Health question.. rotator cuff?

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volaredon

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Something I never heard of before about 15 years ago. Seems real common now a days.
I have been having trouble with my right shoulder, and in talking to my daughter in law nurse and my wife's cousin (who is a PA) as soon as I described the issues that was the first thing both of them said.
I did go to the chiropractor a bit between turkey day and Christmas, about 8 visits ( she never mentioned any specific issues) and it dulled the intensity, but I think it hurts more often now.than then, though. Pretty steady dull pain, if I move " just" wrong (right?) It's like someone stabbed a voodoo doll of me in the upper arm, pain gets real intense for a few minutes.

Who knows what about this problem? I'm 55, been a mechanic all my life, most I know who have had this issue have been in a accident, fell on it, etc but I didn't "do" anything like that. It just started hurting one day. Laying on a creeper and putting my arm over my head even with nothing in my hand(weight) like when I roll under to do a DOT inspection on a truck really nails it. Or I reach out to grab the cat, when I draw my arms back in towards my body sometimes seta it off.
 
Never had problems there, but Kitty has. She's had both her shoulders done now.
 
I had similar issues for years, all through my 20s. I had a few pulls and dumb things I did as a kid and late teens that probably caused it.

I rarley have pain these days, which is a godsend.

I started doing shoulder stretches, frequently. Use a long rod. A broom, a pool cue, doesn't matter. Longer is easier. Hold onto it in front of you, hands wide on it. Then hoist it up over your head and maintaining your grip, you want to swing it behind you and touch your back (if you can). It sounds weird, but try it and it'll make sense.

At first it hurts like hell, but don't power through. Try to work close to where it hurts, but keep any pain dull and not stabbing. Stabbing is usually more damaging. Start slow, 1-2 times a day, 2-3 times a week, then do more. Move your hands closer as you're able. Do more reps as you're able. Stop when the muscles get sore or tired, but usually 2-3 sets of 10-15 is enough to work out kinks.

The risk with shoulder injuries is to favor it too much until it freezes, which is a bad place to be. But over work will cause the muscles to swell and not move the way they should. Basically like carpal tunnel, but in your shoulder. Anti inflammatory meds help, but your liver will thank you to use them sparingly. I was taking ~1600mg a day of ibuprofen When I first started the stretching, tapered down as the pain reduced over time.

Before I started doing the stretches, I couldn't reach behind a passenger bucket seat, and had trouble with putting on and taking off shirts and jackets. Now, I haven't thought about that pain in probably 2 years..

It also helped to work on how I placed my arms when I slept. Arms over head is a no no. Sleeping right on the shoulder was another big aggrevator. I found that sleeping on the opposite side and keeping my "bad" arm draped over a pillow to keep the shoulder neutral helped a lot.

Once the pain was gone (took probably 18 months total), I haven't needed to favor it or worry much about it. As the pain lessened I started to try and strengthen the shoulder muscles with overhead barbell presses and lateral raises. Not sure how much they helped, but they didn't seem to hurt.
 
^^^^^^^^Same Here^^^^^^^^

Thought I had a rotator issue and went to physio. He worked me for a couple of weeks for a frozen shoulder, but that wasn't it. Eventually I discovered that I had bursitis in the right shoulder. Stopped sleeping on my right side, no more problems........Pain for 20 years. :BangHead:
 
I have pain at times in my left shoulder (left handed) that has been diagnosed in the past as an impingement. I had a cortisone shot in the area several years ago and it did nothing. I can still throw a baseball (I'm 63) and still do most anything I want so I don't worry too much about it. There are times it barks at me when I'm under a car doing something, but that's about it. My son and I were talking the other day and my arm may be in better than his, but he pitched in college and has had a torn labrum and slightly torn rotator cuff fixed in his throwing shoulder. Now his elbow is wonky.
 
In past years I've had tendonitis in both elbows flare up occasionally, that's been quiet for a couple years now.
In past times to chiropractor (always use same one) I've had "impingement" (whatever that is?) And something with the"AC joint" but the pain was different with those, don't remember hurting when I try to put a belt thru loops or get my wallet out, or extend my arms overhead when laying on a creeper or a stabbing pain when twisting my arm forward or after reaching out, and then drawing it back in especially with elbows bent. This is different.
I know of a few who have had to be operated on for rotator cuff issues, one recently (around veterans day last year) who got too dependent on pain meds and is no longer with us.... He'd been off after having his shoulder "done" alot longer than anyone ever thought he would.... Have a neighbor across the street who also had it done, even my younger brother and my boss at work. All were " worse than expected" once the doc got inside (none of those had same doc work on them)
And the secretary at an old job.... Every one of them either fell and extended their arm to "catch themselves" or were in a car accident or "caught" a heavy load from overhead and "jammed" the shoulder, some such trauma. I have had no such thing.
These people I know all had "complications" that were unforseen going in, except for one.... I certainly can't miss that much work.... Don't understand how I got here with this issue, and am hoping I can fix it without missing that time. I have been taking a lot of Aleve which does it's job but with the comments above pertaining to liver issues, I ain't wanting to trade one issue for another. It's good I guess it's been cold outside lately, as I have been holding the couch down so to speak after work, more over the past month or so than I have in a very long time. Weather is starting to break, so that will certainly change.
 
