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August 20, 2013

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Janet

Thanks Kathryn. I had a frozen shoulder many years ago and as you say it got better within two years. I was offered manipulation under anaesthetic but decided against. In recent years I have developed a more permanent shoulder problem which I am told shows signs of wear and tear. The advice given was to build up the muscles using rubber bands. I also find a big improvement when I don't eat wheat and gluten.I am still able to play tennis but find I have a dull ache in my upper arm afterwards. The worst thing is carrying heavy shopping and even sometimes walking letting my arms hang down causes the dull ache

Kathryn Merrow--The Pain Relief Coach

Dear Janet,

You are very welcome. Here are some thoughts: You may know I am a huge proponent of massage therapy so, yes, strengthen your whole shoulder, however, you may find that massage for the specific muscles involved in your tennis game may make a world of difference. I'm not talking about a lovely relaxation massage but about massage that is specifically for pain provided by a well-trained therapist.

We all have 'wear and tear' but we do not all have pain. That is a convenient excuse which may show up on x-rays but isn't necessarily the cause of our pain. The cause is more often muscles.

Many times a pain seems to be permanent but turns out to be temporary when the appropriate muscles are treated with manual/massage/hands-on therapy.

Since you know what causes your ache, please don't do it. :) If you can carry your bags like a football in the crook of your arm, it causes less weight on the shoulder.

Is part of your strengthening program to hike your shoulders and strengthen the muscles on the 'tops' of your shoulders? I suspect that may help (long-distance suspicion.)

I'm glad your frozen shoulder resolved itself naturally. The shoulder is a kind of sloppy joint and sometimes the bones and joint are actually the cause of pain or dysfunction but more often, it's muscles. :)

Kathryn

Janet

I think you are absolutely right Kathryn. When I was younger I could move the ball and socket joint in and out - just a little way. Some years ago when I was playing squash - I did an overhead smash and unbeknown to me my joint had just dislodged slightly. The pain was excruciating. My frozen shoulder seemed to appear shortly after that.

Most of the time I have full use of my joint I can do any moves with no problem then the tiniest little move can make me jump and it feels as though it has just dislodged a little and that is where the pain is coming from - it is almost like a weakness sensation. Building up the muscles would seem to be a sensible place for me to start.

I do try to carry my shopping as you suggested and even just bending my arm a little seems to help - but again my muscles are quite weak!!!

Kathryn Merrow--The Pain Relief Coach

Hi Janet,

There is something called a trigger point. These develop in muscles that are unhappy (i.e., when overstretched.) A trigger point can cause weakness as well as pain (the pain is often at a distance, sometimes a great distance.)

If you notice the weakness in the one shoulder only, it could be a trigger point(s) in a muscle. If you notice the weakness in BOTH shoulders, strengthening them will help. :)

By the way, I used to have a 'sloppy' shoulder joint, perhaps from some childhood injury, but years of doing massage have built up the muscles around that joint and it stopped slipping out of place years ago.

Kathryn

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