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Frozen shoulder

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by l0vaduck, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. I found out today that the severe pain I've been experiencing in my upper arm is not, as I suspected, a result of too much use of the laptop trackpad, but is in fact frozen shoulder, which can take months, or even years, to heal!

    I've been prescribed anti-inflammatories and some exercises. Can't do the exercises because it hurts too much.

    Has anyone had this and got better? How long did it take, and did anything help?

  2. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Can an osteopath help? I don't know much about the condition, so sorry if that's a stupid question, but I'm a big fan of osteopaths.
    Get well soon
    Eva x x x
  3. Thanks Eva, for your reply. I'm not 100% sure what an osteopath does, but I assume it's to do with bones? In which case I don't think it would be in their area because from what I understand, frozen shoulder's not really about the bones (actually now I try and explain it I realise I'm not entirely sure what kind of tissues are involved!)

    Physiotherapy was mentioned but I've been to our local physio before with my knees and wasn't too impressed.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Oh poor you!
    I've had a frozen shoulder in my left shoulder about 10 years ago and about 3 years later I had a frozen right shoulder. Pain is excruciating and nothing much 'relieves it'. Lack of being able to sleep doesn't help either.
    Had physio for about 3-5 months and gosh they do put you through the pain, but if the muscles are going to unlock and stay unlocked, constant movement is needed and sometimes that movement needs persuasion.
    I had 2 of those long wheat bags you heat in the microwave, which fitted better over the shoulder than a hot water bottle. (Heat definitely helped) The physio water treatment (forgotten what its' called at the moment) is lovely and gets some heat into the muscles which does help.
    My advice-which you won't like, <u>is to keep using it despite the pain</u> as the first time I didn't and the shoulder locked up completely and in the long run caused me more pain.
    The 'extra strength' (400mg) ibuprofen help with the inflammation and you do need to keep doing the exercises. Took me about 18 months to get 'full mobility' back (That's being able to put hand behind back and scrub one's own back), doing the exercises 3 times a day for about 20 mins and the long rubber band attached to a door handle is a good exercise as well as the reaching high ones.
    My last Physiohad suffered with a frozen shoulders herself and said to watch out if the stiffness starts and start exercising immediately and therby fended off her potential second one. Due to surgery on my hand my shoulder is getting slightly stiff again and I make sure I'm doing my exercises again, trying to ward mine off.
    So THE GOOD NEWS is YES it does get better and I now have full range of movement , but it involved pain and hard work to get it there.
  5. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    They do like to click your bones for you (a wonderful feeling of release despite how gruesome it sounds) but they also do a lot of work with muscles, tendons and ligaments as well. Following a car accident in 2005 I eventually gave up on NHS physio and went to an osteopath who did a fantastic job of working on the tendons in my neck which were rock hard in a need of manipulation. They also practice accupuncture.
    MIght be worth a preliminary appointment to find out if they can help - although osteopathy is not available on the NHS so it really depends if you want to pay for it yourself or not.
    Best wishes x
  6. My mum had a frozen shoulder last year, and i remember her being in so much pain that i (as her loving helpful daughter) was helping her wash in the bath. She couldn't work as her arm froze up completely to the point that she couldn't lift it from her side. She was told if she'd done the exercises like she was supposed to be doing then she wouldn't be at that point. It last about 5months and she still struggles with lifting things now.
  7. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    I have sent you a PM.
  8. ljr

    ljr New commenter

    I can only reiterate what people have said here already - keep exercising! My frozen shoulder lasted about 9 months - the last 3 weren't painful, it was just getting full use of the joint back again. I went to a physio once a week to have ultrasound treatment and an assessment & update on my exercise routine. It does get better, but it takes time.
  9. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

    I had to have steroid injections, which helped to relieve about 90% of the pain/stiffness. The rest went after a course of 'Bowen' therapy.
  10. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    Quick reply as internet down and only have a few minutes here! Have got frozen left shoulder at mo - had right about 2 years ago.
    Physio no use until shoulder is in recovery stage, I was told by shoulder specialist.
    It goes through three stages - pain - lack of mobility -then gradual return of mobility. I'm just at the stage where the pain is diminishing.
    This afternoon I'm going for acupuncture - had this with the last one and results were amazing. I got the mobility back far more quickly than the 18 months mentioned by the specialist. You might like to give it a go - good luck.
  11. A number of years ago i suffered from a frozen shoulder and my other shoulder suffered the same in sympathy! For the next number of weeks i tried a variety of treatments from the physiotherapist. Nothing worked. The best thing i did was to pay privately to see an orthopedic consultant/surgeon. Will cost £200 today for the same consultation. Was the best money i ever spent. The consultant had me in hospital about a week later where he carried out a procedure on me which i can only explain as pushing my arms through the full range of movement whilst under an anesthetic. Also had ant inflammatorys injected the shoulder joints.

    Woke up with my arms bound like a mummy lol. It worked a treat though and within no time i was back to normal going to the gym etc. Would recommend it to anyone.
  12. Thank you all for your advice and for taking the trouble to reply. It helps to know I'm not alone!

    I've read quite a bit and already found that I knew quite a bit that was useful before I spoke to the GP. For example, the fact that there are three phases, which is helpful because at least I know that the painful stage won't last forever.

    It's weird though, that something like this can just happen with no apparent cause. I must admit, before I read about frozen shoulder, I did suspect that it might be RSI.
  13. I tried everything. Lasted for three years. I'm not sure if it was the steroid injection or yoga in the end that improved it?
  14. I went to the doctors last week and have been referred for a suspected frozen shoulder. I find ibuprofen a godsend it enables me to move my shoulder, without it the pain is awful. I was just worried about using so much ibuprofen but the doc said if it works take it for now.
    I really try to move mine as much as possible even though it hurts and is stiff. My worse time is when I get out of bed in a morning, struggle to even go to the loo because I can't pull my pjs down without awful pain. [​IMG]

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