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Thread: Shoulder pain/ separation from non-use

  1. #1

    Shoulder pain/ separation from non-use

    I'm 23-years post-injury, C1-C2 complete (so no movement or regular sensation at all below the chin, aside from some weak neck muscles). I've always had what I'd call chronic discomfort from below my injury level (feeling severely sweaty, heavy, contorted), as well as pain from my left shoulder, which is the side I tend to tilt toward. My longtime PT has confirmed that the shoulder is basically separating, as the muscles are too atrophied from non-use to hold it together properly. It really hurts, increasingly so, a combination of what I assume is "regular" pain and all sorts of weird neuro pain that ranges from heavy numbness to ripping and stretching feelings.

    I know most folks here have the opposite problem, with over-use of shoulders, but I'd really appreciate any advice on the best way to treat the kind of pain I've described. I've already tried everything possible seating and positioning-wise, but gravity is not my friend. I have no experience with neuro drugs or pain meds beyond ibuprofen. My doctor is suggesting Gabapentin.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    It seems like there should be some kind of a velcro shirt available that could be used with the matching strips used to pull you up into shape. Get somebody to make you one that matches your needs if need be, just a thought.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  3. #3
    This Mayo Clinic website gives a good overall description of what to know about separated shoulder
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-c...n/con-20029283

    A separated shoulder is an injury to the ligaments that hold your collarbone to your shoulder blade. In a mild separated shoulder, the ligaments may just be stretched. In severe injuries, ligaments may be completely ruptured.

    In most people, a separated shoulder doesn't usually require surgery. Instead, conservative treatment — such as rest, ice and pain relievers — is often enough to relieve the pain. Most people regain full shoulder function within a few weeks after experiencing a separated shoulder.
    Signs and symptoms of a separated shoulder may include:

    • Shoulder pain
    • Shoulder or arm weakness
    • Shoulder bruising or swelling
    • Limited shoulder movement
    • A bump at the top of your shoulder

    pbr

  4. #4
    The last page of the Mayo site says: "You might want to temporarily immobilize your arm in a sling to take pressure off your shoulder and promote healing."
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  5. #5
    I'm not sure a sling would work? Just speaking for myself (C3 incomplete, limited shoulder function) balance is already an issue. I also tend to tilt to my weaker left side, worse if my arm is not positioned right. Having my arm in a sling I think would have the same effect?
    I started on Gabapentin for my neuropathic pain, with decent success at the beginning though it stopped working for me after a while. But it's worth trying it and going from there in my opinion.
    There's always something magic, there's always something true. And when you really, really need it the most, that's when rock 'n roll dreams come true. Meat Loaf

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Taanshi79 View Post
    I'm not sure a sling would work? Just speaking for myself (C3 incomplete, limited shoulder function) balance is already an issue. I also tend to tilt to my weaker left side, worse if my arm is not positioned right. Having my arm in a sling I think would have the same effect?
    I started on Gabapentin for my neuropathic pain, with decent success at the beginning though it stopped working for me after a while. But it's worth trying it and going from there in my opinion.
    That Mayo site requires clicking and clicking pages and pages before ever getting to the treatment page. What it also says is an x-ray, which indicates an examination should be performed as a tear may be present and serious enough to consider surgery.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  7. #7
    The take home message about websites is that it is information. When you read this information you don't know when to put the "filter" on to whether the information pertains to your condition.

    Go to your provider and get an assessment of your shoulder - you may need to see a physiatrist or an orthopedist to determine whether a sling or surgery or whatever can be done. Everyone is different and the treatment needs to fit your condition.

    good luck

    pbr

  8. #8
    Thanks all. I'll try to get it assessed, but I'm not very hopeful it can be fixed much after being out of service this long. Managed, maybe, but not fixed.

  9. #9
    Has anyone tried TENS for shoulder pain, or is that not a good idea if you have abnormal sensation there?

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