The Miracle of the Shoulder

I’ve been having serious pain in my shoulder for months. Aching pain while still, sharp shooting pain on movement. Seriously limited range of motion. I’ve stopped lifting weights to see if it would get better and it didn’t. So yesterday, I’m at my chiropractors, and I happened to mention the pain to him, casually (because the shoulder pain makes me move funny, so it sort of might be tied into what he does, right?) He did some simple tests and said it sounded like tendonitis. He told me that the new doctor at their practice had a new technique for dealing with soft-tissue injuries (which chiros don’t normally do). So he set me up with the new doc, after he adjusted my spine.

New doc poked and prodded and checked range of motion, then got out a roll of metal implements and started digging/scraping/poking at the tendons of the shoulder. Said he was breaking up nodules of scar tissue on the tendons which were keeping it from moving like it should.* Hurt like a mother! But after about 10 minutes, he had me do the range of motion thing again, and by gosh, I could move it further without pain! So then another 10 minutes of agonizing scraping/digging/poking, then another range of motion test. Oh, my gosh! I could move my shoulder in any way that a normal person should be able to, with hardly any pain at all! It’s not aching anymore, and I can pick things up, throw things, scratch my back, undo my bra, all those things, without pain! He told me to treat it as a normal healthy shoulder–don’t favor it, use the full range of motion, lift weights if I want to, and it’ll continue to get better, not worse! He said he could do another treatment when I go back to see my other doctor if I felt like I needed it, but that I very well might not.

So today, my shoulder is kinda muscle-sore from moving it and using it more than normal, and feels bruised all the hell and gone (though there are no visible bruises) but it doesn’t HURT! Yay!

*Yeah, that sounds vaguely quackish, but I ain’t arguing with results!

It sounds like the Graston technique, a form of soft tissue mobilization. There’s good experimental support for that sort of thing (for example).

Huh. So possibly not quackery after all. Thanks for the info–I had no idea what it was called.

Like I said, I’m not one to argue with results! Of course, I’m also not typically one to fall for placebo effects, either, so it must have done something good. I’m just so happy not to be in pain that I could almost cry.

(The oldest doctor there jokingly refers to the youngest doctor’s implements for this as his “Ginsu knives” :smiley: )

And after further research, I find this slideshow which shows how it’s all supposed to work!

That’s rather fascinating, isn’t it? Glad to hear you’re doing so much better.

I’ve had amazing results when adhesions in my hand were “popped” by a knowledgeable therapist post-surgery; my range of motion increased dramatically and instantaneously. So it doesn’t surprise me at all that this would work on your shoulder, too – I’m glad it was so helpful!

I’ve had this during PT for adhesions following surgery, too - and am currently working on some scar tissue and adhesions on my dog’s shoulder. (She feels much better, too!)

Glad to hear you are mobile!

TroubleAgain, I am currently in the middle of a bout of Frozen Shoulder (I did a thread on it this week) myself, and that treatment sounds altogether likely to me. It sounds like you were just about at Frozen Shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) stage yourself, and this type of treatment and keeping your shoulder very active might be able to prevent it. That said, they don’t actually know what causes frozen shoulder; it might have an autoimmune component. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in full recovery from your shoulder pain. I have never had pain in my life like that from Frozen Shoulder, and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody.

Interesting, featherlou. I’m betting there’s a genetic tendency, because my dad had Frozen Shoulder Syndrome a few years ago, and my brother seems to be experiencing the same thing now.

Well, that is interesting…

If I thought Frozen Shoulder was running in my family, I would do the exercises to keep my shoulders healthy without fail knowing what I know now. Unfortunately, they don’t know enough about what causes it yet, so I don’t know if that would be enough. It certainly would reduce the damage, though, I would say.

(An aside as an update to my own shoulder problem - I’ve been taking my anti-inflammatories and doing my exercises, and my shoulder is feeling much better. I don’t know if I was mis-diagnosed with Frozen Shoulder, or if it was just caught really early, so I’m bouncing back quickly. I’ll have to book a follow-up appointment and try to figure out what’s going on.)

Well, yay for feeling better! I am sore, but I think it’s from using my shoulder far more than I was doing. Also, it still hurts to sleep on that shoulder.

I use that technique a lot with tendonitis, but I did not realize there were special tools I could use. Must …have… tools
There are a few sure-fire ways to cause frozen shoulder, but some just sneak out of nowhere. Tendonitis can a be part, or a separate and isolated agony

Oooh, yes, I’m sure the help tremendously! :smiley: