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Shoulder injury, any thoughts? — The Grow Network Community
To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.

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Shoulder injury, any thoughts?

jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 732 admin
edited October 2020 in General Health

18 months ago, I took a fall from a horse and my left shoulder took the brunt of the fall. Over a couple of months and some chiropractic care, it seemed to heal. Earlier this year I re-injured it, not really sure how, maybe using a crowbar. For 8 months now it has ached and caused me grief. I've been back to my chiropractor and he thought I had a tear but should probably get it checked out re x-ray and ultrasound to see exactly what we're dealing with. Came back with a tear to the supraspinatus, bursitis and early signs of osteoarthritis. With a suggestion I should consider a steroid injection. Being the natural way woman that I am, I then sought out a TCM acupuncture practitioner. 4 treatments in 3 weeks had not solved my problem. Then I tried massage, heat packs, not much relief. Back to the chiropractor and he has advised me to get the steroid injection. I have fought this train of help for some time now but being in constant pain is no fun and I've had a gutful. I'm going on Friday to my GP to get a referral to have the steroid injection. So have I given it a fair crack? Is there anything I've missed?


  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,192 admin
    edited August 2020

    Comfrey salve, definitely. I have blown out two disks, dislocated both shoulders, basically bent my knee in half sidewayswhile carrying around 400 lbs and broken a lot of bones. I'm patched together and still functioning normally due, in large part to comfrey for healing and turmeric with fish oil and black pepper for inflammation.

  • AngelaOstonAngelaOston Posts: 189 ✭✭✭

    Re-injuries are usually worse than the original. Tears dont mend if your moving the shoulder ina way that allows the tear to open. The body literally has to create scar tissue to suture the tear internally. You need to know. which muscle or tendon is torn and what movement that controls. And the Immobilize that Motion until it heals, weather you choose to get the steriod or not. The steroids will lesson the swelling. Which is your bodies attempt to heal the area. But sometimes the swelling can he too great, or create a negative feedback loop that gets out of hand. So you re-injured it lifting to much. It was still newly mended scar tissue and weaker than the surrounding tissue. Now its even harder to mend the edges of the tissue. No pain doesnt mean can do everything your use to doing. So becareful if you do get the steriods and it just feels better die to lack of inflammation. Doesnt mean its internally mended yet. Muscles and tendons take longer to mend than Bones do

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,541 admin

    @jodienancarrow @AngelaOston Ow! Bursitis is so painful.

    Glucosamine (either chondroitin or sulphate) is helpful for repairing tendon and ligament tissue. Rhodiola is a herb that is being used for tissue repair. Some athlete's are having good success with it for re-injuries and preventing re-injury.

    Anti-inflammatories. Turmeric or willow bark. Salves with cottonwood bud, cayenne or arnica. Not sure about Australian species. Something with eucalyptus in it maybe. Some people do better with the heat (like cayenne) and other do better with cooling (menthol).

    Stinging nettle to help reduce any fluid build-up.

    Homeopathy is great at healing old injuries that are kind of stuck. But that is a very individual treatment. Something I would recommend though, if you have a homeopath in the area. In general, arnica is for blunt force trauma and even now, this much past the original injury, it might bring you some relief. Worth a shot, inexpensive and can't hurt.

  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 732 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 , @torey , @AngelaOston thanks for the suggestions. Daily I take tumeric, rhodiola and a few other herbs. I need to make a comfrey salve, think that would serve me well. Easier than a poultice. I have made the appointment for next Friday. My shoulder is really the only thing from stopping me feeling very healthy and almost at my best.

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 394 ✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow We have had great success with physiotherapy and prescribed exercises to help the joints strengthen by moving in the correct way; incorrect movement is common after injuries.

    There's also a course we bought and occasionally refer to by chiropractor Yoni Whitten that may help you. You can find it here. https://www.painfixprotocol.com/ He also talks about realigning and stabilizing joints and how that reduces inflammation and promotes healing and he gives specific exercises; the intro section is slow-going, though and not as professionally produced as the later sections.

    And I sometimes use the books by Egoscue, Painfree and Painfree for Women.

    (The reason we have so much experience with the stabilizing aspect of joint healing is that we seem to have a genetic collagen issue (apparently not EDS) that makes for wobbly joints, but I have found these ideas helpful for injuries, too.)

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,686 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2020

    @jodienancarrow supranatus is a rotator cuff tendon. Very important you get a referral to an orthopedic surgeon asap. Someone should have ordered an mri as soon as it was known that this tendon was torn. You are more than likely having problems with pain when you turn your thumb to the outside of your body, and when you raise your arm..of if you can raise it much at all.The sooner you get the correct care the hoards better your prognosis is going to be..I l personally would not let anyone put a steroid into a rotator cuff tendon until an ortho surgeon thought it would be appropriate. I"m speaking form experience.

    Oh, and the other rotator cuff tendons might also have been injured. That's why you need an mri. What ever you do NEVER let anyone put Gadolineum as dye for a special mri...Chuck Norris's wife almost died from it and it has a very bad reputation and this has been covered up as much as they tried... A year or so ago when I injured my bicep that's the first thing my doc wanted to do was the mri with gadolinium...It was a huge gift from God himself that as soon as I started researching this to know how safe/potential issues, I got an internet search return about what was happening to his wife...horrible burning pain and worse...and even the big TREX doesn't supposedly now how long it stays in the body including the brain...I cancelled my mri and told my doc why and his argument was that it helped visualize the area better, my response to him was that in 2007, 8 months after the injury that all of my rotator cuff tendons were badly torn in my shoulder..that my ortho surgeon had no trouble seeing what he needed with all four of them damaged/torn and the poor prognosis I should have had evern after the 10 months waiting for treatment and then surgery...he fixed my very damaged shoulder...protect your shoulder every day...get a refereal to a physical therapist asap and ask them first of all for the exercise that helps your shoulder while you wait for whatever diagnosis and treatment your ortho says you need...pt will help keep your shoulder/cuff tendons from more stress and hopefully from degrading more..If you don't have it fixed you will potentially keep having problems esp when you raise your arm..I couldn't raise my arm above my shoulder, and the pain was horrible..I hope you have only one tendon damaged but I urge you to get a referral to an ortho and a physical therapist asap. A prolonged injury of the rotator cuff will lessen the prognosis over time. My heart goes out to you for I have walked in your shoes.

    Also, I am certainly not saying you need surgery, but the specialization of an ortho surgeon is important with what is unquestionably the most mobile joint of our body...as well as a physical therapist who has experience with and understands this joint...

    Let us know how you fare.

  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 732 admin

    @Annie Kate @silvertipgrizz thanks for some great advice. I regularly see my chiro/osteopath for body maintenance. He has given me a series of exercises to do, since the original injury. It's a weird thing, it doesn't hurt to bike or horse ride but it will catch me when I least expect it, like taking my hand out of my pocket or putting on my bra. It aches all night. I do have a referral to an orthopod.

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,686 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow I forgot to mention a very important qualifying sign confirming rotator cuff....you can't sleep on that arm....and make sure if you do need surgery it's done by an orthopedic surgeon, esp one with some experience with rotator cuff injuries/tears..for the potential best outcome. And think about it...hand out of pocket means elevating the shoulder. also try ice or heat which ever helps, but never put ice directly against the hurting part...it can and will burn the skin. Again, I sure hope the best for you..heal up so you can garden next spring if you've a mind to..

  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 732 admin

    @silvertipgrizz I can sleep on my affected shoulder. It aches no matter what position I choose. I have a 4mm partial tear in the tendon of the supraspinatus muscle. I have put up with this for over 12 months and had enough. I've done some research on the best shoulder orthopod in the area and have a referral. Heat seems to suit me best, wheat pillows. Nothing will stop me from tending my garden, even if it's one handed. Thanks for your advice and thoughts, much appreciated.

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 436 ✭✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow Comfrey leaf poultice would be the first thing I tried, that and/or the homeopathic remedy Symphytum. Good stuff!

  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 732 admin

    @frogvalley have been doing comfrey poultices for a while now. Don't know Symphytum, will do some research. Thankyou.

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 394 ✭✭✭

    Oh dear, @jodienancarrow . I hope you will find some relief and will not need surgery. But, yes, to be able to garden is important!

  • I broke the top of the bone on my shoulder a couple of years ago....jumped over a coffee table and didn't make it...OUCH! I went to physical therapy for several weeks and it seemed to get better. This year it flaired up again with numbness in my arm. Back to physical therapy and it seems that it is from many areas that have effected my posture. I have been in therapy for two weeks now and am already feeling much difference. You might think about trying it if you can get a recommendation of a good PT person.

  • nksunshine27nksunshine27 IdahoPosts: 330 ✭✭✭

    i wouldnt get the steroid injection it doesnt "fix" any of the problem and it actually degrades your joints, i had to have it cause it was a workmans comp injury and they said if i refuse the shot theyd close my case. i still have resiual from the shot and it didnt help they still had to do the surgery.

  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 732 admin

    I did put it out there and asked for some advice, I thank all of you. Today I had the cortisone injection in the bursa of my left shoulder, done with the help of ultrasound. I didn't want to and resisted for 6 months but when your in constant pain and or aching, somethings gotta give. I was told to rest it for at least 4 days but if possible even a week. So I'm going to do my best and be a good girl. I have some light exercises to do in the mean time and a chiropractic consult in 2 weeks. It was given with a local anesthetic, which will wear off by tomorrow. I'll let you know how I progress. I have comfrey poultices ready.😁

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,541 admin

    @jodienancarrow I hope you get some relief from the cortisone treatment. Sorry you suffered so long before resorting to this. As much as I promote natural health practices, I know that sometimes medical intervention is required. Following their recommendations is very important if you want to get full benefit from the treatment. So rest, rest and more rest. But you can still use alternatives which can assist. Comfrey and topical anti-inflammatories. Turmeric to keep the inflammation at bay. Not sure how close you are to a natural hot spring but that is something that I would highly recommend. If they are open right now, that is.

