Jump to content
Ms M

Frozen Shoulder

Recommended Posts

I am so depressed!

What I thought was just another episode of rotator cuff tendonitis, has morphed into adhesive capsulitis ( Frozen Shoulder).

This is based on the clinical picture and suggestive on MRI.

I have seen the shoulder orthopod and am in the middle of a series of intrarticular steroid injections which is making some improvement , but the shoulder is far from better.

I am not really after any medical advice, but if anyone could give me some good news anecdotes, I would appreciate it.

And if anyone has any experience of when physio might make some difference. So far, all that did was to aggravate it.

 

My advice to everyone out there is to do everything you want to do, while your body is capable of it!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had it after I broke my arm back in 2004. I broke the humeral head from the bone (at the shoulder) in a skiing mishap - so shoulder movement was difficult in the first 5 weeks when I had pins in to stabilise the break.

 

My physio (Peter Bond, Melbourne) sent me to have hydrodilatation done. Instantly loosened everything, I could continue with my exercises, before that movement was painful.

 

Good luck :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had it in 2009 from a big crash. Still feel the effects, top of my shoulder to nearly half way down my right bicep has been numb for 6 yrs :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think conventional physio on an acutely inflammed area or injured area might cause more pain even more damage.

 

There is no panacea, cure all in this case. But my wife was able to quicky learn how to isolated the trapezius nerve in the back, so she was able to release some of the pain.

 

Just a minute, will link you something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You likely need 1-2 hydrodilations (similar to the intraarticular steroid injection but with a moderate volume of saline. These help most of them assuming diagnosis is correct

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aidan, that is what enabled my recovery, as well as a physio session the next day, before the anesthetic wore off. I reckon I would have had long term problems if that option was not available. I now only lack 5% of the 'trick' movement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you describe what a frozen shoulder feels like and the symptons. I suffered a shoulder injury last august. 2 cortisone shot got me to within 3 weeks of port. I hurts to swipe a pass at a boom gate or hang out washing.

For me its now just sucking up the pain....... i don't want to suck it up. Also looking for a cure!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It feels like a combination of numbness and something physically stopping your shoulder from moving, like a piston that's nearly seized.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you describe what a frozen shoulder feels like and the symptons. I suffered a shoulder injury last august. 2 cortisone shot got me to within 3 weeks of port. I hurts to swipe a pass at a boom gate or hang out washing.

For me its now just sucking up the pain....... i don't want to suck it up. Also looking for a cure!

 

Pain is a symptom.

 

The clinical sign which confirms the diagnosis is failure to raise the arm above the level of the head.

 

As has been pointed out I have no qualification in the field. I went with the release of nerves in the back using Trigger Point massage. But mine was not a frozen shoulder, Fx humerus with pain and limited ROM. Same as AP during his rehab from clavicle pinning and 4 broken ribs.

 

I did mention above that I did not think conventional physio would help, but this could be debated because physio has some extended benefits. like pain relief.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aidan,

Yes the steroid injection is in combination with hydrodilatation.

The shoulder is still in the freezing stage so I think they are trying to decrease the inflammation and limit the amount of stiffness/pain.

This is quite different to my ongoing niggling rotator cuff issues.

There is limitation of range of movement , notably, not able to get dressed. Reaching to do up a bra is impossible and pulling clothes over my head is excruciating. I went to the orthopod when I was being woken up multiple times during the night with pain.

The hydrodilation and steroid injections have helped.

I guess I will have to be patient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aidan,

Yes the steroid injection is in combination with hydrodilatation.

The shoulder is still in the freezing stage so I think they are trying to decrease the inflammation and limit the amount of stiffness/pain.

This is quite different to my ongoing niggling rotator cuff issues.

There is limitation of range of movement , notably, not able to get dressed. Reaching to do up a bra is impossible and pulling clothes over my head is excruciating. I went to the orthopod when I was being woken up multiple times during the night with pain.

The hydrodilation and steroid injections have helped.

I guess I will have to be patient.

 

My wife learned from a therapist how to isolate the trapezius nerve at the nerve junction mid to lateral back. With 2 minutes firm pressure she alleviated my pain. Athough not a "cure" the increased ROM did allow me to do more strengthening exercises.

 

Raising the arm or reaching backwards as you describe, will come slowly. When I forced it, I had more pain and might have inflicted more damage.

Edited by Kamal2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a "frozen shoulder"* after I broke my collarbone last year.

 

Ended up having around 16 physio sessions where the physio would each session physically force my internal and external rotation till I would beg him to stop! Each week saw incremental improvements till we got to a stage where I was beyond hydrodilatation helping so just continued with the torture physio sessions.

 

Now over 12 months after the operation I have full range of movement and no issues.

