Frozen shoulder?

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Hi everyone

I've had right shoulder pain for 3 months and it's getting worse. I can't sleep on my right as side and if I wake up on my right side I'm in agony. If I lay on my left side, it hurts if I lower my right arm in front of me. I went to the doctor a month ago and he seems to think it's related to my early osteoarthritis in my neck. The pain is constant and no over the counter painkillers work. I've tried creams but the massage helps me more than the creams. How can you tell if it is a frozen shoulder? It came out of the blue, no heavy lifting just housework. Thanks everyone.

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  • Posted

    try sleeping with a small throw pillow between your side and top arm

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    • Posted

      When my MRI was read by a general radiologist at Northwestern University it was diagnosed as a torn labrum (correct). But he missed the frozen shoulder that was obvious to my orthopeadic DR at first glance at the MRI with a brief physical exam.

      The MRI showed a thickening 3-4MM?? of the joint capsule.

      The physical exam showed lack of external rotation. I believe that is when you put your elbows by your side, forearms parallel to the ground. Keeping my elbow by my side, i was unable to move my first outside my body. Internal rotation is the same position, moving the fist toward your belly button.

      After my dilema, an acquaintence with to U of Chicago. She got a shot of cortizone right in the joint capsule under the guidence of XRay. She got quick results that got better and better every week.

      Where are you?

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    • Posted

      Yes that's very helpful thanks. If I do have a frozen shoulder the freezing stage is what I seem to be experiencing. It's gradually get worse both with pain and restriction of movement. I will make an appointment to see my doctor. Many thanks.

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    • Posted

      Hi Imlaster

      I'm in the UK. I don't think my doctor will consider an MRI before other options are tried and I dread to think what the waiting list is like here. He thinks it's arthritis but it came on too suddenly for that and has been persistent . The best I can hope for is a shoulder x ray but I don't know whether that would show a frozen shoulder? I will have to see my doctor again and he will probably refer me to a rheumatologist again. I wondered about a cortizone injection but I don't think he will do that before I see a rheumatologist. Many thanks for your reply, glad you are doing ok now.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jayn,

    I hear you. Very similar to my experience. I have osteoarthritis. I include 2 hip replacements... and now this. The worse pain is at night and early morning. My doctor gave me some "frozen shoulder" exercising tips and said If I needed more support I could have a therapist. The exercises are remotely helpful. Your shoulder could be x-rayed to get an actual diagnosis to help you make the best decisions. Here is a link that might be useful. Turning over in the night can be torturous. Sometimes it helps to put a pillow under your arm. You'll know when it's the right place. Chronic pain is a bummer. Hang in there and good luck.

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/166186.php

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  • Posted

    That's exactly how it happened to me. I thought it was a pinched nerve from my neck but pain kept getting worse. I finally went to an orthopedic surgeon and he diagnosed it as frozen shoulder. I don't want to second guess your doctor but if you can't raise your right arm beyond a certain point and have constant pain that might even go down your affected arm, chances are you have a frozen shoulder. I have been dealing with it for 5 months now and cannot sleep on my affected (left) arm and can't sleep on the other side either. A really good article on the condition is at www.orthoinfo.aaos.org. I am still in the freezing stage where pain is constant and worse at night. Unfortunately I don't have any good answers for dealing with the pain and sleeping at night. I only take an OTC pain reliever when the pain gets so bad I can't stand it. Listening to some meditative music helps me at night along with sleeping propped up on several pillows. This is a terrible thing to live with and I'm told it just takes time.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Kathi

      The movement in my right arm is more restricted to what it was a week ago for sure. The pain is all along the top of my shoulder to my neck and sometimes down the top part of my right arm. Sometimes it catches me with movement and I just shriek. It is also worse at night. I only take pain killers if I have to usually in the morning and before I go to bed. It's so difficult to get comfy in bed but I too prop myself up with pillows. I will take a look at that website. Many thanks.

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    • Posted

      HI

      Im the same as you. My frozen shoulder started with no apparent reason. I was given an ultra sound , xray and an examination. Then i was diagnosed with a frozen shoulder. Im not sure if this is the correct diagnosis but thats all the GP is prepared to do at the moment. The pain has been almost unbearable. I have given up sleeping in a bed and found it more comfortable to sleep in a rocking chair. After 3 months of pain and desperation I had the hydrodilatation procedure under ultra sound guidance . One week on i can say that it didnt work instantaeously however im able to sleep in a bed , drive my car and enjoy life more. Its going to be a slow process. I hope you both tecover soon.

