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Shoulder Tendonitis/Bursitis


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#1 ThisIsMelissa

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:05 AM

I'm too young to have these kinds of issues!

Since I got my wheel at home, I'm noticing that my right shoulder has an ache.... kinda right inside the joint and sometimes the dull pain goes down to my elbow.

I'm 100% certain it's related to more time on the wheel. I asked my friend, an orthopedist's assistant, about it, she said it was probably tendonitis/bursitis of that shoulder tendon/bursa.... But there's not a lot that can be done, short of surgery, which I'm not anywhere close to needing.... that, and NSAID pain relievers (Advil does help).

Surely, some of you all suffer from the same issues. Does anyone know any exercises that can help reduce stress on that joint? I'd rather not grow reliant on Advil. I don't like to take meds if I don't have to, and would prefer a more proactive route to helping with this.

Suggestions?

#2 Dharsi

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:50 PM

Surely, some of you all suffer from the same issues. Does anyone know any exercises that can help reduce stress on that joint? I'd rather not grow reliant on Advil. I don't like to take meds if I don't have to, and would prefer a more proactive route to helping with this.

Suggestions?


First, find a great orthopedist. I have one and it has made a world of difference for me. You certainly do NOT need surgery if you just have bursitis. A well placed shot of cortisone and physical therapy will do the trick. The trick is to find a great doc. Mine works on the Portland Ballet troupe and a few sports teams. His shots are painless! I can't say the same for other ninnies I have seen. Good luck, do your pt and find an orthopedist that isn't a surgeon!





#3 Ghilayne

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 06:43 PM

I had a similar injury at 30 years old. After multiple trips to the Dr and finally deciding to take the cortisone shot, I asked if that'd cure the problem. When the Dr. said no I decided to live with it without the shot.
A friend of mine told me that a mutual friend had studied to be a chiropractor but hadn't set up shop. The guy popped my arm back into the socket and it started getting better immediately.
Remember, your doctor will never EVER recommend a chiropractor, but it helped me immensely.

#4 Pres

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:11 AM

I'm too young to have these kinds of issues!

Since I got my wheel at home, I'm noticing that my right shoulder has an ache.... kinda right inside the joint and sometimes the dull pain goes down to my elbow.

I'm 100% certain it's related to more time on the wheel. I asked my friend, an orthopedist's assistant, about it, she said it was probably tendonitis/bursitis of that shoulder tendon/bursa.... But there's not a lot that can be done, short of surgery, which I'm not anywhere close to needing.... that, and NSAID pain relievers (Advil does help).

Surely, some of you all suffer from the same issues. Does anyone know any exercises that can help reduce stress on that joint? I'd rather not grow reliant on Advil. I don't like to take meds if I don't have to, and would prefer a more proactive route to helping with this.

Suggestions?


I exercise on a regular basis, pull ups, chin ups, neutrals. push ups, side plank dips and planks and total gym type machine workouts. In October I dropped during pull ups, and tore my left shoulder pretty bad. I had no strength, could not lift my arm over my head, had problems with putting on coats, shirts etc. I stopped doing the pull up type exercises completely, lowered the angle on the machine to the lowest, for the arm exercises and continued to work out on it. I also did the push ups every other night as usual. By February I was raising the machine angle, and starting pull ups again. Ice helped in the beginning with inflammation, but in the end the movements of the machine at a lower level helped a lot.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#5 Marla - Estudio M

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:25 AM

I'm too young to have these kinds of issues!

Since I got my wheel at home, I'm noticing that my right shoulder has an ache.... kinda right inside the joint and sometimes the dull pain goes down to my elbow.

I'm 100% certain it's related to more time on the wheel. I asked my friend, an orthopedist's assistant, about it, she said it was probably tendonitis/bursitis of that shoulder tendon/bursa.... But there's not a lot that can be done, short of surgery, which I'm not anywhere close to needing.... that, and NSAID pain relievers (Advil does help).

Surely, some of you all suffer from the same issues. Does anyone know any exercises that can help reduce stress on that joint? I'd rather not grow reliant on Advil. I don't like to take meds if I don't have to, and would prefer a more proactive route to helping with this.

Suggestions?


Hi Melissa, coincidentally, I had shoulder surgery in November, 2011, due to the same maladies you have. You need to ice your shoulder. There are exercises that you can do; however, I suggest that you stop for a little while, as it won't get better unless you treat it. Also, make sure you are using your arms and hands properly while using the wheel. If you are not, even though you think so, it can harm you. Please take care of it now, because it will get worse. I of course, had a tear on my shoulder, which did not help. After surgery, 4 months ago, I am still on physical therapy and I am still have bursitis, tendonitis and a tear somewhere else. The doctor wants me to lay low for some time, therefore I can't use the wheel yet, and someone is helping me with the alb roller, etc. Ibuoproferin or Nsaid medication helps with inflammation, but most importantly, you need to lay low for a while. Ice it and look in the internet for exercises you can do at home. If it continues, please go and see a doctor. As you had said, you are too young. It will not get better!

