After some advice about work, sorry it's a long post!

Posted , 5 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Hi, my symptoms started before Christmas with a trapped nerve in my neck and down my arm and was managed with over the counter painkillers and physio initially.

Things came to a head at Easter where the pain became unbearable. The Dr increased the painkillers and I've been taking Naproxen 500mg am and pm, zapain (codeine 60mg, paracetamol 500mg) every 6 hrs and Amitriptyline 30mgs every night, all of which don't take all of the pain away. 

The consultant diagnosed a frozen shoulder and I had a manipulation under anaesthetic 6 weeks ago which was only successful in changing the type of pain. Consultant has offered to do procedure again if I get frustrated but advised to continue physio in the meantime.

I have been having physio every day for 5 weeks and now every other day (absolute agony but movement is improving!). The physio also says that muscles have wasted and shortened from misuse and that pelvis and back problems have contributed to the cause of it all.

My question is, I have been off work since symptoms became really bad, I can't seem to get proper advice from anyone about when to go back to work. It's just, go back when you're ready, how do I know when I'm ready?

I feel guilty having time off but don't know how I would manage if I went back. My work involves a lot of lifting, pushing, pulling and a lot of overhead work as well as speed writing and being surrounded by 60 kids who are all shoulder height.

I am only getting  2-3 hours sleep a night. I am doing all the stretching and strengthening exercises that have been given my but still all causing a lot of pain. I have now started doing little things around the house as pain allows but need two hands to lift a kettle still. 

My initial problem of trapped nerve in my neck is still an issue.

I have 3 weeks left till I'm on summer holidays. Do I go back and see what happens or am I risking an injury by going back before I am at least stronger?

Work are very supportive but some colleagues keep asking me when I'm coming back, please come back, we need you back which puts pressure on me! O

 

0 likes, 13 replies

Report

13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, i am in a similar situation and job to you but also have the misfortune of the second shoulder starting to freeze. I have been of work for 4 months and  the doctor recently extended for another 3 months. I really dont recommend you going back until you are honestly ready. 

     

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi ann

    i feel for you! Also suffering with frozen shoulder, it has been unbearable on days especially when the weather dips.

    three weeks ago I had an hydraulition injection this has helped immensely. They inject saline into the joint by a guided injection, also steroid and anaesthetic it's been amazing.its taken way the constant throbbing knife in the stabbing pain I s in but shoulder still pretty frozen.i know what you mean about work,I have a physical job and have been off for 6 weeks now.im doing a phase back just half days couple days a week. Maybe you could do something like that you can gage then what you can and can't do.

    this is an absolutely debilitating condition that I knew nothing about until now. My sympathies are with you. It will get better though.good luck.☺️

    Report
  • Posted

    I think acrdpt is right re reading your post if you only have 3 more weeks till your off I'd stay off and get plenty of sunshine and rest 😎
    Report
  • Posted

    Thanks for your replies. It's so hard to know as some times I think things are going in the right direction and think maybe I can go back, the next the pain is really bad again! I vary from feeling positive to feeling very depressed. I've been holding my neck for last 3 days and around my shoulder blade is so painful, haven't been able to lean on it for months as it increases pain in my neck! 
    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Ann, i have had my own thread running but been offline generally for the last few weeks but I am answering yours partly because of the problems which link to your neck.  Firstly don't go back to work until you are really fit, you are a risk to yourself and others and better to take longer now than return too soon and set yourself back.  Ask what advice you would give to a friend in your situation perhaps and take it yourself!  Your neck - I had a neck injury at the same time as shoulder problems through a fall.  I have severe pain affecting my wrist and hand too most of the time.  A friend of mine went through the whole shoulder injury, frozen shoulder route only to eventually discover it was her neck causing all of the problems and immediately after surgery all pain had gone and has never returned. She suffered same pains as for frozen shoulder and torn rotator cuff but it was neither causing it.  As you already have indications of a neck problem I wonder if you have been referred to a neurologist in the process - my experience is that they don't refer you and you have to fight for it when all other things have proved inconclusive whilst many experts will only consider one cause instead of possibly two or three even.  I have had ultrasound and now an mri on my shoulder and if the mri shows nothing on my shoulder other than being frozen (and that is bad enough) then I will go to the consultant advised by my friend.  He specialises in spine/neck/nerve damage and minimal invasive surgery.  I find from my shoulder to hand burns and stings amid the aches and pains with occasional pins and needles too although conductive nerve tests were negative but my instincts are going back to my neck as a key problem in all of it.  worth considering perhaps?  some people are lucky and have instant benefits and back to normal after MUA and other treatments but many do not or it is a start of another long process of recovery but without so much pain and some procedures have to be repeated so no two people are the same.  If your colleagues doubt the impact the frozen shoulder is having on your life just print off some of the comments ont he threads here - it is one of the most awful, painful and debilitating conditions you can have and it can last literally years for some. I wish you well and hope you get the right help. rest and be kind to yourself x
      Report
    • Posted

      I was initially referred to physio for trapped nerve in my neck and he indicated that the frozen shoulder was a result of the amount of pain I had and that the neck problems are still there. 