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    • Posted

      Hi Shalbourne

      Thank you for replying. I'm amazed at the responses I've received and at how many people are suffering from this debilitating condition. I was unsuccessful in getting a doctor's appointment today so will have to try again tomorrow. I don't know whether it's what I have but it's unyielding. So sorry you are going through pain and discomfort. Best wishes.

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  • Posted

    Ohhhhhh, sounds like Frozen Shoulder. An MRI can confirm it. But generally if you've been suffering for three months, it's getting worse, you can't put your arm behind your back or rotate it outwards, its probably Frozen Shoulder.

    I had it in the right shoulder from July 2017 to June 2018. (Mine started with a pretty bad fall on my shoulder.) Then the left shoulder started to freeze in August 2018. I literally told my husband I couldn't go through another one, and asked him to put me out of my misery. But he refused! So, here I am 7 months later.....

    Generally speaking I'm a healthy person. No diabetes. 5'5" and 115 pounds. Supposedly I had a Thyroid problem so I was put on Naturethroid. I personally thought the numbers were OK, but took the medicine like a good patient. A year later I have Frozen Shoulder and my Thyroid numbers are way high, so the doctor says "you're taking too much Naturethroid!" I stopped taking it for good. In my opinion that contributed to the Frozen Shoulder. Who knows, if my thyroid numbers had not been swinging wildly up then down (due to medicine) would I not have gotten this horrible thing? Maybe, maybe not. It could have been perimenopausal stuff, as that's a risk to getting FS as well. And, I'm 47 so there's that possibility.

    All I know is I've tried everything. Cortisone didn't help, but I think the skill of the person injecting really comes into play. Mine injected in the wrong spot, and at a cost of $500 wasn't anxious to try it again on the other shoulder. I've done massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, cupping, and Prolozone therapy (very painful shots that are meant to kick start healing). I didn't attempt PT as I read too many people saying it made them worse, and I just couldn't imagine surviving it getting worse. Nothing seems to speed up the recovery for me. Although massage helps with pain.

    I'm just at the point where I can somewhat sleep on the affected shoulder again. I still have pain and random aching in the shoulder - some days are better than others. Range of motion is still incredibly bad, but that is the last to improve. My left shoulder is following the same healing trajectory as the right did, so I'm hopeful I'll be over this by the summer. Over the counter pain meds do nothing. (Such a joke. This is one of the most painful conditions in the world.) However, I did find a tiny bit of relief from lidocaine patches, and roll on's. Sleeping pills helped in getting more than 2 hours of sleep at a time, and depending on how your doctor feels about them - real pain pills do help get you through the worst of it.

    Each person is different - that's the worst thing about this affliction. There's no sure fire cure, other than time - and who wants to be in gut wrenching pain for a year?

    Best of luck to you. Soldier on. It will get better with time.

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    • Posted

      Hi MomGoneMad

      Thank you for replying. Sounds like you have really been through it between one thing and another. Having it in one shoulder is bad enough, I can only imagine what it's like recovering from one shoulder and then to have it in the other. Hopefully you will feel a vast improvement by summer.

      With my shoulder, it seems to be affecting the side of my neck now which it didn't when I first had symptoms. I cannot see my doctor today so will try again tomorrow. I'll query frozen shoulder with him and see what he says.

      I don't have any other medical conditions, apart from very early stages of osteoarthritis diagnosed after a neck x ray for a stiff neck. For someone ten years older than yourself I suppose I cannot grumble. Blood works six months ago all normal. I do take a diuretic for border line blood pressure though and I know these can cause gout and I did wonder whether there could be a connection. I also take an anxiety med but am weaning off this (family bereavement).

      Thank you for your reassuring words, I hope you find relief soon. Best wishes.

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  • Posted

    hi jayn

    ive been suffering with frozen shoulder now for 10 months. the pain has only eased this last month so im assuming im in the frozen stage. if you cant put your hand behind your back and turn your arm out to your side chances are its a frozen shoulder. certainly with the pain it sounds like it. prop pillows under your arm to raise it up. i foynd this gave me a wee bit of ease x

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    • Posted

      Hi Shazza

      I'm going to try to get an appointment tomorrow. I can put my arm behind my back but it's painful. Something must be up if I've had if for three months already. I hope you recover soon. Sending best wishes.

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