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  1. #1
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    Frozen shoulder after a crash

    I got hit in the head with a golf ball while riding in March. Yes I was wearing a helmet. Anyway i broke my clavicle, took 5 weeks off the bike and started riding my lazy ( for this site anyway) 100-125 miles a week 5 weeks later. About 6 weeks after that I had severe pain in my arm, not at the fracture site but from the shoulder to the elbow. I also have about half the normal range of motion. HMO Doc gave me a cortisone shot (useless). I went on 6 weeks of physical therapy (useless). Now they want to do " manual manipulation". They knock you out and force it through the range of motion. Apparently when you're done with this they put you back into PT but there is significant pain involved. The Doc wont tell me how long I might be off the bike. HE says I can ride as soon as I can tolerate the pain.

    Through this whole time I have been riding...setting personal bests and doing just about everything I want to do except lifting my arm over 90 degrees and excruciating pain if I happen to roll over on the shoulder or instinctively reach out for something. Has anyone ever been through this "frozen Shoulder"? All my Google searches are somewhat inconclusive as it appears this condition is mostly idiopathic. Mine I believe stems from idiot doctor who could have told me to try to move the shoulder as much as possible after the first couple seeks instead of babying it. All advice appreciated. The full golf ball story upon request !

    After reading Fox's thread all the way through I almost didnt post...heck I dont shift the to the big ring or use the front brakes much anyway...What do I need a left arm for then? It does appear that a functioning heart does help on most of the rides....

  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Frozen shoulders hurt, and that is an understatement. I had one when I was waiting to go into hospital 6 years ago, and I remember the frozen shoulder more than the hospital. I was sent to a local physio and he got me to go down the gym to go on the weight machines as part of the cure. No weight on the machines, or at least minimal, and it was the action and movement of the various machines that got me mobile again. I still go to the gym, but for cardio vascular side of training, but normally finish up in the weights room, just going through the motions, so to speak, to keep the mobility.

  3. #3
    Slow Moving Vehicle Jean Beetham Smith's Avatar
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    I had a frozen shoulder after cracking my elbow. I had a very good response to ultrasound therapy, naproxen, and PT. I have a better range of motion in that shoulder now than in the unaffected shoulder. The range of motion improved long before the pain went away. I'm sorry to say that took about 6 months. I was told to expect 6 months "freezing", 6 months "Frozen", and 6 months "thawing". Maybe I responded so well because I was only 3 months "freezing". I know that manipulation under anesthesia was one of the treatments that was discussed but the ultrasound worked so well for me that I never needed it. Also the Naproxen did seem to work better than ibuprofen. Good luck.
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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    After reading Fox's thread all the way through I almost didnt post
    ????????????
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  5. #5
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    i had same problem, came on out of the blue with no apparent cause, went to reg Dr, referred to an Orthopedic surgeon, got the cort shot, no change at all, doc wanted to do surgery, shave off bone at bit, i also went to a PT, they did range of motion work with some iffy electrical etc treatments, but gave me exercises for home to stretch the offending joint back into a greater pain free range, hurt like hell when trying to work through pain threshold, and espec when accidentally moving arm to grab something, but in time, say 3 months in total , it was all but fine, never got over totally, still have light pain sometimes, say while driving long times or in bed with weight on arm and shoulder, but no surgey, no manual manipulation under anthes,

    a freind had same, for no reason, her dr had same ideas as yours, she tripped, fell and hit hard on offending arm, which had the effect of forcing the shoulder through the sticky bits as under anthes..poof, she was 90% ok in one moment.

    tough one, try the exercises and PT for a few weeks before operating room, but be very very patient with progress

    good luck

    steve
    el viejo

  6. #6
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    Fox...to answer your ????...my silly shoulder problem is minimal compared to your trials...I was trying to be funny there at the end.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck5.2_in_CA
    I got hit in the head with a golf ball while riding in March. Yes I was wearing a helmet. Anyway i broke my clavicle, took 5 weeks off the bike and started riding my lazy ( for this site anyway) 100-125 miles a week 5 weeks later. About 6 weeks after that I had severe pain in my arm, not at the fracture site but from the shoulder to the elbow. I also have about half the normal range of motion. ...snip...

    Through this whole time I have been riding...setting personal bests and doing just about everything I want to do except lifting my arm over 90 degrees and excruciating pain if I happen to roll over on the shoulder or instinctively reach out for something. Has anyone ever been through this "frozen Shoulder"? All my Google searches are somewhat inconclusive as it appears this condition is mostly idiopathic. Mine I believe stems from idiot doctor who could have told me to try to move the shoulder as much as possible after the first couple seeks instead of babying it. All advice appreciated. The full golf ball story upon request !
    ...snip...
    CRAZY! How random is the probabilty of getting beaned by a golfball, while riding the bike? Just seems that something like that should almost never happen. Yet they do and more frquently than random probability might suggest.
    Anyway, my recent mishap had my whole left side torso and shoulder in fairly sketchy shape. Having had numerous sports related injuries over the years, I did start 'working' all the joints of that side as soon as possible. Never even asked the doc when I should start. Figured when the pain of just sitting up subsided, I could start workin all the joints.
    But I wanted to ask you, since this condition seems to have 'hit' weeks after the actual accident; have your doctors ruled out any issure of nerve damage? It would seem that being OK after the accident and then having the 'frozen shoulder' develop would lead me to ask if some further (or disguised) damage caused the 'frozen Shoulder? Have your rdoctors ruled that out.
    My best to a speedy recovery

  8. #8
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    I much like Denver Fox have an HMO. One of the Orthos mumbled something about no nerve damage after a quick exam. I heard from a reliable source that the ortho sees 100 patients a day so who knows. I am looking forward to an out patient surgery which will probably consist of the guy breaking my arm while he tries to move the shouder. I did get the permission slip today for the operation...unfortunately the operation authorized is "shoulder fixation" which judging by Googol search is much more than I need. I am getting some red magic marker to write on my right arm "Other Arm Dumbass" and on my left " No cutting manual manipulation only"

  9. #9
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    I just got over that whole frozen shoulder thing. Absolutely amazing how it comes on, freezes up for a few months, then vanishes in a matter of weeks. Just under six months from start to finish for me. First month or two was "freezing" and pain when reaching overhead, and behind. I didn't know what I had done to it. I finally went in to see the Ortho and he sent me to PT. I thought it was tendonitis or something, the young PT intern figured it out after a couple of visits. The pain at night was the worst part for me.

