Living with frozen shoulder
When my right shoulder first started aching, about six months ago, I didn’t think much of it. I’ve got three daughters and spend a lot of time pulling Barbie dolls out from under the settee, so I thought I’d probably pulled a muscle. But as time went on, it got worse. I couldn’t move my shoulder in certain directions, so something as simple as reaching up to a shelf was difficult, and reaching into my back pocket was impossible.
After three months, I asked my GP about it and he referred me for physiotherapy. The physio diagnosed me straight away just by looking at me! I had a frozen shoulder. It’s where scar tissue forms around the shoulder muscles and ‘freezes’ them, making movement difficult. No one really knows what causes frozen shoulder, but I learned that the shoulder will normally ‘thaw out’ after about two years.
I had six weeks of physiotherapy, where I was taught exercises that I could do. One is where I imagine I’m holding a beach ball in the palm of my hand, and I have to move it around and behind my body. The exercises help loosen up the muscles again, encouraging them to unfreeze.
I take ibuprofen for the pain, but you can get stronger painkillers from your pharmacist. The important thing is not to give up and let your shoulder get lazy. That will only make it worse. Keep active, and it will go away!
Leslie Rampton, 41, Southampton