Frozen Shoulder: Hi. I'm not exactly new here... - Pain Concern

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Frozen Shoulder

gettingolder123
gettingolder123

Hi. I'm not exactly new here. I was researching for my father's Parkinson's issues and found a lot of support. But since he passed away last year I haven't been back. This time around, I'd like to share my experiences with a common but nonetheless extremely painful condition commonly known as frozen shoulder, or Adhesive Capsulitis.

I hope this helps fellow sufferers.

I’m not known for writing blogs at the drop of a mouse but if someone can motivate me to do that, he’s got to be pretty special. Right? And a blog on medical issues? Nah- not me. I belong to that tribe which believes one’s medical issues are best kept between oneself and one’s doctor. I’ve seen too many rolled up eyes and the facial expressions which says “there she goes again, all I did was ask how are you? Do I really need to know her blood pressure and the latest blood sugar value?”

Anyway, the cause of my uncharacteristic behavior this time around is the earth shattering, can-conquer-the-world, born again feeling- after being relieved from the excruciating experience of a frozen shoulder!

It doesn’t sound like much, this frozen shoulder. You just can’t move it a bit, the blissfully thawed shouldered would say. But for someone with a frozen shoulder, the excruciating bolt of 1000 volts which shoots from the armpit to the ends of the fingers when a simple un-thinking action like stretching for the towel on the bathroom rack, sends one into spasms of seeing stars and planets and all the whirling rocks in the cosmos, is something only a fellow sufferer would understand. How difficult can slicing mushrooms possibly be? Or stirring your coffee? Or scrubbing your toes, powdering your under arms, adjusting the rear view mirror of your car? Driving? Unthinkingly, shaking my hand to flick off a bug or pulling a chair towards me would bring on the electrocution. Not being able to do these simple everyday things which needed no effort a few months ago, takes a huge mental toll.

There’s a plus side of-course. The other arm, which was more or a spare part (somewhat like the spare heir!) starts feeling important! I never before tried to brush my teeth with my left hand but now I can. I can also comb my hair, stir the ladle in the cooking pot, and sweep using my left, hitherto non-dominant arm! The only thing which I can be thankful for is that only one shoulder was affected. I cannot imagine how bad it might have been if both had been ‘frozen’.

I went through the gamut of doctors, physio therapies including acupuncture, exercising with bands and yoga but every day the stiffness and pain was increasingly worse. It came to a point when sleep was difficult because I couldn’t turn on my right side and the constant dull, nagging ache in my arm was literally a pain in the A (arm!). One doctor I went to said surgery is the only option if physiotherapy doesn’t work. Another said they could try a steroid injection. A third one said he could try injecting my own blood into the joint which ‘sometimes’ works but no guarantees. Finally I went to this doc (may god bless him!) who said something to the effect that he’d hit me on the head with a frying pan and while I’m kayoed and insensate, he’d basically twist and tug and pull my arm practically out of its socket. This was fine by me as long as I was actually kayoed. So this is exactly what he did. Though of course he used anesthesia instead of a frying pan!

Less than 12 hours later, it is difficult to put into words, the incredible feeling of being 90% pain free and being able to do all those things with my right hand which I was not able to for so long. Hesitantly, I reach out for that towel with my right hand, expecting the old familiar electric shock. It doesn’t come! I sliced up all the tomatoes and onions in the house just out of the sheer joy of being able to do it! I take a scrub to the kitchen sink and make it sparkle, just because I now can! I’m born again! I would do handstands it in a heartbeat if I could. It’s just been five days since the procedure and the 95% return of range of motion to my arm is just mind blowing.

So, for those millions suffering from a frozen shoulder, please consider this option of ‘manipulation under anesthesia- MUA’. It is not a heavily advertised process for obvious reasons but as a patient who's been through it, I would certainly plug its benefits. Conservative in approach, only one day in hospital and immediate relief. No expensive follow up physiotherapy, just ice pack applications and a few simple do-at-home exercises.

14 Replies
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My frozen shoulder has been going on for nearly 2 years and I'm still stuck (literally 🤣) in the first phase, done all the usual including the useless steroid injections so my only option is surgery which for practical reasons would be very awkward. My ortho specialist isn't keen on MUA because of the high risk of it refreezing, adhesions are notorious for growing back. I guess if it gets really desperate then I might have to push them to try manipulation but for now I'll have to carry on enduring the "1000 volt shocks" !!

Good blog and I wish you luck.

Hi Bantam12! Thanks for your kind comments.