  • stephanie447stephanie447 Ayurvedic Practitioner Annapolis, MDPosts: 248 ✭✭✭

    There is a lot of good advice here. I am also a fan of red LED/near infrared light therapy. You can get an infrared light pad on Amazon and they can help with healing. The infrared light supposedly stimulates the production of nitric oxide, which can help with the healing process. I have a pad I have used on my feet since I have small fiber neuropathy, and while I can't say for sure, I think it may have helped a lot.

  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 732 admin

    Shoulder update. Its been 6 weeks since the cortisone injection. I felt no real improvement until about a week ago. A friend of mine performed Reiki on me with particular attention to my shoulder, it seemed to help. I have an appointment with the orthopod next week and will have an MRI following that. At least it no longer aches all the time, It's about 70% and I'd like to be closer to 90%. My comfrey is ready for harvesting now, so a comfrey salve is on the menu.

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 528 ✭✭✭

    I broke a bone in my foot several years ago. The first doctor that I saw for the problem never even did an xray. It was absurd. He had me doing some type of electrical therapy, like a tense unit. It felt great on but I noticed no pain relief once it was off. Then he moved on to the injections. I recieved one in my foot and it hurt horribly. The pain became steadily worse, burning and throbbing and I wound up in the ER. Never again. I was just reading yesterday about dandelion for arthritis pain. The oil can also be rubbed onto the skin for pain relief. I'll go back through my notes. Prayers you feel better soon!

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 528 ✭✭✭

    Heres from those notes, "Used in formulas to treat arthritic conditions. It may help lessen inflammation by encouraging the excretion of inflammatory compounds. "Herbalists have used dandelion for arthritis symptoms for centuries and modern researchers have tried to find the mechanism of action. In one in vitro trial, an extract of dandelion, taraxasterol, has been shown to decrease inflammation and protect healthy cells. The authors of the study concluded, “Taraxasterol may be a useful agent for prevention and treatment of OA" [osteoarthritis]. "The infused oil of the flowers will relax tense muscles, especially if they’re tense from anger, frustration or similar. Freshly wilted dandelion flowers infused into oil are used to relieve muscle aches and pains. Good paired with cottonwood or goldenrod oil which are great for pain"

  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 732 admin

    @karenjanicki interesting you talk about dandelion. I am just about to plant some seedlings around my fruit trees! I had an orthopod consult on Wednesday and having an MRI at the end of the month. Then we'll know more. The plan is to pick one of the following. Do nothing(as it had improved) physio, another cortisone injection or operation. I've just put down some comfrey leaves in oil to make a salve, I should add some dandelion.

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 652 ✭✭✭✭

    My Licensed Massage Therapist perspective:

    If you have a tear in your supraspinatus then that needs to heal. Massaging it won't make the pain go away until the tissue tear itself has healed.

    Additionally, one stab at massage probably won't solve any issue.

    And, if you don't use a therapist who structures their sessions around therapeutic outcomes. What I mean is, a "wax on wax off, Danielson" type of session won't solve anything. AND, a "let's massage the bone marrow" type of session won't either.

    I always tell clients:

    #1. The amount of pressure I apply does not indicate the efficacy of this session (ie more pressure won't get you more treatment for you dollar)

    #2. I might look like a diva, but this will probably take more than a session or two (just like taking a blood pressure pill will most likely require more than one to get the ball rolling that way)

    #3. I aim to meet your goal not to perform a modality. A therapist who can pick and choose modalities throughout the session like they are told in their tool belt will serve you much better in the long run because they will be using various modalities based on what they are palpating (feeling). IMO, that is the most effective and the only way to do it!

    #4. I also say, where the pain is the problem isn't...but that does not apply in your case :-)

    Heal well. it takes time especially if you tore the tendons part as there is not much vacularity there.

  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 732 admin

    Ok shoulder update. After seeing an Orthopod and having an MRI, I’m due for surgery next year. I do have a torn supraspinatus but it’s torn in such a way that the top of the tendon is just attached and the bottom of the tendon is not attached. Also the tendon is not running in the correct position over the edge of the bicep. I was trying to avoid an op but it seems my shoulder has other plans. My Orthopod reckons it should see me out if I do the right thing post op. 6 weeks in a sling and then 6 weeks of gentle exercise/physio etc. So March 1st is the day.

  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 732 admin

    @silvertipgrizz when I went for the MRI, there was a form to fill out re Gandolineum, which I did not sign. Wasn’t required for this MRI but I wasn’t going to have it anyway. Thanks for the heads up.

  • SlippySlippy Posts: 117 ✭✭✭

    I'd suggest you see an Orthopedic Surgeon instead of a Chiropractor for a shoulder injury. Cortisone/Steroid Injections work for many people.

    Good luck and hope you get to feeling better soon!

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