Skip to comments.Ouch! Shoulder pain and how to treat it
Posted on 01/11/2019 9:32:29 AM PST by fireman15
Some shoulder conditions may become more common as you age.
You probably don't think about your shoulders much, until you suddenly experience pain in one of them. Shoulder pain can make a simple act brushing and drying your hair, reaching behind your back to fasten a bra, or grabbing something overhead seem like a monumental task.
As you age, you're more likely to experience shoulder pain from a variety of common conditions. "Shoulder problems are very common," says Dr. Arun Ramappa, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. The pain can come on gradually or abruptly, and it may range from mild to excruciating. Below are some of the most common conditions you may encounter, and some tips for how to address them.
Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that help tether your shoulder into the socket and allow you to move it in a circular motion. Some two million people visit a doctor each year for rotator cuffrelated issues, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery (AAOS). Most problems with the rotator cuff fall into two categories: tears or inflammation. Suspect a rotator cuff problem if you have pain or stiffness in your shoulder when you lift your arm above your head to brush your hair or when you reach behind your back. "You won't be able to do a lot of things you want to do, such as put dishes in an upper cabinet, play tennis, or do garden pruning," says Dr. Ramappa.
(Excerpt) Read more at health.harvard.edu ...
In the middle of the night I had a hard time getting our generator started. It took a change of the spark plug, starting fluid and many pulls on the 30 year old ten horse Briggs & Stratton before I had the lights back on.
The next day my shoulder was sore but not debilitating. I did some repair work on our house and one of the neighbors roof without any difficulty. The next day my shoulder was still stiff but working OK. I broke out my two old Stihl chainsaws to cut up the large tree that was still on my other neighbors back deck and had done a lot of damage.
The tree was over 100 feet tall and over 3 feet in diameter at the base of the trunk. I hadn't started my chainsaws up for about a year, so they needed starting fluid and a lot of pulls to get them going. The cord on the one with the 30 inch bar kicked back hard on several occasions. But I was able to section the tree into many small pieces over several hours and a few chain sharpening's.
That night I started having severe right shoulder pain. By the next morning I couldn't lift my right hand above my head or take a T-shirt off and on without assistance. It wasn't just the pain which limited my motion, I literally had to lift my right arm with my left arm. My right arm had become almost completely useless. I would not have believed it if it had not happened to me. It turns out that you are more likely to tear things up in your shoulder if it is inflamed from previous activities.
Now several days and a lot of Tylenol later; things seem like they are starting to heal up, but it gave me quite a wake up.
Join the club.
I had rotator cuff surgery about 4 months ago. As good as new now, after about 10 saga-filled months after the injury (a hard fall on the ice).
I suggest an orthopedic doctor or surgeon. The problem may be rather simple compared to the intense pain. Coincidentally I got my shoulder cortisone injection this AM. It took 10 minutes. In and out.
Push ups are your friend.
I am 68. I now do stretching before I start even simple yard chores. The more I age, the more I stretch before. It seems to minimize especially those shoulder problems like yours.
Or you go to Home Depot and hire a bunch of low cost Mexicans off the parking lot (wink)
Simply FYI: From October, 2017 to January, 2018 I underwent radiation therapy and chemotherapy for lung cancer. The cancer got zapped but one of the side-effects of the chemo is that both of my shoulders now suffer from the same thing you have described. It is known by medical professionals at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center that this is an ongoing problem. Sometimes the symptoms go away. Other times one is stuck with the shoulder problems forever. In my case it seems that I am stuck with the problem forever.
About ten years ago I was walking my dog on Harstine Island and slipped on wet steps, dislocating my shoulder and fracturing the socket. Had to wear a sling while it healed up but it’s never going to be the same. At 66, I realize the Mariners likely won’t be calling me up.
“I literally had to lift my right arm with my left arm.”
Most likely it’s a repetitive-use injury, but I did want to mention that maybe you should see a rheumatologist to rule out rheumatoid arthritis.
I have had RA for years, and your description of how things progressed with your pain sounds like my experience after long hours of anything repetitive, such as typing or painting, etc. - right down to having to lift your injured arm with the other.
Read up on anti-inflammatory foods (stop eating wheat too)
Also eat JELLO.
I had a similar problem- it’s gone 100% by doing what I told you
If you're left-handed, there's still a chance.
Not from any kind of strenuous activity-my problem is that I'm a "side-and stomach sleeper", (as opposed to a "back sleeper.")
While the solution may sound simple enough, I "simply" can't sleep on my back.
Oh, my. I hope it heals up on its own, but expect some medical treatment might be needed down the line.
Sorry to hear about the storm issues and now this!
This may really help a lot:
A daily dose of tumeric/curcumin, mixed with black pepper.
You make it like this:
take 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon every morning ( bigger you are the more you take) After a week your shoulder pain may gradually disappear.Mine did. And I use my shoulders they way I always have ( zen archery).
This tumeric remedy works for me.
I was thinking that was my probable outcome, but I can now lift my right hand up high enough to scratch my head without assistance, and everything else seems to be improving as well. And it has been over 8 hours since my last two extra strength Tylenol.
I avoid doctors like the plague; my appendix had been ruptured for a week before I went in to get it fixed. My wife said that she was going to shoot me in the head to put me out of my misery if I didn't go in to get it checked out. It turned out that if I had let it go for another day or two I most likely would have died from the infection.
Yeah. I just turned 59, and have a rehab appointment next week for a bicep tendon tear. Looks like I’m going to have to stop lifting the little woman over the rain puddles...
Taking skullcap at night will keep it from stiffening up like that. There’s also TENS units available for around $35, they help a LOT with the pain!
I have around 70% use of my left shoulder, and about 10% use of my right. Better than it used to be, but still. I have to get creative sometimes when I have to lift something.
Years ago, I had an older sister who over a short time developed excruciating shoulder pains. Her doctor was mystified and they couldn’t find anything wrong. Fortunately, she got talking to her dentist who told her it was her wisdom teeth. She had them removed and the pain went away instantly....
"...shoulder injuries, discomfort, and inflammation..."
I remember visiting my father in his office about 35 or so years ago (he was about 50). He told me that he had been having a lot of pain in his shoulder recently, so he went to see his orthopedic surgeon friend about it. The guy (who had a wicked sense of humor) called him the morning of my visit and said, “I’m afraid that I’ve got some very bad news for you. After examining you, and reviewing the x-rays, I’ve determined that you’ll never be able to pitch for the Yankees, because your rotator cuff is shot to Hell. The good news is that if you give it a break, you’ll be able to otherwise live a normal life.”
The ironic thing is that those thoughts went through my mind this past year - I’d been lifting weights, and between that and doing a lot of yard work and cleaning/moving of stuff in the house, my right shoulder started hurting like Hell. Couldn’t lift my arm in certain directions at all without lots of pain, and in other directions my strength was very limited. I left it alone for a while (i.e. was lazy WRT physical labor), took some ibuprofin occasionally and rubbed on some CBD cream that my wife had, and between all of them it isn’t feeling too bad now. I will shortly begin doing push-ups and light weight lifting to strengthen both shoulders, but will do it in a very careful and measured way to avoid injury.
This getting older stuff (58 in about 3 months) really sucks...but it beats the alternative.
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