    After a couple of months of aggressive PT and home exercises with light weights, the pain at night gradually diminished and range of motion started to improve. The last two months it went from limited motion to completely gone. About 2 months "freezing", two months "frozen" with PT going on, and two months where it improved and was gone. I am back to 75 mi/wk roadbiking, doing pushups and free weights with no issues, and full range of motion. I biked occasionally during the "frozen" stage, mainly on my hybrid, so as not to put weight on it.

    I never figured out what caused it, except that I had a bad mtn bike crash in Montana last fall and landed on it very hard - maybe it needed time to heal properly, although it seemed ok this past winter. I also started off pretty hard on the roadbike this spring, maybe there's a connection.

    After seeing how fast and complete the healing was for me, my recommendation would be to avoid the mechanical manipulation of the shoulder and just do PT, but it's certainly your choice and your shoulder.

    john
    Last edited by mtnroads; 08-31-05 at 12:02 AM.
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  10. #10
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    I had two frozen shoulders and two years of pain. First the right shoulder went and that was followed about six months later by the left. Both happened in the first year of riding a mountain bike. My first bike had very poor to almost non existent front suspension and I think that the constant shock transmitted through handlebars had something to do with it. I kept riding and had very little pain while doing so, but it was agony trying to do just about anything else. Gentle exercise and patience is the key nothing else seems to work.

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    Acupuncture worked for me. First it was the right shoulder then the next year the left shoulder. My acupuncturist competes in tri competitions and figured out my stem was too long causing too much pressure on the shoulders. She was right.

  12. #12
    wen
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    I just had surgery for a torn rotator cuff and am working with physical therapists to get back my range of motion. You won't get better without the PT- you just have to find the right one! If 6 weeks with one did no good- find somebody else! I am just 8 days out of the sling-7 weeks post surgery and I have got a lot of my range back already- I alternate between 2 therapists at one site- they use different techniques- somewhat "alternative" types of therapy- it works.

  13. #13
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    My left shoulder has been frozen for the last 3 months or so. Since a week ago I've been forcing movement to improve the range of motion at home using differrent contraptions I have laying around the house. So far this seems to be working quite well in conjuction with the prescribed Naproxen I'm taking. I am also scheduled to see a PT in a couple of weeks. Now, but slowly I'm able to reach down onto my drop bars without much pain when riding.
    Ironically this whole thing started when I overextended my arm while hoisting my bike up to hang.

  14. #14
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    Have you considered an MRI to rule out a torn rotator cuff?
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  15. #15
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
    Have you considered an MRI to rule out a torn rotator cuff?
    +1.

    Of course those darn MRI's are pretty expensive.

  16. #16
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Thanks for the thread. My wife is currently recovering from frozen shoulder, evidently induced by pulling weeds and invasive vines too hard and suddenly having one break away. Exercises and physical therapy seem to be the most effective treatment, but it does take time to get well.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  17. #17
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what a frozen shoulder is, but when that kid cut me off last week, I landed on my shoulder and the next morning, I could not laterally raise my arm more than 45 degrees from the axis of my body. Radiographs were taken to rule out damage, and doctor prescribed anti-inflammatory medicine: naproxen, 500 mg, twice a day. Three days later my shoulder feels much better, with much more range in motion, but the shoulder muscles feel deep-bruised and weak. Still waiting for result of radiographs.

    I just read the physical therapy prescription again, and see he recommended P.T. three times a week for four weeks. The doctor animated with his arm what some of the exercises would be ... walking your fingers up a wall, until the arm gets higher and higher above your shoulder. I can see where this gradually higher walking up the wall would help shoulder injuries. Hope this helps.

  18. #18
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Yup, Motorad, welcome to the "frozen shoulder club." Please let us know how it works out for you.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  19. #19
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
    Have you considered an MRI to rule out a torn rotator cuff?
    I don't think my HMO would consider that depending on how I progress with my PT and Naproxen.

  20. #20
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    Thanks everyone for posting on this. I have been having this problem for 3 years first left shoulder and now right. Left shoulder is almost 100% back to normal and right is now showing some improvement. I went to a chiropractor with the left shoulder but now I am going to try some mild yoga and see how it works for the right. In my case the left shoulder went out while I was shooting a bow and I think that too low of handle bars has caused the right shoulder to go out. I have raised the bars and ride with my right hand off the bars as much as possible. This seems to be helping. I am a big wimp and I was about to the end of my rope. Your comments have given me renewed hope that I may recover to ride pain free again.

    One of my exercises is to try to touch my toes and then to swing the right arm in very small circles as it hangs down. This is painful but I can set my own level of pain by how big of a circle I swing my arm in. If I really want to ramp up the pain I get a small weight to hold in my right hand while doing the circles. I don't know if this will help anything but it is about all that I know to do as far as myself help program.

  21. #21
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    This is an old post and I had a re-occurence last year. Not as severe as the first one but new treatment that worked quicker was Ultra-Sound. Still had to exercise "GENTLY" but 3 sessions a week for an hour and 2 weeks later and I was completely Mobile again and NO pain.
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