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Thread: "Frozen" Shoulder

  1. #1
    Senior Member marycsm77's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Long Island, NY

    "Frozen" Shoulder

    My neurosurgeon thought I had a torn rotator cuff but the Ortho i saw today said i have "frozen" shoulder, doesn't think i have torn rotator. I understand the medical term and what my be risks factors for getting it. It started with my cervical injury. Had a cortisone injection, he says NO lifting weights or working out, this is aggravating as I hate not working out. Just PT he is ordering that includes a variety of stuff to help pain, return ROM. He told me it can take up to 18 months to heal, it is pretty bad.

    Anyway, I have it, it sucks and is extremely painful, anyone else have? Any tips of any kind are welcome and much appreciated. thank you
    Last edited by marycsm77; 04-05-2011 at 07:54 AM.

  2. #2
    So sorry you have this. I had it a couple of years ago i had the cortizone injection and it helped alot. The PT also helped. Your on the right track. I think my shoulder was better in 6 months. I hope you heal quickly.....
    For every minute you're angry you lose a second of happiness

  3. #3
    Can you describe how it feels? Is it a range of motion type issue?

    Occasionally, when I lift my right arm above my head and rotate it a little it feels like my shoulder is going to give out on me. It's almost like I lose the sense of where it is at for a second or two during the rotation.

    I don't think this is what you're asking about Mary but I thought I would throw this unidentified shoulder issue out there just in case it ties in somehow.

  4. #4
    Senior Member marycsm77's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Long Island, NY
    It is very very sharp pain abducting, external rotation, can't lift my arm above my head, or basically anywhere. In the shoulder, radiates down my arm, pain in scapula area as well. Pain on passive and active ROM. I am taking dilaudid, not even helping much. I need to take anti-inflammatory med, however my stomach does not tolerate them well at all. Sorry im being so inarticulate, the cortisone shot has irritated me further (as they often do initially) and medicated on top of that. Doesnt make for articulate posts.
    Last edited by marycsm77; 04-05-2011 at 07:55 AM.

  5. #5
    I have had it three times, each time resulting in surgery. Biggest tip I can give you in not to allow the pain to keep you from moving the shoulder.

    Re: cortizone injections, Set a maximum number and don't exceed that number. The injections destroyed a muscle that controls my scapula. The entire area has loss of muscle and tissue.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  6. #6
    Mary, I'm sorry to hear this. Did the orthopedist order an MRI to be sure that this isn't a rotator cuff issue?

    Conservative treatment yields good results in most cases, but a friend of mine had a frozen shoulder for 3 years before it finally resolved - so patience is required, to say the least. Hope your pain eases up so that the PT will be easier.

  7. #7
    I have had terrific pain in both shoulders due to shifting my husband around. Both shoulders have torn rotator cuffs and cortisone didn't help at all. I've used PT for the first shoulder and it helped immensely and now I'm in PT again for the other shoulder and I know it will help again. My stomach doesn't care for anti-inflammatory meds either so I put up with the pain. Sleeping is the hardest because for some reason lying down makes it hurt worse. Keep up with the PT because it does really help even tho it hurts to do the exercises. I also use a large cold pack when it really hurts which also helps. Good luck I know it's very painful.

  8. #8
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Virginia Beach, Va
    Sorry to hear, take it easy mary and listen to the doctors
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by exch915 View Post
    Sleeping is the hardest because for some reason lying down makes it hurt worse.
    I don't know if this will help everyone, but I have rotator cuff issues and sleep was terribly painful until I purchased a 2.5-inch Serta memory foam mattress topper from Amazon - my shoulders sink into the foam and sleeping is much easier. Also purchased a Sidesleeper pillow to ease neck pain, and between the mattress and the pillow, things are a lot better - might be worth a try.

    (Edited to add: whether the issue is rotator cuff problems or frozen shoulder (as Mary has), the mattress topper and pillow might help with pain. They are not the same conditions, as KLD emphasizes below - but shoulder pain is hard to ignore and it's important to find a way to rest at night.)
    Last edited by Bonnette; 04-04-2011 at 09:57 PM.

  10. #10
    Try to see an OT or PT that specializes in shoulder problems, and ideally one who is also expert in soft tissue mobilization modalities. This should help. A frozen shoulder is another term for a severe contracture of the shoulder and is not the same as a rotator cuff injury. Frozen shoulders are primarily seen in those with paralysis who are unable to move their shoulder and don't get proper ROM exercises, or who have a painful injury that prevents them from moving the shoulder.


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