It's thawed!

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I promised myself I would come back after I healed.........Last January, a year ago, the sharp bring you to your knees pain began. The sharp pain worsened especially with certain movements for approx 4 months. I then started noticing loss of range of motion. By June, I was totally frozen. The pain was lessened possibly due to the fact that I had very little range to even move it. Once totally frozen I had no more sharp pains but I did have a nagging heavy pain and pain at night from sleeping on it. Around sept I thought I was noticing an increase in ROM. By October there was no question, thawing was happening. At one year I have little stiffness but at least 90% ROM. I elected to do no procedures and no PT. It is self eliminating and some feel PT does more harm than good. For me it was the right decision the let it run its course. I will add that I do have other conditions that put me in the longer end of the spectrum for thawing too. Despite it all I'm 90%+ thawed at 1 year with no intervention. Best of luck.

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  • Posted

    Oh Tracey

    Thank you so much for posting this. My left shoulder started April last year, I now only get pain when I go to bed but it's in both shoulders, left being worse. I was sent initially to physio who couldn't do anything as my pain was too bad. I then had a brain haemorrhage early November so more delay . I'm now getting rehab but slowly only every 4/6 weeks but given exercises to do at home. I have arthritis in my spine and all of my joints including my shoulders so they are reluctant to operate as surgeon believes it will only re freeze again.

    Really hoping what has happened to you will happen to me as I think it may be best in my case to let nature take its corse.

    Thank you

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  • Posted

    Hi Tracey

    My symptoms and progression were very similar to yours.  However, I had surgery (ACR and MUA) about 4 months ago when I was in the frozen stage.  ROM has returned better in some directions than others, but overall I am about 75%, but I do some gentle exercises.  It is interesting that you have got almost completely better with no intervention at all.  I was wondering whether to just let it run its course, but was told it could take 2 years or even longer.  Also, it was in my dominant arm.  Of course, there is no way of knowing what would have happened if I had not had the surgery.  Anyway, in the end I volunteered to take part in an NHS trial, the purpose of which is to determine which is the best course of treatment for FS.  I am not sure that the results of the trial will be very conclusive, though, because we humans are a fickle lot and we are all different and respond differently to treatments.   I will report back here though when the results are published, though that could be 2 or 3 years.  What is really needed, of course, is something to prevent it developing in the first place!  In the meantime, fellow FS sufferers, it does get better in the end!

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  • Posted

    Hi Tracey glad to read you are on the mend l agree with you to let nature take its course l am very wary lying on my shoulder l sop pose its subconsciously l did mine 12 months ago February but l had others problems to l smashed my wrist 2 years ago this July but l try to do as much as l can myself go swimming in our local brine, pool which is amazing for me . I have to see ah specialist in a couple of weeks .just to see how l am getting on then in June l will be discharged .l try not to take many pain killers as l think these cause problems too. I wish you all the best for 2017.
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  • Posted

    That's great Tracey.  My timeline is similar to yours except that my other shoulder froze several months after the first.  After doing some PT and having no progress, I decided to do nothing and hope that it self corrects.  So far my first shoulder isn't thawing but I'm trying to be patient.  My ortho advises against surgery or MUA.  The wait continues...

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  • Posted

    Thanks so much for posting this! It gives all of us that are still in the midst of the process some hope!!! I think I agree with you about PT...I have been doing PT since September and have seen little progress. I actually think I got more pain relief from Tumeric supplements! Since frozen shoulder seems to manifest so differently and continues for such a range of time depending on the individual, it is hard to know what really "works" and what is just the natural progression for that person.

    Anyway....so glad for you that you are nearing the end of your FS journey!

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  • Posted

    Wonderful! Thank you for coming back to update us cheesygrin

    I became of the same convictions after weighing others' experiences here over months of reading on the forum - no surgery or aggressive procedures - but cortisone for pain management & gentle PT in conjunction.

     

    My second shoulder started to get those sharp pains just as my first one was back to almost full ROM, but this time I knew what it was; so far so good. 

    You will continue healing! My PT recommended exercises like 'arm wrestling' for that last bit. The key is to be using the muscles correctly again.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  • Posted

    Thank you for posting this. We all appreciate your good ending to your story. I'm at the longer end of the spectrum of healing too. Year plus. 

    Thank you again. Good luck to you. 

