Your Questions About Frozen Shoulder Physical Therapy

Sandra asks…

Should I get the surgery?? Help please?

Sorry this is really long but I really need some advice… :/
So in october of 2009, I fell and landed weird on my shoulder. I got an ambulance ride and x-ray and everything. The doctors said I had a separated shoulder. So I rested it for a few days like they told me to, but it didnt get any better. A few months later, I went back to my doctor for a checkup on my shoulder, but it still wasn’t better. I got another x-ray and then an MRI after. It turns out it healed incorrectly, so now I have a bad case of tendinitis and bursitis in my shoulder and the bones are not aligned like they should be and I have a slight muscle tear. Basically, my shoulder is really beat up.
My doctor felt really bad, so he gave me a cortisone shot which made me feel a heck of a lot better. But, cortisones wear off, so a few months later I got another one. This second time I got the shot, it didn’t help at all. In fact, I think it made it worse. I can only get three cortisone shots before my doctor really urges me to get surgery.
I’ve gone to physical therapy three times for my shoulder, and I’ve given up for now, because it just seems like a waste of money cause i’m not getting any better.
I’m Soooo sick of having to deal with constant pain in my shoulder EVERY stinking day. And it’s not a little background pain, I might add. I really do not like to take medicine, but I have been for my shoulder. No, I’m not overdosing or anything, but even the pain meds aren’t working… :/
This pain has been going on for over a year now and I’m sick of it. I’m thinking of getting a third cortisone shot, but i really need to think about whether or not to get a surgery to fix up my shoulder. The thing is I’m only 16. I’m really scared to get surgery and I really don’t want to if it can be avoided!! But my shoulder is causing me so much pain, and sometimes it hurts so bad that I start crying and it’s hard for me to breathe…
What do you think I should do? Cortisone? Surgery? Both? I’d really appreciate

admin answers:

I’m going to answer your really long question with probably an equally long reply but I hope it helps. First of all, I totally relate to the pain you are in. I have rotator cuff syndrome in my right shoulder and at times it KILLS. I as set up for PT but my insurance would barely pay anything and it just made it hurt worse so I’ve been just trying to deal with it for about 18 months now. I think I have had two cortisone shots and I REFUSE to get any more in it and I am fixing to tell you why.

My mom had surgery on both of her shoulders in 2009 and a couple years of misery to the point where she was growing dependent on pain meds that weren’t helping. Her doctor (who is my doctor also and the reason I won’t get anymore shots) was constantly giving her cortisone injections in both shoulders. In 2009 though my mom couldn’t stand it anymore so went to a chiropractor who required xrays and MRI before he would touch her. Lo and behold not one but both rotator cuffs were torn completely so chiropractic was out and to the orthopedic surgeon she went. He scheduled her for surgery in the worse of the two and I took her in that morning for day surgery.

A little later she is in recovery and the surgeon summoned me to her little cubicle to share what had happened (more importantly what HADN’T happened). He was furious at our doctor for shooting her up so many times with the cortisone. It destroyed the tendons. He told me that every time he tried to grab some with the instrument that piece literally shredded in his hand and it was all due to too much cortisone. He was able to clean the shoulder bones up a little but couldn’t repair the rotator cuff. We had to tell her this when she finally woke up and she was devastated. Fortunately what he was able to clean up helped her painwise some once she recovered from the actual surgery.

Six weeks later they decided to try the other shoulder but knew that the possibility was very strong that the doctor had destroyed this one too. We figured that maybe he could buy her a little time by cleaning up that one too. Fortunately this shoulder apparently hadn’t been as messed up by the shots and miracle of miracles he was able to repair that one.

For the one he couldn’t repair her only option at this point should she get to where she can’t stand it again is a shoulder replacement and even that would have to be put on backwards because of how screwed up everything is.

