Anyone suffer from bursitis/tendonitis/frozen shoulder?

Haven't been to the GP so self diagnosis, if I did I'd be there every day! So my arm hurts when I lift it, has been hurting for ages especially when I lie on it at night, in fact it woke me up at 5am hurting so bad all down the outside of my right arm. Find it hard to lift above shoulder height (so poss shoulder damage) and to get my arms into clothes for example, had it for a few weeks now and i'm fed up of it, ibuprofen helps so I'll keep that up, anyone else suffer with this?

38 Replies

  • Sounds like either bursitis or rotator cuff injury. I think frozen shoulder means you have no movement in the joint at all.

    I had it in my left shoulder - I assumed mine was a rotator cuff tear - and it hurts like nothing else. I wasn't able to raise my arm above waist height or move it backwards at all. Had to do everything with right arm and I'm left-handed, so that was a pain. Nothing really touched the pain, not even codeine, but heat helped a little. I also used that gel, maybe with ibuprophen in it? When it went into spasm it would make me roar with pain and sometimes it would just throb and make me weep and feel nauseated. Sometimes my arm just wouldn't work - I'd pick up a cup of tea and suddenly my arm would judder and I'd have to grab the cup with my right hand.

    It took about a year to get better and toward the end physio massage and acupuncture helped.

    I blamed it on an odd movement I used to get stuff off my bedside table but now it's almost two years later and my right arm is going and I've done nothing to it at all so I think it must be more of a systemic issue or something. If it had happened sooner I might assume it was because I was overusing it since the other was useless, but I've had a good year of all being well, so it seems unlikely.

    Do go to the gp. It may help to get a proper diagnosis and maybe even a physio referral. I was told that an ultrasound helps to see if there is a bone spur or something physical causing it.

  • Puncturedbicycle is most likely right when she mentions rotator cuff injury.. I suffered for 3 years and no one did anything for me. There wasn't an upper arm surgeon at my hospital at the time When I was finally diagnosed it was too late to do anything about it. When I found out that is what was wrong with my other arm I was offered surgery but because of my age I decided not to go ahead. I have to have a spinal injection when I have ops but the way hospitals are at the moment I try not to go near them.

  • Yes, reaching onto the bedside is a killer!

  • Reaching sideways over my shoulder while lying on my back would make it go into spasm. It was the first sign of trouble. I used to have to turn a whole rotation in bed so I could reach with my right hand. Still do! Pain in the bum!

    Be very gentle with it as a tear can be exacerbated if you move it about too roughly.

  • My husband had 2 frozen shoulders before his Hashimotos hypothyroid was diagnosed and properly treated

    also had bursitis in his kneee

    Sadly such problems do accompany hashimotos /hypothyroid

  • I believe you're right, RFU13. I have tennis elbow one side, swimmer's shoulder the other, and a smorgasbord of odd pains in ball and heels of my feet variously and in combination, also swollen achilles tendons (I wonder what the vernacular for that is? Warrior's Ankle?) and occasionally shooting pains up the inside of one calf. I've always been a bit prone to these tendonitis things - but all together?!?! Tendonitis turns out to be another catch-all like virus and arthritis. Interesting that a cortisone injection is considered standard treatment for all of 'em.

  • All together its HYPOTHYROID and it needs treating with NDT not lousy useless thyroxine

  • Amen to that.

  • Had similar in one shoulder and hip, and then in both shoulders and hips. Orthopaedic surgeon said shoulder was osteoarthritis and surgery was necessary - drilling three holes into shoulder. Went to private osteopath who didn't approve of surgery and, via a number of sessions, helped. Vit D also, I think, helped.

  • Are you optimally treated for your thyroid ? I have looked at various websites linking thyroid and frozen shoulder when searching for friends with the problem. Could be worth typing Frozen Shoulder into the Search Box on the Green Bar at the top of the page.... or see item below entitled Frozen Shoulder....from two weeks ago.

    Do hope you soon feel more comfy - oh yes I too agree with VitD helping everything :-)

  • Hi

    I've had this several times. Mainly my right shoulder. I also suffer with tennis elbow occasionally on both arms.

    Forgot gp and book yourself into see a physiotherapist straight away. You will probably only need a couple of sessions as it can e sorted quite quickly especially with the exercises they advise you to do . When the pain is at its worse I have acupuncture .... Amazing!!!

    I work in a physio clinic and have lots if faith in physios and zero with drs ..... Take a couple of painkillers and see how it goes ..yeah right......