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In past years I've had tendonitis in both elbows flare up occasionally, that's been quiet for a couple years now.
In past times to chiropractor (always use same one) I've had "impingement" (whatever that is?) And something with the"AC joint" but the pain was different with those, don't remember hurting when I try to put a belt thru loops or get my wallet out, or extend my arms overhead when laying on a creeper or a stabbing pain when twisting my arm forward or after reaching out, and then drawing it back in especially with elbows bent. This is different.
I know of a few who have had to be operated on for rotator cuff issues, one recently (around veterans day last year) who got too dependent on pain meds and is no longer with us.... He'd been off after having his shoulder "done" alot longer than anyone ever thought he would.... Have a neighbor across the street who also had it done, even my younger brother and my boss at work. All were " worse than expected" once the doc got inside (none of those had same doc work on them)
And the secretary at an old job.... Every one of them either fell and extended their arm to "catch themselves" or were in a car accident or "caught" a heavy load from overhead and "jammed" the shoulder, some such trauma. I have had no such thing.
These people I know all had "complications" that were unforseen going in, except for one.... I certainly can't miss that much work.... Don't understand how I got here with this issue, and am hoping I can fix it without missing that time. I have been taking a lot of Aleve which does it's job but with the comments above pertaining to liver issues, I ain't wanting to trade one issue for another. It's good I guess it's been cold outside lately, as I have been holding the couch down so to speak after work, more over the past month or so than I have in a very long time. Weather is starting to break, so that will certainly change.
Im a firm believer in reflexology. There is a pressure point just below your collar bone vertically from you nipple. Find it and rub it. it will hurt. I will use a broom stick chocked against a wall and lean into it and message that area or buy a massager or go to a reflexologist of somebody who has a degree in kinesiology.
 
Thanks guys for the insight
Did you find the reflexology spot. It’s more toward the sternum than verticals from the nipple. I feel immediate relief. Like a cooling effect. I have torn labrum’s
 
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In past years I've had tendonitis in both elbows flare up occasionally, that's been quiet for a couple years now.
In past times to chiropractor (always use same one) I've had "impingement" (whatever that is?) And something with the"AC joint" but the pain was different with those, don't remember hurting when I try to put a belt thru loops or get my wallet out, or extend my arms overhead when laying on a creeper or a stabbing pain when twisting my arm forward or after reaching out, and then drawing it back in especially with elbows bent. This is different.
I know of a few who have had to be operated on for rotator cuff issues, one recently (around veterans day last year) who got too dependent on pain meds and is no longer with us.... He'd been off after having his shoulder "done" alot longer than anyone ever thought he would.... Have a neighbor across the street who also had it done, even my younger brother and my boss at work. All were " worse than expected" once the doc got inside (none of those had same doc work on them)
And the secretary at an old job.... Every one of them either fell and extended their arm to "catch themselves" or were in a car accident or "caught" a heavy load from overhead and "jammed" the shoulder, some such trauma. I have had no such thing.
These people I know all had "complications" that were unforseen going in, except for one.... I certainly can't miss that much work.... Don't understand how I got here with this issue, and am hoping I can fix it without missing that time. I have been taking a lot of Aleve which does it's job but with the comments above pertaining to liver issues, I ain't wanting to trade one issue for another. It's good I guess it's been cold outside lately, as I have been holding the couch down so to speak after work, more over the past month or so than I have in a very long time. Weather is starting to break, so that will certainly change.

This sounds very similar to what my issue was. I did have several traumatic injuries, plus lots of teenage stupidity though.

My pain was excruciating and stabbing too. It would happen anytime I tried to lift my arm directly out from my side, and mostly when I'd rotate my arm so my palms faced forward. I could "work around" the tight spot if I would rotate my arms just so as I went through the range of motion. Overhead was the worst. I couldn't do much from under a car as a result, and any kind of hand-over-hand (like pulling a rope) was impossible. I also could NOT throw anything. I bought a dartboard after starting the stretching as a way to work the muscles and it did actually help. Fixing my sleeping position was I think the biggest help. Everything else has kept it from recurring. It's trsnge to think back on because it was awful for 5-7 years, but I've been good for probably 7 years now. Like I said, this post was the first thing to make me think about it in a couple years..