 

*Physio said it was a frozen shoulder and was recommending hydrodilatation, where as the surgeon just said it was just restricted movement and didn't recommend the hydrodilatation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aidan,

Yes the steroid injection is in combination with hydrodilatation.

The shoulder is still in the freezing stage so I think they are trying to decrease the inflammation and limit the amount of stiffness/pain.

This is quite different to my ongoing niggling rotator cuff issues.

There is limitation of range of movement , notably, not able to get dressed. Reaching to do up a bra is impossible and pulling clothes over my head is excruciating. I went to the orthopod when I was being woken up multiple times during the night with pain.

The hydrodilation and steroid injections have helped.

I guess I will have to be patient.

 

Ms M, that is conventional therapy, no one will argue with that.

 

However because Aidan is a physio and his advice coincides with the treatment you are getting, you are blocking out the other answers, mine and now Dalai. There are other adjuncts to conventional therapy and some of them are worth trying.

 

Frozen shoulder is a very serious medical condition and could easily become permanent. If it's me I'm trying a few alternatives along the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Ms M, that is conventional therapy, no one will argue with that.

 

However because Aidan is a physio and his advice coincides with the treatment you are getting, you are blocking out the other answers, mine and now Dalai. There are other adjuncts to conventional therapy and some of them are worth trying.

 

Frozen shoulder is a very serious medical condition and could easily become permanent. If it's me I'm trying a few alternatives along the way.

 

K2 way off the mark again. With respect, you should limit your advice to medical areas you truly specialize in and have up-to-date knowledge of. I wouldn't dare comment on ICU nursing, Speech pathology etc

 

Frozen shoulder is a self-limiting condition. It gets better by itself. It takes a long time. 12 months. I see lots who have started from a rotator cuff impingement problem or trauma from a seemingly minor fall. We don't know a lot about it, seems to affect women more than men, of a certain age, and diabetes is linked with it as well. Goes through phases, first is very painful, then pain eases and stiffness is main issue, slowly "thawing" over a protracted period.

 

In 25 years I've seen it all. Aggressive physio, stretch the shit out of them hard. Laser capsulorraphy, hydrodilation, arthroscopic capsular release, manipulation under anaesthetic etc. People are generally impatient when faced with a long period of impairment and disability and will jump at anything offered to them.

 

Lots of trigger happy surgeons prepared to rip apart an already irritable shoulder. Under a general they are able to pull your hand above your head. Once you wake up in agony then they want you to stretch the hell out of the shoulder and you are lucky to have gained 10 degrees but your pain levels will be through the roof. You then suffer through Physio, home stretches and muscle inhibition from the surgery. In my experience, everyone ends up at the end stage at the same time irrespective of what intervention they have. Surgery is expensive, painful and I reckon unnecessary. Ask the surgeon for a refund if you are not better significantly before the usual resolution time and watch them back away. I am treating a lady who just had a rotator cuff repair and capsular release for frozen shoulder at the same time, which is inhuman and illogical.

 

My take-home: pain relief to let you sleep and function from your GP, gentle movement progressing to passive stretches within pain as it progresses. Use your arm as normally as you are able. This is where a couple of Physio visits can help by showing you what to do at home once the pain phase is settling. Minimally invasive stuff like injection should have limited side effects and can settle pain I suppose so worth a shot.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My wife learned from a therapist how to isolate the trapezius nerve at the nerve junction mid to lateral back. With 2 minutes firm pressure she alleviated my pain. Athough not a "cure" the increased ROM did allow me to do more strengthening exercises.

 

Raising the arm or reaching backwards as you describe, will come slowly. When I forced it, I had more pain and might have inflicted more damage.

 

 

 

Ms M, that is conventional therapy, no one will argue with that.

 

However because Aidan is a physio and his advice coincides with the treatment you are getting, you are blocking out the other answers, mine and now Dalai. There are other adjuncts to conventional therapy and some of them are worth trying.

 

Frozen shoulder is a very serious medical condition and could easily become permanent. If it's me I'm trying a few alternatives along the way.

 

 

Not sure your situation is really relevant here.

 

You seem to have had simple muscle tightness and/or spasm from a broken arm, which resulted in you having to keep it still. Pain and lack of mobility will cause these things in the short term. But quite different to a long term issue such as is being described by the OP. You happened to have a couple of random folks stop by your house and show you something you thought was relexology. Pretty sure this doesn't now make you an expert on shoulder issues.

 

I believe you would have had similar outcomes seeing a conventional physio, as I have been in that situation many times before.

 

I think the qualified physio (Aiden) is probably closer to the mark and a more appropriate person to listen to. (that, and the OP's own doc/physio/etc)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Minimally invasive stuff like injection should have limited side effects and can settle pain I suppose so worth a shot.......Parky.

 

The OP and her main advisor here are advocating the injections. The rest of us are offering anecdotal experience, which I assume the OP doesn't mind hearing.