    Hope you feel better soon x

  • I had that about 2 years ago in my right shoulder. the pain was terrible, & painkillers didn`t help. I had to see a physiotherapist who gave me a steroid injection into my shoulder. That helped a great deal. I have no idea how I hurt my shoulder, but I`m extra careful these day because I don`t need that kind of pain again!

  • Yes it's associated with hormones

    Like diabetes. I would also thing other things. Like electropollution

    I had a transmitter near my house the rays crossed over. I could feel them and I got a scanner to find them. But on a personal level I am better than the scanner any day.

    As I have said electropollution radiation messes with your thyroid and your mind come to that.

  • I am hypo and diabetic so the risk of getting a frozen shoulder is increased. Sorry to tell you but I am now 2 years into my frozen shoulder. Your symptoms sound very similar to when mine started, shooting pain down my arm which would keep me awake at night. My GP sent me to physio and I was offered steroid injections. I decided not to have the injections and just put up with the pain. After a while the pain stopped but I couldn't put my arm behind my back or lift it up. Over the last few months I have started to get some movement back although nowhere near what it should be but am hopeful that it will continue to unfreeze. I suggest you go to your GP and get referred to a physio as they will give you exercises and steroids to help with pain.

  • Hi Gillybean. Yes I have RSI (tenosynovitis) and frozen shoulder. Ive had the shoulder pain for a year now. My GP said that it would be 6 months - 2 months freezing, 2 frozen and 2 thawing. It's more painful now, including at night as you've found. Wakes you up when you turn over in bed. Mine doesn't have to be carrying or lifting, can be the way it's resting on the work top when you turn slightly. I do find ibuprofen gel worked into the joint helps, but will have to see the doc about it as my other shoulder shows signs of going the same way.

    The actual problem with frozen shoulder isn't the muscles but the ligaments which hold the shoulder together. It's a complex joint, allowing for the range of movements a (normal) shoulder is required to perform.

    You don't give your age, but do please see your GP, to rule out other things such as arthritis.

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin helps sometimes, but correct dose of replacement hormones important as other posts indicate.

  • Hi, your post suggests that shoulder problems are not the only symptoms you are experiencing and even more reason to see your GP. A frozen shoulder is easily diagnosed by a GP and/or a Physiotherapist who you should be referred to as it is NHS protocol, but the question that needs addressing if it is such is what is causing it? Have you had an injury or fall? How old are you? Thyroid and menopausal symptoms can be very similar and often confused because both can cause muscle and joint problems. Blood tests checking TSH and FSH levels are needed and also one to see if there are osteocytes in the blood indicating arthritis. Some GPs will also request an x-ray of the affected joint at the same time to check for bone damage or spurs. Depending on the results will determine if you need to be referred for an MRI scan and to see a specialist, but only by getting the correct diagnosis can you receive the right treatment. However, be prepared for a long recovery time if you do have a frozen shoulder developing and try to keep it moving as much as possible during the 'freezing' phase even though it will be painful as this will help you retain maximum movement during the 'frozen' phase when the pain will subside. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory which can help but NEVER take on an empty stomach and if possible when you do take it also use gaviscon/omeprazole to protect the lining of your stomach. NSAIDs such as this are synonymous with stomach ulcers when taken long term so again discuss with your doctor who may offer a better alternative. Good luck.

  • The trouble is that every pain one takes to the doctor is treated in isolation. I was surprised on my second bout with the podiatrist that he actually admitted (when I raised it) that a malfunctioning thyroid could affect joints. But he didn't think that was so in my case (say what?!). Although when I asked him what he thought it was, then, he just shrugged and said 'wear and tear'. If one more healthcare 'professional' tells me "it's your age" I may lose it, finally and completely. I'm 61. I was looking forward to at least another 10 years of being middle-aged until Mr Thyroid caught up with me.

  • I had the same pain as you. I endured years of physio off and on. Three cortisone injections, acupuncture, then finally rotary cuff surgery to end the cycle of inflammation and pain. I am years down the line, and can only now sleep on my right arm for the last year since my thyroidectomy. This is why I feel that my shoulder was somehow connected to my thyroid years before I even knew I had a thyroid problem. Seek help sooner rather than later. Good luck.