      The shoulder specialist I saw said with no other tests other than looking at range of movement of arm that it was just a frozen shoulder and nothing else!

      luckily the physio I am seeing looks at the whole person and is treating all of me!

      I feel reassured from the advice, sometimes I feel as though I must be making it all up and I should try and push through pain and get over the fact that I'm getting very little sleep!

      Report
  • Posted

    Hi, I started off with atrapped nerve in neck which as you say the pain is unbearabloe going all the way down the arm. I opted for a spinal injection in my C5, which helped but did not remove all the pain and the medication as you have did not get rid of it. My spinal surgeon sent me to see shoulder specialist who did athroscopic surgery on shoulder. 6months later another operartion for MUA and another cleat up in the shoulder joint. All was good, but then I had to have spinal surgery in Feb, not realted to the shoulder but I was on heavy pain elief that covered the pain in the shoulder. It is now 4 months on and the pain is presenting itself again to the point where the shoulder seems to be sticking in the joint. The shoulder problemstarted October 2011 and it still has not been fully cured. I contned to wrok through the pain until Fb this year when I surrender to the pain. My job is secretary and just using the mouse creates me problems after a few hours. Your job will definintely not help your shoulder and could in fact make things worse. I would stay off work, be sensible or try and do reduced hours on lighter duties. Frozen shoulder is something that takes time.
    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Jay, sorry to hear you have had such a rough time of it sad( I think that as with most things there are good surgeons and not so good surgeons and easy patients and complicated patients problems.  You had a spinal injection but not surgery, my friend had surgery as it took a procedure to address the damage this way and it worked for her.  Spinal surgeons are different to neurologists in their expertise too as I found when I broke my neck in the first place and it never ceases to amaze me how little communication there is between the various consultants, it is rarely holistic!   4+ years Jay, I think you have suffered enough and wish you all the best in the future.
      Report
  • Posted

    Update,

    Had physio yesterday and have trapped nerve down the back of neck as well as one down the side of neck running down arm.

    Spoke with Dr this morning and he has signed me off for 4 weeks which takes me to summer holidays with a view that if things dramatically improve then give him a call and he can change sick note.

    Continue with all pain killers and physio every other day.

    Can't do anything about the fact that I'm only getting 1-2 hours sleep a night as I'm on maximum tablets.

    Feel happier that I know what I'm doing now but very low due to pain and lack of sleep. Feel like I could cry at the slightest thing.

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Anne,

    Have you considered going to an osteopath instead of a physio. I was initailly sent to a physio and basically told me the pain would go away over time.sad I then opted for an Osteopath who called me at home and asked me to do some simple exercises while sat in a chair. Over the phone he diagnosed a trapped nerve in neck. I had 4 sessions with him and the pain was reduced by about 60% which was amazing.biggrin He then suggested seeing a consultant for a spinal injection. Which as you know from my previous comment helped but then the frozen shoulder happened. A private Osteopath charged me £50.00 for half an hour of stretching and pulling on my arm. It did not hurt, and then he gave me gentle and I mean gentle exercises to do for the rest of the week before my next session. He told me to Ice pack the shoulder as well.  It really was worth paying out. Maybe this is something you could consider. If I had stayed with the NHS on this I think I woud be screaming by now as they told me I had pain and it will go away at some point, as the exercises they asked me to do, did not increase the pain.  I did get an MRI done privately too, approx £1,0000 as the NHS refused me this also. I know money sould not come into it but as you know the pain is horrendous. I am not completey cured and still struggle to sleep at night as lying on the shoulder is still painful, but is a lot better than it was. I worked thorugh mine for a long time. I don't know how I did it as I am typing all day. I would not recommend this so stay off work is my advice providing your doctor is willing to sign you off. 

    Report
    • Posted

      No, I haven't seen an osteopath yet. The physio I see specialises in a lot of different techniques. if it hadn't been for physio I don't know what I would do! I can also see him whenever I want, which happened to be everyday for weeks, now every other day.

      GP very understanding today and has signed me off for 4 weeks now.

      Just wish I could sleep. Falling asleep say bolt upright on edge of bed last night as I couldn't lean on anything because of pain in neck.

      Report
  • Posted

    Hi, I hate to tell you this but your physio wil never be able to release your nerve trapped in your neck. I had this for 2 years and the only thing to release it was to have a spinal injection in my C5. I also know that I have a partial trapped nerve in my C6. The swelling needs to be reduced to stop the pain and this wil not be done by a physio. The guided injection is done in the operating theatre as you can imagine it is a delicate thing. 

    Lack of sleep is by fat the worse. Your GP should be considering better pain relief for you. Amitriptyline, Baclofen or Gabapentin  woudld give you a little help with sleeping.

    Report
    • Posted

      Oh dear, it doesn't sound good then!

      I have been on Naproxen and Amitriptyllin for months now as well as codeine which takes the edge off only!

      Physio yesterday re-aligned 3 vertebrae in my neck so will see if that helps. See him again Monday!

      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up