how long is the worse pain?

Posted , 12 users are following.

How long is the worst of frozen shoulder pain? Mine started in September. Had 3 injections in October, which helped for about 3 weeks. Then gradually the pain and stiffness got worse.

Right now at the new year, I am at my worst with the pain ever. My shoulder and arm ache 24/7. Sleeping is a nightmare. Any tiny jolt to my body or quick movement puts me on the floor in tears for 10 minutes. Then when that calms down, it's back to the intense ache from my neck all the way down to my hand. The inside of my elbow is very painful too, which I assume is part of the whole stupid thing.

My ROM is about 15 degrees arms out to the side, lifting up. About 20 degrees arms down, lifting up forward, and I can't reach behind my back at all, either with arm straight or bent. Don't know if that is as bad as it can get or it could get worse.

I am eating over the counter pain meds like they are candy.....trying to alternate them and not go over the daily amount, but I know even trying to be careful, I take too much.

I have an ice sling and do ice a lot.

The pain was not this bad even two weeks long can this worst last? Could it get worse than this, in your guys' experiences?

I have an appointment in 4 days to discuss options. I don't want surgery, I don't want opioids. But I need to figure out how to best manage this. I can't imagine going another year like this. Please tell me the worst of the worst doesn't last that long.

No idea what stage I am in......still freezing, I assume, based on pain.

ANY insight would be appreciated. I am at my wit's end with this nonsense.

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    You are at the worse stage right now.

    In my experience with two frozen shoulders consecutively, this stage lasted about 6-8 weeks for me. Sure is awful and you have my complete understanding and sympathy. I would've killed for some sleep during this period. Nothing helped. I even went out and bought a very expensive recliner which was a mistake. I was completely desperate.

    Some nights I tried heating pad on the back of my shoulder and ice on the front. Icy hot ointment and pads.

    Once you enter the frozen stage the awful zingers will start going away and you will start getting sleep again.

    There's a good FB group you might want to join.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, I will check out FB. A couple more months of this worst phase sounds rough, but it seems better than dealing with surgery and the PT and pain after that.

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  • Posted

    i sympathise with you mine has been going on for 7 years after surgery, a thorocotomy triggered it off and i have been offered no treatment at all.

    in fact even though my ESR is sitting at just over 30 and has been throughout this time my rheumatologist tells me

    thats normal for me and i have no inflammation. At one time he discharged me back to my GP and said thats it.

    i pestered her to be referred back as my hip hurts my hands hurt and my back hurts as well as radiologically being confirmed

    over 11 years ago that i needed a new knee, it has gone nowhere.

    i was diagnosed a 24 with rheumatoid arthritis that was 40 yearsago but my rheumatologist says its just wear and tear and

    offers nothing

    i have an appt next week and i intend telling him i will not bother him again but go private as he has no interest whatsoever in helping me.

    ironically i looked him up on the register his speciality is .....wait for it ...frozen shoulder!!!

    all i can suggest is go private if you can or go natural as an alternative, its what im going to try as at the moment the pain is driving me mad!

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  • Posted

    I wonder if I got my yearly rheumatologist bloodwork done, if it would show anything different during this time? I have sero neg. RA.

    I feel overall terrible and I assume it's from radiating pain and lack of sleep.

    Sorry you are dealing with so much. Have you found any alternative treatments that help. I tried the AIP diet, with limited success....mostly helped with fatigue.

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  • Posted

    Hello. You are at the worst pain. For me, it lasted about a month. The zingers are awful. I sure understand what you are experiencing. Your range of motion was just like mine. I found myself building an arsenal this and that to try and help with the pain. Things like heating pads, Biofreeze to rub into shoulder, etc. To sleep, I had to prop upper arm up on pillow slightly. But it was not good sleep by any means. I did do the MUA when I was at the frozen stage, and I know that is not what you want to do. Technically, that is not surgery but knocked me out to manipulate my arm around to free it up. There was a hard therapy process after that to get my range of motion back because I had lost so much muscle. I am back at 100% and wish you the same. Best of luck to you.

