/ Rehab from frozen shoulder

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john morrissey - on 03 Jan 2019

It has been a bad 12 months for injury.  I was diagnosed with frozen shoulder in December.  I am wondering how people have recovered from this.  Are there any top tips for getting through this?

PaulW - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

Perseverance. It took me 3 months to regain a reasonable amount of motion and about 6 months to get to as good as it is going to be, about 95% f what it was before.

I tried to do as many things as possible using my frozen shoulder rather than compensating and using the other arm. Household chores, hanging washing, emptying the dishwasher were great exercise routines.

Good luck

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john morrissey - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to PaulW:

Thank you.  It can be really painful if I move it the wrong way. I am trying to do as much as I can with it.  It is weird, it came on very suddenly, literally over a couple of days. 

 

Rigid Raider - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

I've got this following a collar bone break last August. After non-union the CB was plated 5 weeks ago and shoulder movement is very poor, although physiotherapy does help reduce pain. I'm waiting for the first x-ray on 22 Feb to confirm that the bone ends have woken up and are knitting before I go for it properly but I'm intending to get the shoulder working without the need for the rotator cuff op the surgeon has suggested I may need. 

You must see a physio and get some treatment and "homework".  My surgeon gave me quite a bollocking about it saying "you are in danger of losing the use of your predominant arm".

PaulW - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Yes, certainly see a physio and get professional advice on what you should and shouldn't do. For me I had a frozen shoulder following rotator cuff surgery and the advice was that once the surgery had healed then doing as much work on the shoulder as I could bear was not going to damage anything long term.

Working your arm up a wall or door frame is a good gentle exercise with the benefit that you can notice any progress

NottsRich on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

Painkillers!

I had it years ago, when I was stupid and didn't see the value of pain killers. I couldn't do the physio exercises correctly and saw no progress, just lots of pain and feeling fed up. Several more physio/GP trips later and the importance of pain killers was beaten into me. I took them, which allowed me to do the exercises and gradually heal.

Movement of the shoulder is the solution, but pain killers were needed to allow me to do that movement. It's not 100% years later, and I still occasionally have to do the exercises to get it good again.

john morrissey - on 03 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

Seeing the physio in the morning for a first session. We shall see how it goes from there.

In reply to john morrissey:

I had a distension arthrogram of mine by NHS in 2013 but tbh that got me to the start line only, thereafter NHS physio once a week for 4 months did the rest, meaning physio showed me what to do and said do xyz x ten reps 3x per day.... and I did it x 15 reps 8-10 times a day.... and got full range of motion back.

Do the physio exercises, without fail, and do them properly; there is no other way.

Post edited at 22:30
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john morrissey - on 04 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

Thanks everyone.  I have my first appointment today at 5pm.

andy gittins on 04 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey

Professional physio for sure to start with and initial diagnosis - but theraband usage for strengthening is good and stretching up wall as described above is good. Must keep moving - problem is that pain can be too great to do much. I was lucky enough to get a diagnosis on both shoulders from a really good shoulder doctor at Wittington  (the shoulderdoc website is excellent).

I subsequently had an arthographic shoulder distension which involves saline and steroid injection to release the shoulder- all I can say is best solution I could have hoped for - I am back to full movement climbing normally - the treatment was 100% effective.

Mine came on quite suddenly after some heavy ditch digging where I stressed my shoulder joints - although the cause is not always known that sort of thing can bring it on. It's worth doing regular strengthening exercises to keep the shoulder strong and not becoming lazy again.

It's  a nasty problem to have which is basically an inflammation of the joint capsule. It can apparently go away itself but could take a long time so not useful if you are wanting to be active. There are some exercise examples on here if you search the archives.

Good Luck.

john morrissey - on 05 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

Got up today after first session.  I might be wrong but it really does seem a little better. got a bespoke set of exercises and a much lighter wallet.

Diddy - on 05 Jan 2019

Diagnosis is the key ,i.e if you don't know what is wrong you cannot treat it. with injuries I find there is helpful information on YouTube.

 

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Wanderer100 - on 05 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

I had frozen shoulder a few years ago. I ended up getting an operation which fast forwarded rehab by12 - 18 months according to the Surgeon. I was back to normal within 6 weeks of the operation which was basically a camera in the back and all the debris cleaned out through the front of the shoulder. 18 hours in a Nuffield hospital (medical insurance through work). 1 day off work and back driving after 48 hours. 

