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Frozen Shoulder: Is It Really Frozen? Part 2

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As we learned on Monday, frozen shoulder is no laughing matter. It can and will lock up, rending you completely immobile for an extended period of time. Case in point - our very own Her Writer, Pat Elliott. I had the privilege of asking Pat about her experience with frozen shoulder. Now remember how it all started for her – she accidently fell square on her shoulder in her own living room. With that said, read on because I think you will find some of her answers quite candid and helpful.

1. What did your shoulder feel like after the injury? What was the pain progression from the injury till the time you saw a doctor?

There was a lot of pain when I was injured, at the point where I fell on my shoulder. I took Aleve or Ibuprofen for the pain and I iced the shoulder a lot. It hurt to move my shoulder, so I avoided using the arm as much as possible. There was pain from any use of my shoulder and arm for about a month, then the pain lessened but the shoulder area had become stiff and my range of motion became limited.

2. What significant impact did it have in your day to day activities?

My right shoulder was injured, and I’m right handed. It was difficult to lift anything other than very light objects - for example, I couldn’t even pick up the blow dryer. I couldn’t reach up more than a few inches and couldn’t raise my arm over my head or move it behind my back. It was difficult to put on clothes, dry my hair, work on the computer or drive. It was more painful at night which made sleep difficult. It was very hard to do many simple things such as shop for groceries, carry groceries, cook, etc.

3. How long did you wait to see a doctor?

A month.

4. What was the prognosis and course of treatment?

There was an initial x-ray to determine whether or not there was a fracture – no. The orthopedic surgeon had me do some arm movements to see how much range of motion I had – very little. There were some comparisons between the right and left arms, and some measurements of the amount of movement. Then diagnosis of frozen shoulder and physical therapy ordered to loosen it.

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Thanks, Samara, for sharing this information. I hope it can help others avoid the pain, cost and inconvenience that comes with a frozen shoulder. If anyone reading this would like to ask either Samara or me any questions, please do! We're here to help you. Pat

December 16, 2009 - 6:29pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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