Frozen Shoulder and Physical Therapy

I began physical therapy for my frozen shoulder on November 10. That first day, I was at the peak of my pain and loss of movement. I was in severe pain all the time, even when I didn't try to move my arm. I could barely even get dressed. And because the pain was so severe, I was scared to death of the physical therapy. I knew they were going to have to hurt me to help me get better. And I had so much anxiety, I couldn't even talk without tears on my first visit.

But you should see me now. I have made so much progress in three weeks. I think my therapists are even surprised. I laughed today and said, "I bet you didn't have me pegged as a potential star patient that first day."

I started out going to therapy daily. And now I go three days a week. I paid for November today. Ouch!
(A different kind of pain.)

My shoulder is not back to normal yet. I still need a pain pill at night and before physical therapy. But the pain I have now is different. It's more achy and sore, as opposed to the very acute and sharp pain of being completely frozen. And after therapy, I usually get relief from the aching for the rest of the day. I am the most stiff and sore in the morning. But exercising helps. My therapist says: "Motion is lotion." So I try to alleviate the ache by moving and stretching as much as I can. And I'm not taking regular pain pills during the day anymore.

PT is challenging and it does involve pain. But the pain is no longer excruciating. It still causes my eyes to water at times. But I've toughened up and am tolerating it so much better. I told my therapist today that I don't even dread coming anymore because I know I will feel better afterward and I can see how much it's helping me.

I have worked hard and followed instructions, making myself do the homework exercises assigned by my therapists. And they have told me that doing so much work at home has played a big role in my response to therapy. Every time I gain a few more degrees of movement, my therapist makes a big deal out of it and has had me "show off" to other therapists how far I've come since that first day. He always tells them how hard I've worked (at home, as well as there). And it motivates me to keep pushing myself.

Honestly, the most important thing to me was pain relief. I do need to be able to lift my arm, but I've joked several times that I really don't even care if I can't put my arm behind my back. I'm just tired of being in so much pain. But the pain is from impingement and it will get less and less as I regain more natural movement. So I'll keep working.

I gained several more degrees going back with my arm today. And I asked my therapist if I will just continue to get better from here on or if I could regress. He said the only way I would not continue to improve is if I stopped moving and stopped doing therapy. Then the shoulder capsule could start freezing up again.

Not a chance of me letting that happen.

Here's a little YouTube video I found on this condition from "The Doctors"...


Daniel Elliott said…
Keep up the Great Work Shari! You're doing awesome

Shari said…
Daniel! You found my blog!

Thanks for letting me know you were here and for all the encouragement as well as the excellent physical therapy. You are a natural. As usual, I hurt during the night. But I had a fantastic day yesterday with very little discomfort. I met someone Friday who is a month ahead of me in her frozen shoulder PT. She said she is still constantly aware of her bad shoulder and doesn't have all of her movement back, but she doesn't hurt as much and is sleeping a lot better. She is down to once a week now.
Keep up the treatments. It's best to have your time consumed by them, than having to worry about the latter. I do hope that your frozen shoulder has improved, if not totally healed by now. Thanks for sharing! Take care always!

Jacqueline Hodges @ Back and Neck Center of Brick

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