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Old 06-28-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
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Bursitis... Rotator Cuff> How do you Tell???

The quick facts: shoulder has hurt off/on for over 1 yr
hurts a lot when trying to sleep
feel a popping sensation at times
can't reach around back w/o pain
can't reach arm out to side w/o pain
raising arm is uncomfortable
pain goes down arm to elbow
elbow sometimes feels tingly
shoulder is less "rounded" than other shoulder

CAN do movements in front of body w/o much pain

Thanks!

 
Old 06-28-2012, 06:24 PM   #2
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Re: Bursitis... Rotator Cuff> How do you Tell???

momateach..................this is a FROZEN SHOULDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Research it. It's common in women over 40 and athletes. I'm dealing with it myself, as is another woman in my church. I believe mine happened from overuse. Shoveling, yoga, trying to turn the shower knob on when my husband turned it off too tight. I also woke up one a.m. with my arm suspended in the air after having a seizure.

I had some PT and OT for it. They gave me some exercises to do.

Pendulum exercises..........take a can (12 oz) and lean yourself over the table and do 10 circles right, then left, then back and forth like a grandfather clock (side to side) and then front to back.

Then, take your good arm and hold up the bad arm and do a cradle, like holding a baby. Go back and forth 10 times.

Then, stand up straight and flex your shoulders backwards. You might feel tingling in your legs.

Then, go to your fridge. Grab the door handle. Stand with your arm stretched out (sideways) and turn your body outward for several seconds, then turn yourself inward so your arm is L shaped in front of you and stretch it that way, then turn back and do the outward stretch but turn your thumb upside down to get the stretch on the inside of the upper arm muscle.

Then........... go to your stove. Stretch your arms as far as you can over the vent hood on the stove and try to walk your fingers up the hood. When you come down, hold on to the sore arm with the good arm because it's going to hurt.

Keep doing these stretches at least 3 times a day.

Another thing you can do is research getting an ultrasound machine. I bought one. They're not cheap. Athletes use them to loosen up the scar tissue that has formed in the joint. You can use it 3 times a day for 15 min. If you buy one, make sure you buy extra gel to use with it. Follow the directions exactly so you don't harm your body. The OT lady used one on me.

One of my friends said she's been dealing with this for over a year. Another friend said she got it after falling in the shower and it's been at least a year and hasn't regained strength.

Be careful about lifting hot water and heavy objects. It might be hard to write too.

I have to sleep with pillows behind me so I'm sitting up and then elevate my sore arm so I'm not lying down. It's sorer when you get up in the morning.

Take some ibuprofen for inflammation.

Use ice packs and heating pads to reduce the pain.

Also look up something called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. It's got similar symptoms.

You can ask your doctor for a cortisone shot and they might want to do an MRI to see what's going on in there with the muscles and tendons. Try to avoid a rotator cuff surgery.

good luck

 
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: Bursitis... Rotator Cuff> How do you Tell???

I had a SLAP (Labral tear) repair done 9/11. I was nearly healed from that and then had an injury which caused night time inablility to sleep, constant pain along the deltiod muscle going down to my elbow, inability to raise my arm to the side, weakness, inability to lift a gallon of water. I can't lift my arm over my head, certain movements cause terrible pain, esp. quick movements.
I had the pain for a month, and was worried that I reinjured my Labrum (SLAP stands for Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior, it's a shoulder injury). I went to my Orthopedic Surgeon who ordered an MRI/Arthrogram. It showed a full thickness rotator cuff tear.
The best way to be sure if you have bursitis or a torn rotator cuff is to see a doctor who will examine your shoulder and if necessary, refer you to an Orthopedic Surgeon, who can examine you further and do any treatment that may be necessary (they do more than just surgery).

Best of Luck
Rigley

 
Old 06-28-2012, 09:49 PM   #4
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Re: Bursitis... Rotator Cuff> How do you Tell???

