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Re: [IP] Birth control options & shoulder pain
At 11:09 4/7/98 -0400, Teresa wrote:
>Also I'm experiencing almost constant pain in my left shoulder and in my
>left arm between the shoulder and elbow especially when I move it suddenly.
>It also appears that my mobility has become somewhat limited. Any ideas?
Classic symptoms of adhesive capsulitis (aka 'frozen shoulder').
[I apologize for the verbosity that follows, so if you aren't interested in
shoulder problems, please skip the rest of this]
It's very common in diabetics (especially after many years of the disease),
and is caused by calcification in the shoulder capsule. The tendons (or
whatever they're called) end up adhering in spots to the capsule itself, and
then when you tug on them (by moving your shoulder rapidly, or into
seldom-used positions) it hurts like crazy. Racket-like or throwing motions
are especially painful.
Orthopedists usually try to treat it with physical therapy, and sometimes
it'll just go away by itself over time (like 2 years or more).
I have it in both shoulders to some extent, but my right one was really bad
(couldn't sleep properly due to rolling onto it in my sleep - the pain would
wake me up every time). They tried 6 weeks of physical therapy, and
although it gave me more range of motion, it didn't help the pain very much.
My orthopedist then told me I had two choices: surgery or something called
'manipulation under anaesthesia'. I opted for the second one, since it is
Manipulation under anaesthesia is exactly what it sounds like: they put you
out, and then move your shoulder around through its full range, popping all
the adhesions loose. When you wake up, you have your arm in a sling for 1-2
days, and then you do some more physical therapy. What a difference! I had
this done over 2 years ago, and I still don't have any trouble sleeping. I
still have the occasional twinge, but nothing like it was before.
Here's how you can test your shoulder to see if you have adhesive capsulitis:
Lay on the floor with your arms straight down. Bring your arm straight up
in an arc and try to extend it over your head so that your hand touches the
If you can't make it to the floor, that's adhesive capsulitis.
I'd recommend getting referred to an orthopedist, who'll probably try
physical therapy and analgesics (like Naproxen) first. If that doesn't work
out, and you're really having trouble (especially sleeping), I'd suggest
trying 'manipulation under anaesthesia'. My orthopedist says that it isn't
a cure-all, and sometimes the problem will come back over time, but it sure
beats surgery (they remove part of the bone and some of the tendon(?), and
you end up permanently with less overall mobility).
If you have any other questions, just ask.
Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/