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  • Posted

    Hi there, i feel your pain, i had one frozen shoulder that started September 2018 and is now painless but still frozen but not to the degree it was. i had a cortisone injection July 2019 which helped with the pain. the other shoulder started freezing in February 2019 , had two cortisone injections and finally a hydrosistention injection at the beginning of December. i can finally sleep without too much discomfort and have no pain in the day unless i stretch out to reach for something. Both shoulders are still marginally frozen, still cant reach behind my back though. It was the most agonizing thing ever . I tried every pain relief known to man and found the most effective to be a product called Dynamint which you can buy as a roll on , it is completely natural and I used to keep it by my bed and apply every couple of hours. I hope that this has been helpful to you as I know I was desperate for any info at the time!

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  • Posted

    It does get better just remember that. I was very much like you. I would cry myself to sleep as the pain was almost unbearable. Have you been referred to a specialist? Why did you have 3 injections in one go? I worked out that gravity played an important part. Sleeping flat was impossible so i bought a rocking chair from Ikea that is fairly reclined. This allowed me to hang my arm down to the floor and rock myself to rest. The motion was good. Ice and heat pads. Listening to spotify through my headphones was brilliant as it took my mind to a different place. Walking around the bedroom for 1 hour gave me 1 hours rest after. It sounds crazy but the pain was worse than child birth for me and i only had the pain for the 24 hours or so before giving birth. Codeine did not really take away the pain but did somehow help. Hydrodilatation fixed my shoulder but i had to literally beg for it. FS are very common in women and im sure its got something to do with hormones. I hope you get things resolved soon.

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    • Posted

      Yes, it is a shoulder ortho I am seeing. I was sure it was bicep tendonitis early on (I get tendon and connective tissue issues easily--autoimmune related maybe). anyway he ordered an MRI right away and diagnosed FS. I had 3 cortisone injections, one week apart in Oct.

      I agreed to them not because I believed they would fix it......but because we had our first ever family cruise the first week if Nov. lol

      As it was I think the shots may have saved my vacation, but wore off shortly after.

      I have had six kids.....5 of them with no drugs. I can't say this is a worse pain.....but it's right up there and the DURATION is what makes this so hard to deal with.

      Even the 10 min cry sessions after a minor jolt or overreach are tolerable because you know it will settle down. the relentless 24/7 intense achiness wears you down!

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  • Posted

    From what I'm reading, you have not had surgery? It sounds like you need surgery. I had a 50% rotator cuff tear, bicep tendon tear, arthritis, spurs & dead bone due to a pinch. My surgery was September 19, 2019 & I have had 3 days a week PT since October 7th. I just went back to work on Friday Jan 3rd lifting soda all day long. My pain was bad during the first month of PT. Alot of aching, stabbing, throbbing, burning. I have pain from the tendons stretching back out now but not bad. If I were you I would have surgery. Taking pills and getting injections are band aids that will eventually stop working.

    I'm glad I got the surgery and looking forward to a normal life again. I went out of work July 4, 2019. The surgery is tough and it really tests your mental stability but it's all worth it in the end. My mother just told me that the doctor diagnosed her with tendinitis of the rotator cuff so she opted for cortisone & a month of PT but I can guarantee she will eventually need the surgery. Good luck and keep me posted! I am your cheerleader!!!

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    • Posted

      I have not had surgery. I'm glad yours helped you. Sounds like you had a lot going on!

      I know all these things are band aids...some of which already stopped working. We will see what the dr says Wednesday.

      I'm just thinking that if I have 3 more months of the worst pain without surgery, but after the surgery you have 3 months of PT and pain anyway........I'd like to avoid surgery if I can.

      If I have more going on than just frozen shoulder, we will see.....hopefully not.

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  • Posted

    It sounds like you are at the very worst of it. Not being able to sleep makes the pain so much worse too. For me, I found icing before bed, then applying biofreeze, wearing a shoulder brace to stop any movement, and propping it up on a pillow would allow me to get a few hours of sleep. even getting a few hours of rest was like a miracle. i also downloaded an app called Curable. It is an app for people with severe pain. it truly helped me to see the pain in a different way, and reduce my intense anxiety that the pain was causing. I also had a great physical therapist with a lot of frozen shoulder experience. He firmly believes in a gentle but constant therapy method and the exercises did bring relief. It was stretching in a gentle but firm manner to keep it from locking down. I also used a Theracane to massage the knotted muscles. I also used a Tens unit to zap the muscles. I am not able to take pain meds due to other issues, so i used every other alternative. As someone else mentioned, you are at the worst right now. Try to take it one day at a time, and know it will be better.

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