Try researching Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. That was my diagnosis and I had many of the same symptoms you do. I ended up with shoulder tendonitis and bursitis and eventually some bicep tendonitis.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:41 PM   #5
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Re: Bursitis... Rotator Cuff> How do you Tell???

Today I saw the ortho doc. He did an exam and xray. I will have an MRI next week. The xray showed a bone spur. (I need to learn about this).

He said based on his exam, my symptoms, and the bone spur, he suspects I have a tear in the rotator cuff. The bone spur, evidently, could be reason there might be a tear. I asked about limiting or (not) activities. He said if it hurts, I shouldn't be doing it. That includes a WHOLE lot of stuff!!

Maybe his hunch is wrong and it's just tendonitis?? However, he is considered to be one of the best orthos for shoulders.

Momateach

 
Old 06-29-2012, 10:15 PM   #6
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Re: Bursitis... Rotator Cuff> How do you Tell???

When I went in, I found out I had a huge bone spur as well. Those things can cause enough irritation that they lead to a tear. It is pretty common.

In my case, I was lucky enough that I didn't develop a tear and they were able to just shave down the bone and "clean up" the shoulder enough that my bursitis and tendonitis were able to heal up.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that is true in your case.

Either way, you will want to get things fixed to get your ROM back and reduce the pain. Despite the pain of my surgery, it was almost a relief for me. I'd been in so much pain for so long that I was very appreciative of what the surgery had done for me.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:21 PM   #7
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Unhappy Re: Bursitis... Rotator Cuff> How do you Tell???

Some maneuver the ortho had me do in the exam yesterday has added a new pain that hurts like crazy! I wanted to see if any of you all had to do this:

* hold out both arms in front of body with elbows bent at right angle
(like someone is handing you a plate)
*Dr puts his hand in middle and has me turn both hands in and try to
push his hand --with one hand on each side of his

I felt a very sharp pain on the part of upperarm nearest body. For the rest of yesterday and all day today there's this weird tingling down arm into elbow and sometimes hand and into fingers. It is so painful and it's hard to find a comfortable position for arm. It feels how I would imagine a trapped nerve might feel.

Any suggestions on this?

I took 6 ibuprofen today, and put ice on several times.

Thanks!

 
Old 07-01-2012, 06:54 AM   #8
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Re: Bursitis... Rotator Cuff> How do you Tell???

Yes, it could very well be a pinched nerve. A friend of mine said she had tingling when she had a pinched nerve. Those same exercises I gave you before is what she said she had to do for the nerve issue. Make sure you let the doctor know about that too.

 
Old 07-01-2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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Re: Bursitis... Rotator Cuff> How do you Tell???

hi back to your original question about the rotator cuff vs. bursitis my dr. (I had slap tear repair May 14th) said a tear can cause bursitis too. CAuses it to become inflammed. I had had an injection the bursa about two months prior to the surgery and it didn't help, have you had one of those? CJ

 
Old 07-01-2012, 11:38 AM   #10
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Re: Bursitis... Rotator Cuff> How do you Tell???

No shot. Just had my 1st appt Friday. He seemed to really think I have a tear.

Here's the question: Is it okay to do those exercises while I am waiting to have MRI next Friday? Can you exercise for impingement if you have a tear?


Momateach

 
Old 07-01-2012, 01:52 PM   #11
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Re: Bursitis... Rotator Cuff> How do you Tell???

my ortho told me I could do some exercises before my SLAP tear surgery but nothing above the head, no lifting, etc. Hope this helps, cj

 
Old 07-03-2012, 05:57 PM   #12
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Re: Bursitis... Rotator Cuff> How do you Tell???

Ice, and ibuprofen yesterday = today I have less pain. I'm thinking maybe it's not a tear. It just seems like a tear would hurt ALL the time.

Sleeping is a challenge. The pain wakes me up sometimes if I roll over on the bad shoulder side.

So maybe, just maybe it bursitis and no surgery will be needed. (Except I forgot about the bone spur). Hmmm..

 
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