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LavenderGirl 06-11-2007 05:52 PM

Frozen Shoulder
I've been diagnosed with frozen shoulder, or Adhesive Capsulitis. I've been taking Vicodin every 6 hrs. for the last 4 days, still cannot move my arm/shoulder, and am in a great deal of pain. Does it really take months to get over this? I am in good physical condition, exercise regularly, etc., and did not injure myself. Doctor says they don't know what causes it, but I am going nuts; can't do anything with my right arm, and there is so much pain, the drugs hardly touch it. I'd like to hear from someone who has had a similar experience.

Stitcher317 06-11-2007 06:14 PM

Re: Frozen Shoulder
WOW - I reaaly feel for you.

I had a frozen shoulder several years ago and we think it may have been a strain from moving furniture. Anyway, I tried physical therapy in the early stages and it did nothing. I then started taking Vioxx and it helped somewhat. When I finally went to an orthopedic surgeon at 5 months, he recommended INTENSE PT and gave me an Rx for morphine tablets! I refused to take them. I then asked a friend of my husband, who is a retired O. surgeon what he would do and he said to just wait it out that they always "defrost". He recommended some slight stretching exercises which I did several times a day. Mostly crawling your arm up a kitchen cabinet and across the counter. At the same time, I applied both heat and ice alternately. I slept with a pillow under my bad arm and prayed. After a few months of this one day I suddenly got some tingly sensations down my arm and the shoulder started to respond to my stretching. At that time, I started in again with a physical therapist and gradually improved.

It does take a long time. Mine was 9 mos but I've heard others can linger for 24 months. I understand if you get it in the early stages you can benefit from cortisone injections or manipulation, under anesthesia. With this procedure the Dr puts you under and stretches the capsule. You go right into PT after that. It's a much faster recovery but I think you have to have that done early in the game. I waited too long when I visited the O. surgeon. At that point he said he could literally break my arm if he stretched it and that the capsule was like cement.

Hang in there and try to relax. Perhaps your Dr. can give you something for that as well. It does improve and I have full motion with no pain now. Having the manipulation does speed up the process tremendously.

Rest easy...

gooby 06-11-2007 06:59 PM

Re: Frozen Shoulder
[QUOTE]I then asked a friend of my husband, who is a retired O. surgeon what he would do and he said to just wait it out that they always "defrost". [/QUOTE]

boy is he wrong. always is a big word and it doesn't fit here.

my wife battled this for several years. Now, before anybody freaks out, she doesn;t tend to heal very well and what happened to her is not typical.

anyway, about 8 or 10 surgeries later, she finally won the frozen shoulder situation and she is great.

Now I had what I believe was the beginnings of frozen shoulder, I self manipulated it and worked through it without medical attention. The exercises I used were "hanging from a bar". I never dropped my weight hard or quickly but slowly allowed my weight to be held by my hands on the bar. When I first started, my shoulder would "pop" when raising it above my head. That eventually worked its way out. I continue to work it to prevent a recurrence.

bonzer 06-14-2007 09:00 PM

Re: Frozen Shoulder
i have had it 3x. they all defrosted within a year. manipulation and shots didn't work. chiropractor almost killed me with pain. i was taking codeine every 3 hours. everyone at work thought i was faking it and couldn't care less. best of luck.

LavenderGirl 06-16-2007 09:40 AM

Re: Frozen Shoulder
Thanks for your input. I've now been to a physical therapist who said the inflammation has to go down before he can help me much. (going back in 2 weeks) Gave me some stretching exercises to do. I'm taking ibuprophen 4x a day and Vicodin as well for the pain. It has definitely gotten better -- at least pain does not bring me to tears! In addition, I'm icing it a few times a day as well. Massage really helped. She was able to get some good movement in my shoulder/arm. Interestingly, she said this often runs in families and it may be some kind of acid or whatever that is produced that affects the adhesive coating around the shoulder joint, which causes it to "freeze". In any case, she stressed, don't baby it, but keep it moving constantly, trying to stretch it just to the point of pain. Seems to help.
Hey Bonzer - I can't believe the heartless people you work with would care so little as to say you were faking it! Time to get a new job somewhere else!