Rigid Raider - on 11 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

I'm now 7 weeks on from plating of the clavicle and it's feeling better and better. I'm crossing my fingers that the bone woke up and the cancellous chips the surgeon packed into the gap around the chopped-off ends are doing their job in encouraging new growth. Meanwhile the exercises are beginning to make the arm feel stronger and the swollen stiff fingers seem better; my physio says I will need an arthroscopic release of the rotator cuff and that all we can do at this stage is rebuild the muscle ready to get the arm and shoulder moving when that happens, for a quick rehab and back on the bike.

nniff - on 11 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

I've had a few issues in the past.  Physio helped initially, but once you know what they're asking you to do, diligence in application is of the essence.

 

A pulley is good - something that you can fix/trap in the top of a door frame, a pully attached to that and a length of cord to each hand - use your functioning arm to help lift your weakened one.

When you get more robust, take an old bicycle inner tube cut in half at the valve. Trap an end under each hand on a pull-up bar and stand in it to provide an assisted pull-up. 

Rob Oram - on 11 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

Was diagnosed last May and was told there is nothing much can be done to fix it....it would get better over time which could be anything from 6 months to 2 years. If it was really bad they could try steroid injections but they were no guarantee. I did some research and found a bunch of exercises on-line to gently improve range of motion and did those diligently. by late last year it was pretty much back to normal, so about 4-5 months....its not 100% but perhaps 95% and good enough for pretty much everything I'm likely to do with it.

Rigid Raider - on 11 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

As a matter of interest did you try Ibuprofen?

john morrissey - on 11 Jan 2019
In reply to Rigid Raider:

Naproxen.  I am getting more movement back, gradually.  Physio is working.  I have a good exercise plan that seems to be doing the trick.  Physio was pleased with progress today.

Behind the back movement is the most limited so no Rose et La vampire moves yet.

 

PaulW - on 12 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

The behind the back movement is the one direction I still struggle with, perhaps I didn't work it enough.

As a cyclist it is annoying not to be able to get things out of your rear jersey pockets

Northern Star on 14 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

Had a badly frozen shoulder after a big impact falling onto ice with an outstretched arm.  Physio wasn't even touching it so I then saw Len Funk the shoulder specialist who recommended a process called Hydrodilatation.  Basically it's an injection of fluid under xRay where they blow the shoulder joint apart, rupturing any adhesion's present.  No need for a risky operation and all the associated problems an operation can bring.

3 month wait on the NHS so decided to pay for it privately.  Pretty painless, a quick procedure and the best £400 or so I've ever spent.  The Hydrodilatation massively freed up my shoulder allowing some good progress with physio to finally be made. 

Still 6 months of physio afterwards mind you gradually retraining the muscles that had stopped working properly whilst the shoulder was frozen but by religiously sticking to the physio it has given me a shoulder that is at least good as it was before and with a full and complete range of motion.  Probably better and stronger than before actually because I now know how to keep it in shape.

This is the route I would take if I were you.

john morrissey - on 18 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

Really interested in this information.

john morrissey - on 26 Jan 2019
In reply to Northern Star:

Massive improvement this week.  Physio is working wonders.  I keep to my regime very strictly and can now move my arm behind my back and almost touch my shoulder blade.  Feeling optimistic.

andy gittins on 26 Jan 2019
In reply to Northern Star:

I would second that - went down same route myself with Mr Funk - excellent procedure - best money spent etc and back to complete normality after initialling being in severe pain with a double frozen shoulder at the same time. Avoid any heavy ditch digging now which is what caused mine I think !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Star on 26 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

Great stuff, keep it up and remember if things do start to worsen again then there's always the procedure I mentioned above.  It can take a frustrating amount of time to recover from a frozen shoulder but if you stick to the physio then there is no reason you shouldn't get 100% movement back and become completely pain free in time.

Rigid Raider - on 28 Jan 2019
In reply to john morrissey:

Nine weeks today from plating of the clavicle and the range of shoulder movement is no better though the yellow latex band the physio gave me is doing a great job in helping rebuild the muscles, which the physio says we need to do in  order to ready me for the cuff release operation. I have an x-ray on 22 Feb, which will confirm that the clavicle is healing and after that I guess the surgeon will want to do the release.


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