Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's a Stretch!

The saga of my frozen shoulder continues. Looking at current transits, I see that Mercury, Mars and Venus in Libra are all right opposite my natal Saturn (rules the skeleton) which lies at 12.55 Aries. I guess this is symbolic of the painful "pull" I feel when trying to perform certain everyday actions. I've checked on transiting Chiron (the Wounded Healer) - at present it's around 17 Aquarius, not making aspect to anything in my chart, but by February 2009 it'll be stting on my re-located ascendant, perhaps that's when I'll start feeling improvement, especially as Jupiter will be transiting natal Sun around the same time.

I opted to give the chiropractor I initially visited a cold one (shoulder, that is) after a first appointment which depressed rather than inspired me. I'm of the belief that, contrary to what the good chiropractor implied, any kind of physical activity which is exceptionally painful cannot be doing a body much good. My opinion is confirmed at several on-line sources which state that minimal pain, if any, is the most which ought to be tolerated during stretching exercises performed to help with a frozen shoulder, otherwise further inflamation could ensue, making all the effort counter-productive.

It appears that the actual cause of this problem, in cases not brought on by injury, is a mystery to the medical profession. Most instances of frozen shoulder are self-limiting, it has been found that the majority will eventually return to near normal capability, whether the sufferer does anything to aid recovery or not. This can take up to two years, maybe more, through three phases: freezing, frozen and thawing.

After much research, and surprise at the variety of advice and remedies suggested on-line, I jotted down a list of some of the most common recommendations, and a couple of the more outlandish suggestions. I'm adding these in case any Googling wanderer with painful shoulder might find them of interest.

1. A variety of fairly gentle stretching exercises, performed regularly, on a daily basis.

2. Use of a portable ultra-sound machine or TENS electronic unit to aid massage of the affected area.

3. Trigger Spot Therapy, finding relevant trigger spots and applying pressure to ease pain.

4. Shutting oneself in a quiet room, lying down on a sofa, alone, with a music box playing (I kid you not, a music box is said to be the key to eliminating stress!)

5. Standing neck deep in a warm sea and allowing the waves to massage the body.

6. Elimination techniques for cleansing toxins taken into the body from food and the atmosphere.

7. Heat packs or ice packs applied to shoulder.

8. Acupuncture or acupressure.

9. One or two sites work on the premise that the cause is psychological rather than physical, and ask "what is frozen in your life or your attitudes?"

10. My own doctor offered a cortisone shot, which I accepted but felt no improvement. He said he could refer me to a surgeon for manipulation under anaesthesia. This sounded tempting until I investigated further and read about the possibility of a broken arm occuring during such manipulation, and the need to perform the stretching exercises afterwards anyway
Not for me!

I'm opting for a mix of # 1, 2, 3, and that most elusive of ingredients: patience. If I reach the point of desperation, though I might invest in a music box!


anthonynorth said...

Just a flying visit at the moment to ask you to pop over to my blog. I've got an award for you.

Twilight said...

Oh! Thank you, AN. That's undeserved but much appreciated.
I'll include it in Friday's post.
you are too kind!

Adele Aldridge said...

I was tempted to leave a comment the last time you wrote about your shoulder pain but let it go. Now that you are writing about the problem again I am compelled to tell you my experience with the same issue. I don't know if it is exactly the same but have experienced unremitting pain in my left shoulder, unable to stretch my arm out in front of me. I went to doctors and a chiropractor with various treatments that did nothing.

This is not the place to go into all the details except to add that being in constant pain was exhausting.

So I'll share with you what cured me and I continue to do. Swimming. Try it. At first it will be slow. Don't push to hard or too fast but be consistent. Being weightless while moving is wonderful. I swim for 40 minutes on the average of 5 days week. The pain is gone! Yes, I know, it is difficult to find a place to swim year round. It is the best thing I do for myself, without which I think I would be a crippled bug.

Wisewebwoman said...

One thought that struck me, R, is that Laser therapy could help. I've seen it work on a client's patients with the kind of impacted movement you describe.
Maybe worth a try.

Twilight said...

Adele - Hi!

I'm very pleased to read that you solved your problem. I so wish I could follow your lead, but I'm ashamed to admit that I can't swim!
I fell into a swimming pool when a child and am now aqua-phobic (if that's the correct term). Can't even bear to stand on the edge of a pool. Even the idea of a long sea cruise, however luxurious makes me cringe! I'm an idiot, and I know it!

I can understand how exercising in water would help though.

Thank you again, Adele!

Twilight said...

Hi WWW ~~~ Laser treatment - that's something I should ask about. So far I haven't come across a site where it's mentioned, on-line, in relation to frozen shoulder syndrome. I don't understand the function of lasers - in eye problems I've seen how lasers can bring instant relief though. I'm not sure that laser function would be appropriate here but it's worth looking into.

One description I've read likened frozen shoulder to when a fine chain (as in jewellery) becomes knotted and tangled. Hard pulls and wrenches do nothing to untangle it, but gentle and constant effort in particular areas will gradually loosen the knots sufficiently to untangle the chain.

Thanks for the idea, WWW - I'll look inti it.

Tammy said...

Acupuncture has worked extremely well for my health issues. It's been around for 2,500 years, no point in doing something that long if it didn't work!

I hope you feel better whatever you choose!

Twilight said...

Hi Tammy - I have acupuncture on my list of things to investigate locally, if things don't improve.
I agree - after many centuries the process would have faded into obscurity if it had no value. In that respect it's rather like astrology. :-)

Thanks for the recommendation.

R J Adams said...

I can't find a reference to which shoulder is affected. If the right, then it is almost certainly due to 'mouse' action. I suffer from this periodically and it is most uncomfortable, though will tend to disappear over time, then reappear when least expected. If it is your left shoulder, it may be an effect from keyboard use, though I've not experienced a problem in that area. I recommend large quantities of Scotch whiskey (none of this US or Canadian rubbish) to numb the pain, and a husband to do the typing while you dictate (preferably prior to the whiskey, if you require coherence).

Whatever, I hope it clears up before long.
PS The stress of living in America is always a contributing factor with these ex-pat diseases.

Twilight said...

Hi RJ ~~~ thanks for your thoughts and wishes. It is my right shoulder, and mouse action almost certainly contributed to the problem, as well as, perhaps, always carrying my handbag on that shoulder - from school satchel through big bags when in fashion and smaller ones when not. :-)

I like your prescription - the Scotch (my favourite, and only, tipple) does help raise morale a little. Not sure about the husband doing my typing though -
he'd be (trying to)correct my sentence structure and! I like my writing to remain "warts and all", like me.