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  • Posted

    Hi. I'm 16months into my frozen shoulder. I have gone through the debilitating pain and excruciating electric shock type pain, and sleepless nights, whilst gradually losing the movement in my shoulder/arm. I think I am now at the frozen stage as I hardly have any movement in my shoulder but on the up side the pain has virtually gone apart from when sleeping there's a dull ache, or trying to take my arm past its ROM.so I'm quite happy at the moment, just frustrated at the lack of movement. My dilemma is whether to wait it out, for however long it takes, for my shoulder to recover on its own or have the capsular release surgery that is booked next month. There is a lack of posts from people who have let there shoulder heal naturally, and from people who have had a good outcome from surgery. Any comments/posts would be gratefully received. Then I might be able to make my mind up!

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    • Posted

      Hi nessa46954:

      I was frozen like that some months ago & kept choosing natural (or semi-natural maybe since I had narcotics, cortisone injections & PT).

      Keep smiling at the relief of being able to sleep & having the worst of the pain behind you!

      I could sense the thaw happening, mostly because I kept feeling more myself again. I kept thinking of and using my arm as 'normally' as possible & now have 90% or so ROM back. Once I knew the thaw was underway, I had a guided cortisone injection (there was actually space for it again in the joint - the first shot hadn't worked because there was too much tough tissue & it wasn't guided). I also started up occasional gentle physio again to work with the new movement. Like you noticed, she warned me to only stretch it to the end zone, not past (to avoid firing up the inflammatory cycle.)

      What kept me encouraged was marking my progress every few days by comparing my ROM against the tile marking on a wall. It's a tip I learned here on the forum, and it's so fun to see progress you might otherwise not notice.

      I agree there are various options for treatment, and we have to choose the path that we'll least regret in the end. You'll do the right thing for you!

      Liane

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    • Posted

      Hi Nessa.  My symptoms were very similar to yours.  My shoulder reached the frozen stage about 4 months after first being diagnosed, with little pain but loss of ROM.  Like you, I was given the option of capsular release surgery (as part of a clinical trial), and I debated with myself whether to go the surgery route or let things heal naturally.  Although my ROM was poor and it was my dominant arm, the pain was only slight, and I was wary of having anything done which may have increased the pain, even temporarily.  On the other side, I was told the FS could take 2 or 3 years to heal naturally.  I weighed things up and in the end I had the capsular release about 5 months ago.  Now my shoulder is very nearly back to normal.   Pain is very low or non-existant most of the time.  Range of movement is about 80% back, which I can live with, and still improving.  I would say the surgery shortened the natural cycle of the condition, though its impossible to say what it would have been like without it of course.  If you do go the surgery route, be prepared for an increase in pain for the first 2 - 3 months afterwards, though, and stick to the physio and home-exercises they advise.

      I found the advice and support of others on this forum very helpful. And of course, what may work best for one individual may not be ideal for another.   Best of luck whichever decision you make!

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    • Posted

      Hello Nessa. Yes I elected to do nothing st all and am nearly at 100% ROM now. In just the past couple days I have woke up on my side with my arm under my pillow! Rom the point you are in now, the frozen stage, it was approx 3-4 months before I started to see thawing and at that point it was very subtle. By 5-6 months the improvement was ver noticeable. I have other underlying medical conditions like arthritis and Lyme disease so I expected my FS journey to be longer. I'm thankful it was 1 year for me. Best of luck with your decision.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      So pleased I'm reading this. I too have underlying conditions, one of them being AC joint arthritis. My left started in April and the right in July yet the left is still the most painful and less ROM I think I'm frozen stage as the daily pain has eased but still very painful laying so interrupted sleep still then wake with this broken arm feeling. I've been getting pain last few days but in both collarbones, got to be arthritis pain as I seem to be having a flare up. So I'm 9 months with left and 6 months right. Really hoping mine thaws soon and I get ROM back.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Tracy. I really thought after 16 months I would be over this FS . Although I've only been in the frozen stage for about 2 and a half months. Hopefully in the next couple of months it will begin to thaw. With this in mind I think I will decline surgery. As It will probably take 2 to 3 months to get over surgery, by which time it may have started to thaw naturally. I am also worried that if I have surgery it will refreeze, or the scar tissue will thicken and cause problems. Your comments , and others, have been really helpful. Thank you.

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    • Posted

      Hello yes I had collarbone achiness too. And a I say the pain subsided it the frozen stage I should have said that sharp drop you to your knees pain subsided. I did have achiness through the frozen stage especially at night. Good Luck. I hope you start noticing thawing on the left side soon. At first it was very subtle.
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