So now, first of all I am very pleased to hear that your doctor is being conservative with the cortisone. It is not a long term answer at all and with you being only 16 you have many more years to deal with your shoulder. If you were my daughter I would encourage you to have the surgery during the summer when you are out of school. Chances are they can do it arthroscopically with just small incisions and that gives you several months to recover and do your PT (you will definitely have to do the PT after surgery so it doesn’t freeze up on you!) Is it going to hurt? Yeah, sorry to say it will. But you hurt already so while this will be worse for a while you will end up feeling a lot better.

I hope this helps some.

Carol asks…

Would this be from my neck?

I have degenerative disc disease in my neck, it hurts some days, and always pops and grinds when I look down and turn my head. But lately my left shoulder hurts, like a dull achy, not enough to take pain meds, just an ache and sometimes it aches between my elbow and wrist, and sorta feels like I hit my funny bone at times. Could this be from my neck? I went to er and they wasn’t concerned about my heart so I’m taking its not from it. They took an xray and he said it didn’t show anything and prescribed me muscle relaxers (but I hate meds and not gonna take em) so any ideas? I’m female 30 5’8 overweight but losing (already lost 50+lbs) and I workout 5xs a week. I’m not short of breath or tingling or chest tightness nor jaw ache and my bp is 120s over 70-80s. So can this be from my neck?

admin answers:

Yes, absolutely Amanda, shoulder pain is common with degenerative disk disease in the neck. What’s likely happening is that a cervical disk (or vertebra that is out of position due to the disk breaking down) is pressing on a nerve that goes from the neck down the arm. The compressed nerve signals pain in the shoulder. It’s also possible that you have another problem in the shoulder that may be indirectly related to the cervical spine issue, because people with problems in one area of neck or shoulder often develop problems in the other. This has happened to me as well.

I would go see an orthopedist specializing in shoulders for this. You can get a referral from your regular doctor or a friend. An orthopedic office is likely to have at least one doctor specializing in shoulders. There are tests they can perform with their hands, positioning your arms, and telling you to turn different ways which can tell them whether this problem is coming from the shoulder or the neck and will help guide the treatment. What isn’t showing up on an x-ray will often show up on an MRI, but because MRIs are expensive, often they can try conservative treatment first especially if you ask. Take copies of images and reports you have with you. Because of the degenerative disk disease, they may want an MRI quickly if one hasn’t been done.

I’m not a doctor, but many doctors would not recommend muscle relaxers for this unless they were absolutely sure that muscle tightness was the issue. It’s often not when degenerative disk disease is involved. Anti-inflammatories or corticosteroid or epidural injection would be worth trying–I know–you hate meds–I get it–but taken with food, anti-inflammatories aren’t absolutely risk-free but pose fewer risks than muscle relaxers or narcotics which should only be used with greater caution. The right guided exercise may help, but it is possible that one or more exercises you are doing in your workout currently is making this worse, so it may be worth some physical therapy to find out.

Ignoring this and hoping it will just go away may lead to an adhesive capsulitis/frozen shoulder situation which you want to avoid if you can as it would only magnify the misery.

Wishing you good luck and good health.

Joseph asks…

Sharp pain in upper left shoulder.?

My shoulder makes a crunch sound when I move it around or use it and if you put your hand on it, it feels like crackers crunching and breaking under my skin. It’s a sharp pain between my shoulder blade and spine. Feels like a cramp or strain but it’s been doing this off and on for months now. Some days it doesn’t hurt at all and others it’s painful to even sit up.

admin answers:

Arm and Shoulder pain is an extremely common complaint, and there are many common causes of this problem. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms so that appropriate treatment can be directed at the cause. If you have shoulder pain, its because of the frozen shoulder.
Frozen Shoulder
Also called ‘adhesive capsuliitis,’ this is a common condition that leads to stiffness of the joint. Physical therapy and stretching are extremely important aspects of treatment.you feel like a cramp or strain.you should need therapy.i must say OK.go to the source you will get best help.pray for your health.

Sharon asks…

Shoulder injury lingering?

