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Fed up - shoulder impingement

(20 Posts)
RainbowFox Wed 17-Apr-19 02:38:50

I've had a shoulder impingement for about 7 months now.

So fed up, this week has been particularly bad at night and no position is comfortable. I have a toddler who keeps pushing into me (obviously not on purpose) and just general weight of carrying him means I can't rest the arm as much as I would like and it often gets 'impinged' again and aggravates it.

Had a few private physio sessions at the start of the year whilst I waited for my nhs appointment. Didn't really help.
Waited patiently for 4 months for NHS appointment to find out my GP surgery never bloody sent the referral off!!

Anyway finally saw nhs physio last week who gave me different exercises, he thinks the private physio gave me too much too soon.

But I'm just so fed up. Pain killers don't really do much, they take the edge off slightly but it never fully goes.

What's so annoying is this started when toddler turned one and started to sleep better. But I'm having very broken nights because of the pain. Last few nights have not only been worst pain but toddler also not sleeping well lately so double whammy.

Sorry just ranting! This mum is getting very little sleep sad

OP’s posts: |
Alicewond Wed 17-Apr-19 02:40:50

Have they not offered steroid injections?

RainbowFox Wed 17-Apr-19 03:25:05

Not yet, but that might be due to the fact I was lost in the system for four months and only just got my first nhs physio appt last week. I did see a musculoskeletal specialist at my gp surgery in December who just said refer for physio. But it probably wasn't as bad then (and I had not been enduring it for so long either!).

Would it be physiotherapist that does that/refers me or do I need to ask GP?

OP’s posts: |
Alicewond Wed 17-Apr-19 03:28:47

I don’t know, sorry, hubby didn’t have physio just steroid shots followed by surgery

allypally999 Wed 17-Apr-19 12:45:37

My physio referred me to the surgeon for injections but that was private which probably doesn't help you. The first injection helped for a few months and the second one not so much. He suggested surgery but I said no. I've had this for 3 years now but at least I don't have any kids to pick up (just a cat). Sorry the NHS have messed you around - hope you find some relief soon. I've had tons of physio and it doesn't really seem to help to be honest.

RainbowFox Wed 17-Apr-19 13:04:12

Thanks @allypally999, from various things I've read I'm sensing that many people don't find physio helps. I sometimes find some gentle stretching gives temporary relief but not for long.

How long did you try physio for before getting referred for an injection?

3 years is a long time. Do you not get tempted to have the surgery? It's also the lack of range of movement that's a struggle too. I can't put my hair up in a high pony tail or put a bra on because I can't reach! I can do a bra with a lot of effort and by fastening at the front but I reserve that for special occasions due to the effort involved.

OP’s posts: |
Basilneedswaterandsun Wed 17-Apr-19 13:09:50

I found sports massage therapy a massive help

massistar Wed 17-Apr-19 13:12:29

I had a few sessions of deep tissue sports massage after Physio treatment didn't help much. The pain has pretty much gone.

allypally999 Wed 17-Apr-19 13:25:13

I had physio for a few months before the 1st injection then had a break from that pain for a few months before repeating. Not tempted by surgery as I've already had spinal surgery and didn't quite recover 100% so not chancing another. I struggle in the shower and getting dressed and need help sometimes. My back doesn't help with the fasten at the front thing so have sent for some "bra expander" clips to see if that helps. Everything else I manage one-armed lol.

RainbowFox Wed 17-Apr-19 13:30:54

That's interesting about the sports massage. Did the pain go quite quickly afterwards?

My private physio put a machine on me, some sort of vibration. That definitely helped for a while. Then the NHS physio did massage by hand for about 5-10 minutes. That felt good but it might be be because he was rather handsome 😂

OP’s posts: |
Basilneedswaterandsun Wed 17-Apr-19 14:01:56

I guess it depends on what’s causing the impingement. If it’s rotator cuff / supraspinatus tendinopathy
(most commonly) then sports massage is great as someone will work the tendon, along with other tendons and muscles around the neck and shoulder, with their thumbs applying pressure. Dry needling and ultrasound helps in the same way - Encourages blood flow to the area which helps the tendon heal. Also, as you’re with the therapist for an hour (as opposed to 15mins) you can tell them all about your shoulder problems and it’s like a counselling session which also helps to make you feel better. It’ll cost around £40 per session though.
Have you had any imaging on it?

Basilneedswaterandsun Wed 17-Apr-19 14:03:16

Mine started to feel better after about 4 sessions (every 2 weeks). This was after 6 months of pain.

massistar Wed 17-Apr-19 14:03:29

It hurt like fuck when he was doing it, we're talking 30 mins of full on hard masssge, and ached for a couple of days but then it gradually lessened. I still feel a bit stiff but loads better and I think even that would improve if I could stick to the stretching!

Floralnomad Wed 17-Apr-19 14:07:52

Nothing worked for mine so I ended up having surgery , but I had a bilateral issue and very little movement .

allypally999 Wed 17-Apr-19 15:04:18

Thats interesting might see if I can find one of them (not necessarily handsome lol). I was told that back, neck and shoulder operations wouldn't happen for much longer as the outcome is so unknown and can be 50/50. It was originally diagnosed as frozen shoulder but now tendonitis which just makes you think they have no clue.

massistar Wed 17-Apr-19 16:44:38

Oh mine was exceptionally handsome! Just not sure how much that contributed? grin

Romax Thu 18-Apr-19 05:31:30

6.5 weeks total recovery for me
I went hell to leather on the physio sessions ( I have private health). No exercises though. 2/3 physio sessions per week and lots of rest. It went from utterly debilitating (could not brush my hair) to 100%

Romax Thu 18-Apr-19 05:32:10

And he just massaged for each 40 min session

RainbowFox Thu 18-Apr-19 09:57:39

I've just seen my nhs physio guy this morning. It was only a quick chat as I said this week my shoulder has been very sore. So he suggested I go to GP and ask for steroid injection because of how long it's been. Carry on with the exercises he's given me. No massage today, boooo. I did ask about the sports massage but he said for me it wouldn't be worth it because of where it's located and type of inflammation it is (something along those lines).

OP’s posts: |
glosbucks Thu 18-Apr-19 10:20:16

Six years ago I was diagnosed with a shoulder spur and had subacromial decompression surgery. It told six months to get back to full use and since then that shoulder has been fine. The symptoms were a total loss of a strength in that shoulder and moderate pain. After the surgeon said he would expect to see me again in five years for the other shoulder as it is likely I would get a spur in the other shoulder.

Over the last 12 months my other shoulder has "clicked" and felt stiff. Then in January the pain started. At times it makes me feel sick and I hate going to bed as it keeps me awake at night (I'm normally a great sleeper). I went to my GP who referred me for Physio and didn't think it was an impingement and did not think surgery was the right route to go down. I've been seeing a Physio and also had a scan. I have a tear in the super spinatus (sorry for spelling mistakes) and also tendonitus. I'm doing exercises from the Physio every day three times a day which is now helping and trying to be very careful and not load it which is key. The night pain is improving. I don't have young children but I do work in care so I can't help but use it at times.

Having done more research I think the surgery was actually a mistake as I gave my right shoulder a rest and loaded the left when the tendon was failing. I'm very active and lift a lot ... and I'm late 40's so I think things were wearing out and I just wasn't listening to my body.

The Physio has explained how I have to train the other three main tendons around the shoulder / rotator cuff so that I can take the pressure off the torn tendon.

I'm not medically trained so apologies for any mistakes but the reason for the post is to say that in my experience Physio really can help if you do the exercises.... and I'm not sure surgery is necessarily the answer.

Hope you feel better soon.

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