I guess its possible that I'm celebrating too early, but it was so incredibly awesome to be pain free that I had to share. My doc says if I keep doing the shoulder exercises faithfully 4 times a day and putting ice on the shoulder, re-adhesions should not normally happen. Of course, I have to keep a strict vigil on my diabetes too. So hoping for the best and I will update on this forum with changes as time goes on.

Hi it was good to read your blog I also have a frozen shoulder but after a year and a half I have been able move it more. It was so bad at first I couldn’t pick anything up with my left arm at the time I thought oh great now what is this MS monster doing to me i then asked my neurologist and he told me it was a frozen shoulder oh great something new to add to my list. I was talking to my sister and found out she had one to.

Well after a year and a half I am doing so much better I don’t have full range of motion. But it is so much better. I figured it out I think I got it when I got my flu shot.

I am glad your doing so much better. I want to so I’m sorry 😐 for the loss of your Dad.

You know you can come on this site even if your healthy. We like healthy people to.

Oh yea by the way stay healthy.

Thank you. Its a great community here and I'm happy to be back!

The last doc who did MUA for me said most diabetics will face frozen shoulder at some point in their lives. I asked him why my other shoulder wasn't affected. he laughed and said "hang on lady, don't be in such a hurry! You'll get there, never fear!"

Jokes aside, now that I know how bad it can get with one shoulder, I'm NOT anxious for the other one. So, now it's trying achieve better sugar control, more exercise, conscious eating and exercising both shoulders! Fingers crossed!

Good for you I never want this to happen to anyone else. But I did think when it happened to me it seemed to me I had heard that about three other others got frozen shoulder.

Stay healthy.

Thank you so much for sharing. I had a frozen left shoulder for 4 years, before it suddenly started improving. I wish I knew this back then, as there was no need for me to suffer in silence (which I tried to do, but my kids heard me using some very un-Christian language!)

I have certainly filed this under "if it dares come back, I'll hit it with this," but I am hoping I never need to use it as if it comes back, I'm quite prepared to request an amputation, it was that painful (joking!).

I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. 1000 volts may have been an exaggeration to illustrate the point, but I know what a death row convict feels in his last seconds! I'm glad you're better and I wish it NEVER EVER returns to torment you. All the best!

Thank you. The best to you too!

Frozen shoulder can be an early sign of Parkinson’s Disease in some people.

Oops!

Thank you for your post @gettingolder123. I can certainly vouch for the severity of the frozen shoulder symptoms. Physiotherapy at my local hospital helped a lot, steroid injection given by GP only for a short while. It's not completely gone, but I'm continuing with the daily physio exercises. I mentioned to the physios that the pain started when I had my flu vaccination in Nov 2016. Their opinion was that it was likely that the frozen shoulder was already developing and that the injection accelerated it.

Thank you to all on here who helped me with the shoulder problem - it made such a difference.

Cazz

ssdw1958
ssdw1958
in reply to Cazzmusic1

WOW 😮 you know I was trying to figure it out when it happened to me well I had just gotten my flu shot in my right arm that went well BUT in my left arm I got my Pneumonia Shot and that arm I also had the frozen shoulder.

It was almost a year later I had gone to my PC and I got my flu shot and I was reading the paperwork they have before you sign to get the shot and one of the questions is if you had this shot before did your arm hurt.

I thought wow it was probably was when the frozen shoulder started.

I am glad gettinggolfer123. Brought up this subject it makes a person think 🤔 I’ll tell you that my shoulder hurt so bad my husband was helping me put on my jacket when we were at a rest stop and my son was in front of me and he yelled to his dad to stop mom is crying I was in so much pain I couldn’t even tell him to stop and my husband stopped and looked st me and said why didn’t I tell him to stop. After I got some control I told him that it hurt so bad I couldn’t say anything. Now that’s how bad it hurt. From then on when he helped me with my jacket he would ask me is this your good arm or your bad arm. UNBELIEVABLE HOW BAD A FROZEN SHOULDER HURTS

Good luck to everyone that has had this.

Super post, well written with a sense of humour (we have to have that don't we?). I've had about three frozen shoulders in my life (I have only got two though) and after having the last one for nearly a year I was booked in to have the manipulation under anaesthetic. Lo and behold (it was Christmas time) I went there on the day, think it was 2nd January and I knew before I went that it had thawed out itself, hence no manipulation needed. I've not had another since so I'm deeply grateful for that; but its great to know it works from someone who knows. So sorry to hear you lost your dad x

Hello Krawlins, this is just amazing.....your frozen shoulder thawed itself out? I guess that would be best EVER Christmas gift!!

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