  • Hi Gillybean, sorry to hear you have a 'frozen shoulder' I had a frozen shoulder 4 years ago, before I found out that I had Hashimoto's thyroiditis and hypothyroidism. I went to see an orthopedist who got me to take NSAID (Non-steroid anti inflammatory drugs) along with a tablet to protect my stomach as I had problems with full-on reflux in the past. These didn't work even though he tried different ones. I still had pain on certain movements and if my arm remained very still for a prolonged time. I also couldn't sleep comfortably on my side and had to sleep on my back. I asked for some physiotherapy and got 6 sessions using machines and given exercises. These didn't seem to help. Some friends mentioned a corticosteroid injection working for them so I asked if I could have one. That didn't work for me either. I had a variety of massages (including a sport massage) during different holidays and found that some masseurs seemed to have a gift and would improve the mobility of my shoulder). I eventually found a really good physiotherapist who used machines (electric pulses into the muscles..?), dry needling, and quite hard pressure on certain points. This made a good difference and I was able to lift my arms above my head and to the side. I still couldn't put my right arm behind my back. This is improving slowly over time. So I'm mostly better, but not completely. From talking to others who have also suffered a frozen shoulder it takes from about one year to four years to heal. I think you should see your GP as soon as you're up to it and ask to go on the waiting list for physiotherapy, because you might get a really good one who can help you heal much quicker. If you see your GP asap it keeps some doors open (that's if your GP knows about all the different doors ;). As some treatments only work if you have them done at the early stages of the problem for e.g. the cortisone shot - But this doesn't work for everybody and I'm not sure if it's safe for those with autoimmune diseases or if it's more toxic. Also not sure if NSAID's and the tablets they might give you to protect your stomach from the NSAID's might also be toxic). Best of luck. From what I've read on the internet people with a thyroid problem are more predisposed to having a frozen shoulder. Just Google 'thyroid and frozen shoulder". My tip to anyone who is reading this - Pray to Jesus that He will guide the Doctor to give you the right treatment for you :)

  • Thank you all so much for your replies, they are really helpful and I'll ready them more thoroughly later.

    As far as I know, my bloods last month were in 'the range' (and we all know about that don't we!) and I asked for vitamins so she did a massive blood check on everything and it was all in the ranges. So....I remember a few weeks ago at work, I could hardly put my arm on the desk to type it was excruciating, I work directly under the air con which blows an icy blast onto my affected shoulder, despite mu protestations no one gives a damn so I sit with a thick scarf draped over my shoulder some days. Lots of good tips on here which I'll take up, thank you all again you're all really lovely and supportive x

  • I have this as well, I am a hairdresser so I really need my arm, hard to sleep the pain all that. You need to stay away from the air vent of that air conditioner. One if my excellent physio's told me not to have a fan going or sleep under a fan. Guess the cold air on the joints. I had injections but man it hurt been worse. You have to keep using that arm to keep it going honey. I know it,hurts but gentle movement. Hope you feel better. And I was also told those steroid injections makes your bones crumble after a while??? X x

  • Ritaritarita you're spot on. My acupuncturist/physio is very anti-draught. Keep it warm, keep the air off it. x

  • Hi wish I knew the answer. I have bursitis in my hips. And the tendons running down my legs are sore. I did physical therapy it increased my strength but my flexibility no improvement. The shots did seem to help in the hip. I have Hashi and on meds. I hope it heals at some point. I feel over use really aggravates the whole thing. Hope you get some relief. Not sure the shots are good for you. I read it can do some damage to the tissue. But it did seem to help me I had 2. Right now I am thinking of going for another one trying to hold off. Let me know if you find a miracle cure. All the best!

  • How old are you? Do you think it might be arthritis ...osteo or rheumatoid arthritis?

    I am "pushing" seventy and have got severe arthritis in my neck and shoulder and your description of your symptoms sounds like my symptoms. I refuse to take arthritis drugs ( but have had great success treating myself with the following two products which I obtain, here in the U.S., from amazon.

    If you decide to give this a try, you need to know that the turmeric and the MSM need to have a few days before their effects kick in. I also do have Hashimoto's so there might be a connection ----

  • Thank you all again, that must be awful for you Rita being a hairdresser, typing all day is bad enough.

    I am 52, so not sure about arthritis, who knows? I don't want injections hate needles at the best of times!

  • I have had recurring tendonitis in both ankles and now in the hip.I believe it is connected with thyroid disorders.

  • ...or VitD ? Levels need to be high in the range :-) 60 ng/mL being optimal. Differing ranges in the UK I believe. I take 10,000IU's daily. Many chronic conditions have LOW D in the puzzle.....

