, as has been said- there is light at the end of the tunnel. Helping it on it's way I would agree with regular pain relief, staying away from the physio( never helped me) and alternate heat and ice. Anti inflam meds such as diclofenic (sp?) helped me alongside paracetemol.

On the plus side- my episode came and went in just under 6 months.

Good Luck and chin up.


Steve

Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2009, 11:58:15 am »
I also find it tricky getting things into my cycling jersey/jacket rear pocket with my right arm.
I found that impossible.  Mobility at its worst meant I could not get my arm behind my back at all.  I also had to buy some new cycling tops because I had to have a full length zip to be able to put them on or off.

As Liability says, sleeping was aweful, just trying to find the one position that might work for an hour or two before waking and trying again.  I found lying on the settee with my back and poorly shouder uppermost and supported by the settee back worked well.

The exercises you have mentioned are about as far as I went with anything other than normal activity.

Hilary

Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2009, 11:51:10 pm »
I can't wait until mine is just a painful memory. I had to stop cycling because any jarring at all caused drop-to-my-knees-and-weep-pain. I replaced my daily commute by bike to work by my daily walk to work and I have to say have lost 6 kilos! Unintended benefit.

For the first few months painkillers did not help, anti inflammatories did not help, exercises did not help. Someone gave me the Frozen Shoulder Work book by Clair Davies (I think). It didn't really help because the book was too big and unwieldy to hold long enough to read it.

As for getting your arm behind your back...you guys obviously don't wear a bra!

I also have had the experience of an impingement injury (off my bike at speedwhen some idiot pulled his truck in  in front of me and to avoid hitting the truck I ended up in the tramlines!) in the other shoulder to compare the pain to. The impingement was bad enough that I had 2 steriod injections and countless physio and was about to have surgery when as a last resort my surgeon sent me to the physio who does his post operative work. After long and patient careful exercises that shoulder is nearly ok. But the pain of the frozen shoulder was far in excess of that.

Good luck with yours. Don't push it too hard in the early days and remember that it does have a natural life span... it freezes, then it's frozen for a time, then it thaws. Thawing time is when it's time to get into the exercises.

Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2009, 08:53:02 am »
Thanks all for the posts of your experiences and the encouragements.  Looking forward to a thaw...
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2016, 10:16:07 am »
Thread resurrection!  May be relevant to those suffering.

After a nasty fall at the start of 2015 I suffered a torn shoulder ligament and what was eventually diagnosed as frozen shoulder.  I was severely restricted in my shoulder movements, sleep was constantly interrupted and any sudden movement was extremely painful.  Physio was of no use whatsoever.  I actually had to stop Pilates classes as it would result in worsening the pain for days afterwards.

I had to work very hard to persuade my GP that "something had to be done" - they were all for letting it resolve itself.  I had to explain that it was affecting every aspect of my life - work, sleep, exercise (luckily not cycling but I didn't tell them that!)  Finally they agreed to a steroid injection in March, which took the pain away for 3 glorious months, but my July it was back just as bad.

I was eventually referred to a specialist who suggested hydrodilatation (injecting a large quantity of a saline and steroid solution into the joint).  This is a relatively new procedure and no-one is quite sure how or why it works.  I had the treatment 3 weeks ago and on leaving the hospital 30 minutes later I had regained about 95% of movement and the pain had gone!

I'm hoping this will be a lasting cure and it's not just the steroids masking the problem, but it feels different to the steroid injection on its own I had previously.  The shoulder still feels a bit weird and makes funny noises, but I'm back at the gym and am working on rebuilding the muscle-tone I lost over the past 15 months.

If you have this problem it may be worth asking your GP for a referral.

Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2016, 04:51:16 pm »
L shoulder froze some years ago. GP injected with steroids.  told to go back if no improvement. went back after a week or so. GP injected steroids and said if it still does not improve your stuffed `cos I gave you as much as I can. seems there is a limit per year or something, can`t remember. it worked and improved back to my normal movement over some months
a few years later R shoulder froze, by which time I had been diagnosed as diabetic. Gp ended up referring me to the hospital
consultant walked into examination room and said to his minions that there is a classic case of frozen shoulder from the way I was sitting and holding my arm, anyway, sent for physio. worked after several months. consultant also said not to worry, you will soon be getting it in your other shoulder. Surprised when told it had been already. again recovery took some months
also for both took buckets of painkillers which rarely made much difference
I liken it to mega toothache at 7pm on a Friday night, it `aint going to get fixed for a while :'(
Good news is, the medics all said that you only get it once (in each shoulder) and they were right, nothing for 20 ish years now
be interesting how the saline and stuff solution works out

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2016, 06:19:00 pm »
I was treated for frozen shoulder back in the mid90s - steroid injections, physio, manipulation under anaesthetic - all with limited and/or medium term releif.
I had resigned myself to a life-time of limited movement and intermittent pain - but - since retiring the movement is much better, and I only get the pain in bed, when trying to get to sleep
I'm wondering now if the underlying issue was either posture, or using computer displays, or stress. (I'm now appreciating how much work stress has shaped my health history over the years!)

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Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2019, 11:49:02 am »
I have recently been diagnosed with "Frozen Shoulder" after paying to attend a Sports Injury clinic and also following advice from club members.  The specialist/consultant was brilliant and only took a few minutes to come to diagnose the problem.  He has recomended Hydrodilatation which is an injection (as recommended above) and I will be having the treatment soon.  Will report back later.

Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2019, 12:54:45 pm »
Hydrodilatation worked out well long-term for me - no recurrence of the acute debilitating pain.

Interestingly, I sometimes get a dull ache in that shoulder joint, particularly when I've not been to the gym for a few weeks.  After a couple of weight-training sessions on upper-body resistance machines (which the first consultant told me I would never be able to do again ::-)) the pain vanishes. 

There is probably some joint damage/abnormality, but building up the muscles around the joint clearly help protect it (I've had similar experience with knee joint problems).

Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2019, 01:21:46 pm »
Painful. Last time I had one of these the Doc gave me some happy pills. When I queried this he said that they were also a muscle relaxant to break the spasm cycle and allow things to heal. It worked.
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gibbo

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Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2019, 02:12:44 pm »
I have recently been diagnosed with "Frozen Shoulder" after paying to attend a Sports Injury clinic and also following advice from club members.  The specialist/consultant was brilliant and only took a few minutes to come to diagnose the problem.  He has recomended Hydrodilatation which is an injection (as recommended above) and I will be having the treatment soon.  Will report back later.

Is the hydrodilatation done under x-ray? If so I had that, at least they attempted it but it was too painful and local anesthetic didn't do the job. The guy carrying out the procedure asked me if I had taken aspirin before, which I hadn't, and claimed that was the reason why it so painful. I beg to differ and told him so. In the end I just had to tough it out before it fixed itself which took about a year.

Re: Frozen shoulder...
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2019, 02:54:52 pm »
Is the hydrodilatation done under x-ray? If so I had that, at least they attempted it but it was too painful and local anesthetic didn't do the job.

Mine was done under local anaesthetic.  The whole procedure was entirely painless - indeed quite the reverse.  I went in with crippling pain and left hospital pain-free (and it continued that way).

It's quite a weird sensation having a large quantity of fluid injected into your shoulder joint.  I assume much of it leaks away but a fair quantity seemed to be absorbed into the soft tissue.  That shoulder was considerably larger than the other one for a time after.  The surgeon was listening out for a popping sound as the joint released but that never happened so she went back for a second dose, and a third....!