Rotator Cuff or Frozen Shoulder — Scope | Disability forum
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Rotator Cuff or Frozen Shoulder

Wibbles
Wibbles Community member Posts: 1,543 Pioneering
My shoulder has been giving me grief for 12 months
Recently - it has been getting worse - I cannot raise my arm above elbow height
Sleeping is extremely hard (I cannot get comfortable - I have to keep moving my arm.
I saw my GP early this week - who told me that he thinks that it is a frozen shoulder
I am convinced that it is rotator cuff - the symptoms fit this (but some symptoms fit both !)
I have an X-ray on Tuesday - but that is just to check for arthritis (muscles don't show up on X-rays)
But how can I take this any further ?

Comments

  • Oxonlady
    Oxonlady Scope Member Posts: 566 Pioneering
    Hi @Wibbles, I sympathise as I have problems and awful pain with both my shoulders.
    Ask your GP to refer you to an upper limb specialist at an Orthopaedics department. They should then do the necessary investigations, such as an MRI Scan. 
    Unless of course your GP is willing to send you for an MRI Scan. Generally GPs consider such scans to be too expensive but you can try asking. 
    Physio may help so you could ask your GP for a referral. 
    Have you been given any anti-inflammatory tablets to take? That's the usual treatment for painful joints, so again, speak to your GP rather than self-medicate. 

    All the best, I hope your GP is understanding and willing to help you. 
  • Wibbles
    Wibbles Community member Posts: 1,543 Pioneering
    edited September 2022
    Oxonlady said:
    Hi @Wibbles, I sympathise as I have problems and awful pain with both my shoulders.
    Ask your GP to refer you to an upper limb specialist at an Orthopaedics department. They should then do the necessary investigations, such as an MRI Scan. 
    Unless of course your GP is willing to send you for an MRI Scan. Generally GPs consider such scans to be too expensive but you can try asking. 
    Physio may help so you could ask your GP for a referral. 
    Have you been given any anti-inflammatory tablets to take? That's the usual treatment for painful joints, so again, speak to your GP rather than self-medicate. 

    All the best, I hope your GP is understanding and willing to help you. 

    I have self referred for physio - but delays mean a 3 month wait for any physio
    I have had at least 10 MRI's over my life (head injury related and spine)
  • Wibbles
    Wibbles Community member Posts: 1,543 Pioneering
    How do I know what the cause without an MRI though ?
    The symptoms appear to be very similar ?
    I CAN lift my shoulder, though painful - which Frozen shoulders prevent this
    I seriously think that I have RC problems - which is getting worse day by day
  • SueHeath
    SueHeath Community member Posts: 12,420 Disability Gamechanger
    It's very frustrating with all the waiting to see different people on the nhs @Wibbles i feel for you there, the only thing i can think to do to cover both options is the same as oxanlady said about the anti inflammatory and perhaps the gels, 
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 15,858 Disability Gamechanger
    As you say @Wibbles -  the symptoms of a rotator cuff injury or a frozen shoulder may be similar. I speak as someone who has had a partial supraspinatus tear (one of the tendons of the rotator cuff) due to an an injury, & 2 episodes of what I would describe as a partial frozen shoulder; I also speak as a long-retired physio you may remember.
    An X-ray might also show if you have any bone spurs, so is still worthwhile. I'm sorry the wait for a physio referral is so long, as physio should also help. However, the starting point with either diagnosis would be gentle exercise within a pain free arc. Perhaps try these gravity assisted pendular exercises: https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/media/247487/shoulder-pendular-exercises.pdf  Repeat these a little & often, increasing the range of moment as & when you're able. Don't push through the pain, rather stay within your pain free range as an increase in pain is counter productive. Hope this helps......it's helped me & countless patients.


  • Wibbles
    Wibbles Community member Posts: 1,543 Pioneering
    chiarieds said:
    As you say @Wibbles -  the symptoms of a rotator cuff injury or a frozen shoulder may be similar. I speak as someone who has had a partial supraspinatus tear (one of the tendons of the rotator cuff) due to an an injury, & 2 episodes of what I would describe as a partial frozen shoulder; I also speak as a long-retired physio you may remember.
    An X-ray might also show if you have any bone spurs, so is still worthwhile. I'm sorry the wait for a physio referral is so long, as physio should also help. However, the starting point with either diagnosis would be gentle exercise within a pain free arc. Perhaps try these gravity assisted pendular exercises: https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/media/247487/shoulder-pendular-exercises.pdf  Repeat these a little & often, increasing the range of moment as & when you're able. Don't push through the pain, rather stay within your pain free range as an increase in pain is counter productive. Hope this helps......it's helped me & countless patients.


    Thanks I Will Keep you updated 
  • Wibbles
    Wibbles Community member Posts: 1,543 Pioneering
    chiarieds said:
    As you say @Wibbles -  the symptoms of a rotator cuff injury or a frozen shoulder may be similar. I speak as someone who has had a partial supraspinatus tear (one of the tendons of the rotator cuff) due to an an injury, & 2 episodes of what I would describe as a partial frozen shoulder; I also speak as a long-retired physio you may remember.
    An X-ray might also show if you have any bone spurs, so is still worthwhile. I'm sorry the wait for a physio referral is so long, as physio should also help. However, the starting point with either diagnosis would be gentle exercise within a pain free arc. Perhaps try these gravity assisted pendular exercises: https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/media/247487/shoulder-pendular-exercises.pdf  Repeat these a little & often, increasing the range of moment as & when you're able. Don't push through the pain, rather stay within your pain free range as an increase in pain is counter productive. Hope this helps......it's helped me & countless patients.



    Ouch  - when I try the arm swing - it feels as if my shoulder is being pulled out of its socket !
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,979 Disability Gamechanger
    That sounds so painful @Wibbles :( What, if anything, would make this feel more manageable for you at the moment?
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • Wibbles
    Wibbles Community member Posts: 1,543 Pioneering
    That sounds so painful @Wibbles :( What, if anything, would make this feel more manageable for you at the moment?
    Saw my arm off and replace it with a hook 
  • Wibbles
    Wibbles Community member Posts: 1,543 Pioneering
    My arm bicept muscles / nerves are throbbing - in time with my heartbeat - I have no idea why
    I noticed it in bed last night
    I am guessing that it is linked to Rotator cuff >
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,979 Disability Gamechanger
    Ha, I bet you wish we could @Wibbles. Your arm sounds like it is not behaving at the moment, unfortunately! 

    Honestly, we cannot say what is causing it. Do you feel able to reach out to your medical team for answers though?

    Your medical team might be better able to help you. In the meantime, we are here for you and listening to you at the very least  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • Wibbles
    Wibbles Community member Posts: 1,543 Pioneering
    edited June 2023
    @chiarieds

     I finally had my long-awaited shoulder scan last week 
    An Ultra sound rather than MRI and it shows :

    "The long head of biceps tendon appears intact bilaterally. Free fluid
    and some low level vascularity is seen within the thickened tendon
    sheath, appearances are consistent with tenosynovitis.
    The right subscapularis, supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons
    appear intact bilaterally.
    The AC joints appear unremarkable.
    There is subacromial bursal thickening bilaterally in keeping with
    bursitis.
    No evidence of impingement upon dynamic scanning but this cannot be
    entirely excluded.
    .
    Impression:
    Tenosynovitis of the long head of biceps tendon sheath bilaterally.
    Subacromial bursitis bilaterally.
    .
    If felt clinically appropriate we would be happy to perform ultrasound
    guided steroid injections."

    Whilst I was expecting an MRI I was given an US 
    Does an US pick up all shoulder problems?
    It is now extremely painful 

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