    Vit D is a steroidal pre-hormone and involved in so much. Interestingly all 60 trillion cells ( at the last count :-) ) have a receptor for VitD - so they are there for a reason !....along with thyroid hormone receptors in all cells :-)

    Hope all is good...

    M x

  • I have been sitting out in the sun and I am definitely upping my vitD dose!

    Thanks Marz


  • Environment food vitamins.

    The body uses up its thyroid hormone and the above to protect it from radiation or electropollution. We are all batteries, transmitters and receivers.

    I got a bad shoulder when a transmitter was put near my house. I could also pick it up on a scanner. The rays went through my house. They are meant to be directed along roads.

    It's no use saying we are separate from our environment.

    Then saying we just take the medication because the government breaks the law. These Laws date back to at least the 1950 and 60's.

    The military experimented on troops. Then somehow forgot to hand the knowledge over to civilian legislators in 2002 when they took over.

    This same technology is out their.

    The troops and their children conceived in the 1950's risked genetic damage. The troops have tried to take the Mod to court what's left of them.

    My cousin was in the Navy he still didn't know. He's got cancer. He worked for BT afterwards.

    Computers x-ray MRI microwave overs RADAR are all radioactive.

    The government has confused us

    Into thinking an electrical device is not radioactive. When it is.

    I tried to explain it to several MP's where I have lived they have no understanding.

    They have already done the experiments each generation has since 1900.

    If someone says ionising or non ionising radiation. It's a lie everything is nuclear.

    Nuclear radiation uses up iodine.

  • Look at what's in and near your homes and work places.

    Me on my own just saying something. When people look for the next dose of iodine or thyroid.

  • All you folks need to get Vitamin D & Vitamin b12 blood levels checked.Sooner the better.I am speaking from experience 10 yrs ago I suffered from severe pain in shoulder bursitis on u/s told by drs,physio do exercises ,orthopaedic injected with cortisone.Did my own research Vit B 12 deficiency causes bursitis.When will drs learn symptoms of Vitamin deficiency?.Last yr a diligent Gp diagnosed Genetic mutation MTHFR after 6 mths of night tremors,nausea headache,pins & needles hands,feet,severe tinnitus,now after treatment I am left with permanent nerve damage hearing & memory loss,numb feet.My husband has had painful shoulders,knees ,feet for 16yrs atrial fibrillation ,Dvts,leg ulcers just found out B12 -191 2 drs ignored it .He is livid,could be all prevented..Read the book Could it be B12 ? My lifesaver.

  • I successfully treated a friend who could not lift her arm above her head - it took me 2 minutes to relieve the problem whilst both of us were standing in our local hall; I trained in Body Realignment.

    If you live near Windsor/Guildford, or can get there, I would recommend you look up Body Realignment. (I do not live in this area and am not canvassing for more clients.) BR can be miraculous.

  • I've had similar shoulder problems for several years - first, in just my right shoulder and now in both. Had x-ray of my right shoulder (when that was the only one I had the problem with) and that showed no arthritis - so the doc just sent me on my way with no treatment. Later, another GP at my surgery suggested it might be polymyalgia rheumatica - so I was on corticosteroids for a year. Worked wonders for 2 weeks - then worse than ever (took me the next year to wean off the steroids).

    Only recently, my therapeutic pilates instructor - who's also a physio - said it looked more like rotator cuff problems to her. So I'm assuming that's what it is. But it's been going on so long I'm not sure what else I can do with it apart from continued gentle stretching/exercises. I didn't know it could be connected with hypothyroidism. I guess that's yet another symptom I can add to my list which seems to indicate I'm hypo (but GP won't do anything about that either :-( )

  • I had this a couple of years ago .I found some exercises on the net and did these 3 times a day ,when I eventually got to see the physio she said I was doing the right thing .It took about 6 months before it was fully recovered . Hope you find something that helps as it's not a pleasant condition .

  • Could you give a link to the exercises you found? I have shoulder problems and need all the help I can get.

  • yes i suffer with a frozen shoulder, there are 3 stages to a frozen shoulder, i have been to the hospital today to see my consultant, we have agreed to go down the path and try hydrodillation

  • Please push for a scan folks!

    My mother-in-law was fobbed off with a diagnosis of frozen shoulder by her GP for a year. When she ended up seeing a different one she was sent for an urgent scan and she has an inoperable and soon to be fatal tumour in her neck.

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