I’ve been given the cold shoulder

Well, in actual fact, I’ve been diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis which is more commonly referred to as frozen shoulder. The symptoms are stiffness, pain and reduced range of motion in both shoulders making it difficult to do simple tasks like applying underarm deoderant and doing up a bra! Fortunately, in my case, it’s just developing and I’m hopeful that by taking action now, I can keep them from freezing up completely.

The cause is often unknown but in cases such as mine, it can start when the shoulder is not used normally for a period of time. Over time, the connective tissue tightens and restricts the joint’s movement. Apparently, the tendonitis that started in my left shoulder a year and a half ago, then in my right several months later, led to this. Gradually, especially over the past winter, I stopped doing things that caused discomfort. Richard took over the vacuuming and washing of floors and I adjusted my exercise program to eliminate those activities that put stress on my upper arms and shoulders. One of my biggest frustrations is the fact that I wasn’t able to lift weights all winter. My once muscular arms are skinny again and I really don’t like skinny!

The good news is that the condition usually resolves itself over time without surgery. The bad news is that that can take up to a couple of years to happen! Treatment usually begins with anti-inflammatory drugs but unfortunately, I can’t take those because they destroy my stomach. The doctor that I saw yesterday doesn’t feel that there’s enough evidence to show that either ultrasound or cortisone injections are very effective so for now, I’m on the waiting list for physiotherapy and I’m doing lots of gentle stretching. I also haven’t ruled out acupuncture.

I plan to follow the example of Bikini or Bust blogger, Donloree Hoffman, whose physical challenges are greater than mine. Rather than feeling sorry for myself, I’m determined to remain positive and work at overcoming this. I WILL have strong arms again! It’s just a matter of time.

And while I’m waiting for my shoulders to thaw, I’ll look for the silver lining. After all, this has turned my husband into quite the gentleman! Not only does he vacuum, wash floors and open the heavy garage door for me, he also holds my coat for me these days. Of course, he remembers the night when I cried because it hurt so much to take my t-shirt off. Fortunately, most days aren’t like that one and compared to the health issues that many people face, mine is really pretty trivial.


5 thoughts on “I’ve been given the cold shoulder

  1. I have the very same thing right now!!! This also happened to me about 8 years ago…. and it went away after about a year or so. So, I am hopeful it will go away this time too. The hardest part for me is trying to dye my hair. lol… Good thing I’ve done it a bazillion times and can basically do it with my head between my legs 😛 You know what has really helped me…. it is weird, and a smidge painful…. but… instead of trying to sleep with your shoulder up higher, place something under your shoulder so it actually is forcing it to “open”…. if you could imagine laying on a baseball bat… your body is flat on the bed, your elbow wanting to lay flat on the bed, your shoulder balancing on the “bat” (rolled up towel) it slowly stretches the frozen joint. It worked for me in the past, and I’m hoping it will work for me now. Luckily, the pain isn’t as intense for me as it was in the early stages of this…. so, keep your chin up, it will get better 🙂 just keep using it… even if it hurts, I PROMISE it will get better/easier… and hopefully it will heal for you as well! I can already lift my arm as high as my shoulder and out to the side about 24 inches out. (thats the painful stretch) lol… I know, crazy I’m happy about that! Anywho… a big one armed hug! Take care!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Cheryl! Fortunately, especially since both my shoulders are affected, my range of motion isn’t as severely restricted as it could be. I’m hoping that by recognizing the problem and beginning to work on it now, I can keep it from getting any worse.

    By the way, I checked out your blog and wow! You are one creative lady!

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