MoodyBlue1 06-26-2007 04:07 PM

Re: Frozen Shoulder
boy oh boy am I glad to have found this board.....I have been in such intense pain and have been soooo confused about this frozen shoulder thing...not to mention how disgusted I have been between lack of sleep, pain and therapy and the works. I have been a year and half at least...pain pills ....2 shots of cortizone and endless hours of painful therapy. Now as you say the pain medicine barely touches it. I am passed almost going to my knees with the pain but it is still awful. I get lazy with my home therapy because I just get so darn discouraged. I am thinking maybe there is life after this thing. I was misdiagnosed origionally with a torn rotator cuff so of course I held my arm still so as not to tear it more...that only helped the frozen shoulder set in. The pain is 24 hours and lack of sleep does not help...I feel bad to complain because it is soooo much better than it was 4 months ago...but I am soooo tired of the pain...\

ICC 07-05-2007 04:21 AM

Re: Frozen Shoulder
Hi all...... I am so glad I found this Thread. Injured my shoulder a year ago May. Did Pt and had two injections in the past year. Also suffered a cervical injury. That's better thank God. Finally this past April I had shoulder surgery for an impinged rotator cuff. The surgeon removed 10 bone spurs, the tip of the acromium bone and although it didn't show up in the MRI I had a 2 inch rotator cuff tear that was repaired. Started Pt 2 weeks leter and was doing good before I started. Then the trouble began. I was put on pully immediately and my arm stretched until i was screaming. Was told this is normal and I had to keep doing it. 4 weeks post -op the surgeon was thrilled with the way the shoulder capsule moved lossely. Continued to be tortured in PT. another 4 weeks later Ihave frozen shoulder and every muscle in my arm andneck are in constant agony. I am now 10 weeks post-op and worse than I was after 2 weeks. I beliee the PT was too aggressive from day one. No excercise to strenghten the shoulder . Only deep, deep agononizing massage and pulling until one of the PT's snapped something in my Pectoral muscle. Now the Spine specialist feels I might have a Brachial Plexus injury on top of it all. Surgeon gave me two injections on Tuesday, told me to ice it and rest it for a couple of days and then start to streth it on my own for a week before I return to PT. Also wrote on my PT prescription in large letters that they need to do sholder excercises NOT masage to beat my muscles to death. I had no choice but to have the surgery but do regret it now. The pain that you all speak of is so intense. NOTHING puts a dent in it. it's 24.7. Then I go into PT and they make it all worse. I am really disgusted with the whole ordeal. I wish everyone the best. This is the worst thing I have ever experienced and believe me I injured 5 body parts at one time and not a one of them comes close to this.:(


kristinita9 07-05-2007 04:49 AM

Re: Frozen Shoulder
I had frozen shoulder for 8 months a few years ago, was VERY painful and I had lost almost all use of my right arm during that period of time.

What worked for me (we're all different of course) and I'm not a doctor nor a massage therapist; was when a massage therapist finally found and was able to release a Myofasica trigger point that was hidden deep under the armpit and into the rib cage area.

I actually felt the trigger point release (and yes it was painful while she worked on it) but within 24 hours I had full range of motion in my arm, and most importantly NO MORE PAIN. It was and still is quite like a miracle to me that such a little thing could cause so much pain and discomfort.

An internet search for trigger point myofasia pain will produce some helpful information, a totally non-invasive treatment. Those TP's can and do cause excrutiating pain and many times the TIP is quite a distance away from the area where you're feeling the pain. Hopefully it will work for you.

ICC 07-05-2007 05:13 AM

Re: Frozen Shoulder
OMG you are a Godsend. the pain in my armpit is the worse. i will do a search and see if maybe i can help myself before going back to PT. i also see a rheuatologist periodically for fibro which luckily has been under control. i keep telling the PT what's stopping my arm and i'm basically ignored. thanks so much. i will give it a whirl. i AM determined to heal this .


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