 

As has been pointed out I have no qualification in the field.....quoting myself. I made it clear above that I don't have qualifications in the field, but like others I offered anecdotal experience. So fine, if the thread is limited to " Physio's Only" and if you have conflicting views, why not address that? Or professional courtesy precludes that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

Not sure your situation is really relevant here.

 

You seem to have had simple muscle tightness and/or spasm from a broken arm, which resulted in you having to keep it still. Pain and lack of mobility will cause these things in the short term. But quite different to a long term issue such as is being described by the OP. You happened to have a couple of random folks stop by your house and show you something you thought was relexology. Pretty sure this doesn't now make you an expert on shoulder issues.

 

I believe you would have had similar outcomes seeing a conventional physio, as I have been in that situation many times before.

 

I think the qualified physio (Aiden) is probably closer to the mark and a more appropriate person to listen to. (that, and the OP's own doc/physio/etc)

 

Such therapy relieves pain. It is not a cure or a treatment

 

The rest is a medical issue between the OP and her therapist. Therapists themselves have differering views as you can know see by reading excerpts from Parkside's post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not going to say anything - anecdotal evidence is obviously not tolerated around here - Kamal and I can keep doing what we're doing and staying out of the surgeons hands :shy:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The great thing about this forum is that everyone can throw in their experience and opinion, and readers can take on board what seems relevant to their situation.

 

The reason that I started this thread was that I couldn't recall it being discussed before and thought it might be interesting to hear other people's experiences.

 

I am quite happy with the treatment I am having with hydrodilatation and it seems to be improving things considerably.

 

I had a series of remedial massages at the beginning when it seemed to be another bout of tendonitis, but for me, in my situation, things continued to deteriorate which made me seek further imaging and advice.

 

But that is not to say that trigger point therapy wouldn't be good for someone who has bad tendonitis, or a different shoulder problem.

 

In my humble opinion though, if you are a physiotherapist discussing injuries, or a coach discussing training or racing, you probably carry more clout than the rest of us. And we are so lucky to have them on the forum and that they are generous with their advice. Let's not yell at them!

 

But that doesn't mean we haven't all got our experiences to share. As I said before, that is what is great about this forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice reply.

 

I actually had a deeply moving experience working with a VIP patient, NZ Ambassador to Saudi at the time.

 

Tore the rotator cuff lifting a bag into an overhead luggage rack. Surgery failed and the unfortunate patient was left with a chronic injury. I was Head Nurse of the unit full of Saudi princes, princesess and the like. Naturally I gave Gordon my personal attention over 3 weeks. We got really friendly at I was later invited out to the embassy, with some of our staff not inc the Doc who performed the op.

 

It was mentally very hard on the patient, who was also a wine grower/producer back in NZ. As I recall the best outcome he got was the pain eventually went away, but the shoulder was immobile as far as upward movement.

 

As I said it's a serious problem, so good luck with it.

 

And just for a clarification of my thought process. Trigger point might relieve some pain, during that time you might progress a little further with the physio.

Edited by Kamal2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A rotator cuff tear is not a frozen shoulder. Your bud couldn't lift his arm because he has a massive rotator cuff tear which re-ruptured after surgery. Triggerpoints or worm tablets wouldn't help him.

 

If he had a frozen shoulder he would be swinging sheep above his head again by now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Parky you just made me spit my tea all over my screen!! :)

 

To remain on topic, I know nothing about frozen shoulder except watching dad go through 3, mum go through 3 (yeah, she's weird), and a sister go through it once. I have so far managed to avoid it with my shoulder injury as I was warned there was a risk after trauma but no definites. I feel for anyone who has it. in 12-18 months or so, I could probably lend you a shoulder pull if you want some home torture!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

In 25 years I've seen it all. Aggressive physio, stretch the shit out of them hard. Laser capsulorraphy, hydrodilation, arthroscopic capsular release, manipulation under anaesthetic etc. People are generally impatient when faced with a long period of impairment and disability and will jump at anything offered to them.

 

Lots of trigger happy surgeons prepared to rip apart an already irritable shoulder. Under a general they are able to pull your hand above your head. Once you wake up in agony then they want you to stretch the hell out of the shoulder and you are lucky to have gained 10 degrees but your pain levels will be through the roof.

 

Actually my surgeon was the opposite. Was my physio that suggested hydrodilation or potentially going with an MUA...

 

There was no way I was letting anyone ripping my arm around whilst under a general anaesthetic! And as I was making incremental gains with aggressive physio (many sessions I was almost in tears begging him to stop so bad was the pain!) :scared: the surgeon didn't see benefit in having the hydrodilation.

 

How amazing was it though to finally pull t-shirts on again and be able to wash my hair with both hands. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...