I'm pretty sure it was a combination of impingement and bursitis, but impingement also stresses the rotator cuff. Bursitis (depending on which one is inflamed) can exacerbate impingement and also inflame the cuff too. When those muscles get inflamed, it's a real challenge to get them back to normal because they do so much work that we hardly notice and there's not much space for them and they start to rub all kinds of things they shouldn't. The longer it lasts, the greater chance of permanent damage too. Best thing to avoid permanent damage is keep it moving, don't immobilize it. A relative had a similar issue when I was a kid and she was told to sling it by her doc. A decade later she had a frozen shoulder and had to go through cortisone shots and all kinds of painful therapy until it finally "let go". She was scheduled for surgery at the time and it slowly started to improve until it was fine - never did the surgery and today is still totally fine. But before all the PT she couldn't raise her arm at all, and driving stick was a massive challenge.

I've yet to meet anyone who had joint issues fixed by surgery unless they were literally immobilized by it. I had surgery on a knee for torn cartilage some years after twisting it all to hell, and I kind of wish I hadn't. It doesn't get as bad as it used to, but on average it hurts more constantly and is never as good as my "good days" prior. Not to mention, my other knee is screwy from compensating after surgery.

Sometimes surgery is the answer, but I'd exhaust every other avenue first. I wasn't super consistent with trying to work out my shoulder issue. If I had been it probably would have gotten better in under 6 months. But I'd do the stretches and stuff for a couple weeks, then go and move a pool table by myself or some other dumb thing and be hosed for a while as a result.

Wish you the best of luck, it sucks in the meantime though.
 
I've worked on cars since I was 15. Gas station mechanic off & on until I became a dealer tech in '84. Around early '11 I started having a lot of pain in my left shoulder and it became increasingly harder to reach over my head when working on a lift. Finally broke down and saw a doctor about it. Asked me to remove my shirt then wanted to know if I had ever broken my shoulder as it was noticeably lower than the right (I nor my wife never noticed). Turned out to need a shoulder replacement. Had it done in early '12 and had to retire as a tech (no more heavy lifting).
Best to have it checked out by a doctor. :thumbsup:
 
Both of mine are Torn. Had a MRI done about 10 years ago and my right side was 80%. I have lifted paper throughout my career in Printing and it's the same as moving Wood Piles. And Orthopedic doctors all cringe when I tell them my career.

But I elected to not have the surgery on the worst one and went hunting for a Chiropractor who could teach me how to heal my body. And I found one who was big time in sports medicine. No medication and was about 2 months of therapy. He basically re-wired my body to do and act differently along with some insane stretches including crawling up the wall with my fingers like a Spider.

I worked with a guy who had it done years ago. And he never recovered. His ego was too big most of the times to admit things didn't go as planned but I saw it and he retired a year later because he was eligible and he knew the surgery did not give him the fix he needed...

There is a basic test that will pretty much indicate a Rotator Cuff issue. I will see if I can find it on YT and post the link. If you fail it, then what you are concerned about is on point. But if it is exhaust every option before someone cuts on you...

JW
 
I've damaged both shoulders about 3 years apart, and about 15 years ago, in unrelated falls. They will never be the same. I have to be very careful, especially in the early morning, reaching above or lifting above. Sudden jerks are killer. Sometimes just arguing with my belt around my backside, a jerk, and it hurts. One of the things I can NOT do anymore, is argue with those damn little tweeky gas powered weed trimmers. The tiny recoils and the "snap" when/ if they fire and start just instantly devastates my shoulder.
 
Mine hurt after 30 years of working as a lineman. I went to our local orthopedic office, the doc checked it and said it wasn't bad enough for surgery. He gave me a shot deep into the joint and told me to stop working over my head so much. I've never had much trouble since, so hopefully it will stay that way.
 
Both of mine have been torn for decades. My left arm doesn't have the ranges of motion as my right, but more surgeries are the last thing I want. I just don't do overhead work, anymore. Aches are just part of my life. There are nights that I can't lay on either side, due to the shoulders.
 
can't avoid the types of motion I have to do in my work. Too old to change jobs, too far from being able to collect retirement, house too far from being paid for, etc... I'm on the "dead plan" or work til 67 whichever comes 1st..... 12 more years to go.
 
I had a 1" full thickness tear on top of my right shoulder. Several people told me I would regret it if I had surgery. I thought "Well. It can't fix itself". I went in to have 3 small incisions and suture the tear back together.
I came out with 8 incisions. Doc said it was torn so bad, the sutures just pulled through. So he cut off part of the tendon, staked the other to my upper arm, cut my biceps tendon loose from my shoulder and anchored it in front of my upper arm bone to make the previous step possible (he called it "biceps tenodesis"). Now my biceps muscle isn't where it's supposed to be. It's down closer to my elbow. Probably 6 months of recovery and rehab before I could set a 5 lb dumbell on a shelf about shoulder level. I wish I had asked questions like "What happens if things don't go according to plan?". I went in expecting at least close to full recovery but now I have a permanent 45 lb limit with my right arm and limited range of motion.
Ask questions.
 