I separated my left shoulder a little over a year ago (October 2009). Turned out to be a grade 2 separation due to me falling straight on to it in the front when a soccer player tripped me. My doc put me in a sling than 3wks later my orthopedic doctor took me out of the sling saying i was mis diagnosed but now i am having problems with the shoulder. I cant constantly lift my shoulder in the air to put dishes away, when im typing it gives me this pain right behind the shoulder blade, and a few nights ago when i was laying on the shoulder to go to sleep it had this big pop on my shoulder and i had this mild pain after it popped and it lasted for a few min. Right now there is this constant uncomfortable pain behind the shoulder blade. So with this info what are you thinking is the problem and what i should do about it.
also when i rotate it in a circle i can feel and hear my shoulder or rotator cuff grinding and small pops

admin answers:

See your health care provider as soon as possible (orthopedic surgeon), for consultation. Our most enthusiastic recommendation for relief from shoulder pain goes to EFT, the newest and most effective procedure we have found in natural approaches to pain relief. And it doesn’t matter whether the shoulder pain is from a torn rotator cuff, bursitis, tendinitis, injury or any other source. EFT, which stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques.

Shoulder pain is an extremely common complaint, and there are many common causes of this problem. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms so that appropriate treatment can be directed at the cause. If you have shoulder pain, some common causes include:

Bursitis | Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
Rotator Cuff Tear
Frozen Shoulder
Calcific Tendinitis
Shoulder Instability
Shoulder Dislocation–A dislocation is an injury that occurs when the top of the arm bone becomes disconnected from the scapula.

Shoulder Separation–Also called an AC separation, these injuries are the result of a disruption of the acromiociavicular joint. This is a very different injury from a dislocation!

Labral Tear
Slap Lesion–The Slap lesion is also a type of labral tear. The most common cause is a fall onto an outstretched hand.

Arthritis.
Biceps Tendon Rupture–A proximal bicep tendon rupture occurs when the tendon of the biceps muscle ruptures near the joint.

Treatment:

Rest
Ice and Heat Application
Stretching
Physical Therapy
Anti-Inflammatory Medication–such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen, commonly referred to as NSAIDs.

Cortisone injections.
I hope this helps you. And good luck.

Jenny asks…

Severe Shoulder/Trapezius Pain! Please help!?

Ok so like 5 months ago I tried a one-handed Pull-up (bad idea), My shoulder made a cracking noise and it hurt like hell . . The next 3in a half months I couldn’t workout and I was taking anti-inflammatory pills and rested to get better . . .

I then began to workout again as my pain subsided a little, month in a half into my workout, while benching I reach the top of my last rep I hear the noise again and now my Trapezius/shoulder is in alot of pain.

The pain is on my right arm only and it hurts when I bench, try almost any shoulder workout and hurts the MOST when I do Reverse Flys or when I flex my Right Trap! It was so bad I couldn’t sleep well last night . . . It feels like it is inflammated inside and doesn’t allow me to move fast enough, but from the outside I don’t see my shoulder any different.

Is there anything I can do to make it heal faster, I don’t want to go down in my strength again.

admin answers:

Off course ‘Pain is the unpleasant feeling but it is good for us because it is the sign that some thing is working wrong in our body functions. Shoulder pain is an extremely common complaint, and there are many common reasons of this complaint .some common causes are Bursitis | Rotator Cuff Tendonitis, Rotator Cuff Tear, Frozen Shoulder, Calcific Tendonitis, SLAP Lesion, Arthritis, Shoulder Dislocation
, Shoulder Separation, Shoulder Instability, & Biceps Tendon Rupture.
When the shoulder joint becomes stiff and scarred and the motion of the joint restrict frozen shoulder is developed. Frozen shoulder is very painful because it restricts the motion of the joint. The shoulder joint allows more motion than any other joint in the body. When a patient develops a frozen shoulder, the capsule that surrounds the shoulder joint becomes contracted. The patients form bands of scar tissue called adhesions. The contraction of the capsule and the formation of the adhesions cause the frozen shoulder to become stiff and cause movement to become painful.
I think you have a frozen shoulder problem.that’s why yave still have a pain after 5 months.you should have a message or a physical therapy to get rid of this pain.plz check out the site.it will give you more help.best of luck for your recovery.

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