Thursday, June 7, 2012

Physical therapy to Cortisone shots

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles
and tendons that form a cuff over the
shoulder. These muscles and tendons
hold the arm in its "ball and socket"
joint and are involved in essentially all shoulder motions.

Back in April, I talked about (in another blog) having to go to physical therapy for pain that I was having in both shoulders...and had lost my strength and range of motion in both arms. While in PT, I found out that my muscles from my neck to my lower back had seized. Not good.

I remained in PT for a few weeks, until I was able to get in to see an orthopedic surgeon. The doctor was great...and actually took the time to show me in a medical book, what was going on with my shoulders, after he reviewed the xrays his office took of my shoulders. 

Diagnosis: tendinitis of the rotor cuff.

Tearing and inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder
muscles can occur in sports which require the arm to be
moved over the head repeatedly as in tennis, pitching, swimming,
and lifting weights. Most often the shoulder will heal if a
break is taken from the activities that caused the problem
and pain. Intermittent ice packs applied to the shoulder and
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also
help reduce inflammation and pain.
He explained that although surgery is an option, he did want to put me under the knife unless he absolutely had to. Instead, he said he wanted to try cortisone in both shoulders. I agreed to try anything...once. I certainly didn't want to have surgery!

In the diagrams that I have added here, I am very surprised to see that where the tendons are in both shoulders and that run down the arm from the shoulder is "exactly" where I was having extreme pain.

An inflammation of the shoulder joint can
cause pain and restricted joint movement
I have had cortisone shots before, one in my right shoulder and one in my neck about 10 years ago, so I wasn't worried about the pain or discomfort the shots would cause as they were given to me. And as I expected...there was pressure, but not really any significant pain. (And to think the needle was IN my joint!)

However, the next two days were living Hell for me. The pain was worse than it was going into PT! I could barely move. And the sad thing is, I wasn't 'warned' that this might happen.

But as the pain passed...I was like "Wow!" I had full movement again and best of all...

NO pain!  None!

Whew...what a blessing those shots were!!! 

In two weeks, I return to see the doctor for a follow-up, and I am sure he is going to be pleased with the results. I know I am.

As for physical was my choice to continue going...or not...and I chose not to. Over-all, my neck and back feel good, and I have no complaints at this point.

Take care...D


  1. I'm so happy to hear how well you're feeling! That's GREAT news! Hope all stays well for a good, long time! ((hugs))


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