I'm sorry to hear these stories. I never have heard anybody personally tell me, "my shoulder surgery was awesome." Everybody seems to complain about getting work done.
 
Something I never heard of before about 15 years ago. Seems real common now a days.
I have been having trouble with my right shoulder, and in talking to my daughter in law nurse and my wife's cousin (who is a PA) as soon as I described the issues that was the first thing both of them said.
I did go to the chiropractor a bit between turkey day and Christmas, about 8 visits ( she never mentioned any specific issues) and it dulled the intensity, but I think it hurts more often now.than then, though. Pretty steady dull pain, if I move " just" wrong (right?) It's like someone stabbed a voodoo doll of me in the upper arm, pain gets real intense for a few minutes.

Who knows what about this problem? I'm 55, been a mechanic all my life, most I know who have had this issue have been in a accident, fell on it, etc but I didn't "do" anything like that. It just started hurting one day. Laying on a creeper and putting my arm over my head even with nothing in my hand(weight) like when I roll under to do a DOT inspection on a truck really nails it. Or I reach out to grab the cat, when I draw my arms back in towards my body sometimes seta it off.


Back about 32 years ago I had pain like you described in my right shoulder. It would feel like I’m getting shocked at times. If I was in the passenger seat and had my arm on the open window when I went to move it I had to take my other arm to lift it. Cortisone shots did nothing. A local lady doctor said she could fix it but being a Millwright and the sledgehammer work we did daily it would need done again at a later date. She called it an impingement and cleaned calcium like junk out of my shoulder. It’s been GREAT ever since. She said that junk was tearing at my tendons and muscles.
 
I have a torn rotator, about a inch right at the bone, after 3 years of the runaround from 3 Docs the most recent one asked if I had an MRI yet? NO not yet, well that’s when it was found, the others said it was just a sprain. I slid off a chair scooters extended my arm to catch myself. But the funny part, it had been a dull ache for 30 months till one day I was replacing a capacitor on an electric motor and it shocked me, 450 ac volts. My elbow and shoulder quit hurting since then, maybe once in awhile now. Doc said 15 minute operation, 3 weeks in a sling, therapy for 6 months and MAYBE I’ll be back in a year. That’s been 3-1/2 months since and still not sure if I’ll do it. Might try those exercises. I’m 73 and not sure if it’s worth it since it don’t hurt after ‘shock’ therapy
 
something weird,
About a month ago, I had an air brake trailer at work I had to redo brakes on and replace tires. I got the brakes done and had to whack the tires off from behind with a 12 lb sledge. I had to lay on my right side to do that side of the trailer, and on my left side to get that side of the trailer while laying on a creeper. I dreaded this, knowing how my shoulder had been feeling. But after I got them beaten off, my shouldr actually felt better for a while and didnt hurt near as bad for a couple weeks afterwards.
Yet like a few months before, I had to drive a couple of 10 penny nails into my garage ceiling joists to hang my Coleman lanterns from, and that about killed me. Standing on my workbench, 20 0z framing hammer, swinging overhead.

Not sure I could even do an MRI, as I have a rod in my leg about a foot long, inside my shin bone.
 
something weird,
About a month ago, I had an air brake trailer at work I had to redo brakes on and replace tires. I got the brakes done and had to whack the tires off from behind with a 12 lb sledge. I had to lay on my right side to do that side of the trailer, and on my left side to get that side of the trailer while laying on a creeper. I dreaded this, knowing how my shoulder had been feeling. But after I got them beaten off, my shouldr actually felt better for a while and didnt hurt near as bad for a couple weeks afterwards.
Yet like a few months before, I had to drive a couple of 10 penny nails into my garage ceiling joists to hang my Coleman lanterns from, and that about killed me. Standing on my workbench, 20 0z framing hammer, swinging overhead.

Not sure I could even do an MRI, as I have a rod in my leg about a foot long, inside my shin bone.
Nope you can’t if it’s steel, stainless maybe, I have a titanium stent in my lower aorta which is non magnetic so no problemo for me.
 
Nope you can’t if it’s steel, stainless maybe, I have a titanium stent in my lower aorta which is non magnetic so no problemo for me.
They might be able to stick him in there head first? It might not matter if they did it that way, with his legs out. I fell asleep when they did my shoulder MRI years ago. When I woke up, I jerked like you sometimes do when you wake up, and the woman running the machine yelled at me over the intercom to BE STILL !!....lol.
 
Nope you can’t if it’s steel, stainless maybe, I have a titanium stent in my lower aorta which is non magnetic so no problemo for me.
I think it is titanium now that you say something.
There is 1 screw holding it in, originally there were 2 screws but had 1 taken out about 6 months after it was put in
 
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