#6 BruceM

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:14 PM

Hi Melissa Please try accupuncture. I've been potting for over thirty years and have had this ailment and others. I tried acupuncture for tendonitis problems and after five one hour sessions over a period of two weeks I was cured, what a relief! I would also suggest seeing a massage therapist. May I recommend a stretching exercise book as well: Stretching by Bob Anderson. Good luck

#7 Lucille Oka

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:42 AM

Change that repetitive motion. Try using other methods of clay construction that will aliviate over use of the same joint and muscle action. This may be a good time to explore handbuilding, sketching designs, and maybe mold and model making.
John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#8 Karen B

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:17 PM

I had this problem 7 yrs ago. It got to the point that I couldn't lift my right arm without extreme pain then the left arm since I was overtaxing it. There was a happy ending. I tried chiropractor, acupuncture, yoga, orthopedist and the cortisone shot to no avail. Finally I went to a wonderful and knowledgeable Physical Therapist. ( I also went to a terrible one first). He saved me from having to get surgery. He gently helped me get full range of motion back by gently moving the arms and then gave me exercises which I still do to this day. I wonder if you are pushing your shoulders forward (sort of a hunched position) which stresses them. Don't wait like I did, get help, get strong.

#9 Lucille Oka

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:09 PM

Don't wait like I did, get help, get strong.


I agree with you Karen, Melissa shouldn't wait to get help. And Melissa do not fear that you will not be able to continue making ceramics. Here is a short history lesson-
Josiah Wedgwood was a potter since he had been a child. He apprenticed in his father's pottery. He used to throw on a kick wheel. Years later it became impossible for him to continue potting this way, his knees could no longer kick the wheel and he also had to walk with a cane, but he found another way to make his pottery. He started using molds, hired sculptors, potters, modellers etc., and he developed the first mass produced industrial pottery making system in England. So you don't have to stop working altogether you just need a different method until you get healed.

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

#10 LawPots

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:59 AM

I'm too young to have these kinds of issues!

Since I got my wheel at home, I'm noticing that my right shoulder has an ache.... kinda right inside the joint and sometimes the dull pain goes down to my elbow.

I'm 100% certain it's related to more time on the wheel. I asked my friend, an orthopedist's assistant, about it, she said it was probably tendonitis/bursitis of that shoulder tendon/bursa.... But there's not a lot that can be done, short of surgery, which I'm not anywhere close to needing.... that, and NSAID pain relievers (Advil does help).

. . .


When I was a music major, it was clear to me that repetitive stress injuries are no joke, and need to be addressed. When i played, I had a tendinitis problem that led to numbness in my right pinky. Not good. My doctor gave me strengthing extercises, and i tried to reduce the pressure on my wrist. I've not played in years, I think this is partly due to the pain I had. In pottery, when I began to get pain in my left wrist (when centering) I wasted no time in changing my centering technique.

But, I want to bring something up, here, about your post that strikes me as familiar. I know a couple of relatively young musicians that thought they had joint pain and bursitis from playing (in their fingers in one case, and back and shoulder pain in the case of my wife) that turned out to be something completely different. It was a wheat allergy.

Why do I bring this up?
1. You say you're too young (30s? 40s?) - bursitis and athritis isn't so common amoung younger people. So why jump to that?
2. You are 100% certain it's your time on the wheel, but these musicians were 100% certain it was their time playing. They played all the time - of course that what it was; until, they found out it wasn't.
3. You sound like you haven't actually gone in for a diagnosis . . .

Good luck with this, obviously. Acupuncture works on horses, after all; physical therapy has plenty of success stories; even changing your techniques might solve your issue. But I suggest that you try to get a diagnosis from an experienced doctor. (Oh, if you quit eating wheat (bread, cookies, processed foods, ect.) for two weeks, and the pain goes away, that's probabbly the cause. No kidding.)

#11 Dinah

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:41 PM

LawPots and others have some very good advice, especially about eliminating white flour, ALL dairy products too which I can't stress highly enough, refined sugar, processed foods from diet. Cook from scratch, keep salt down. I also take aloe vera juice extract supplement -- going on for two years now daily mixed with porridge oats or stirred into something else like soup. I've eliminated a debilitating nagging hip/joint pain. I'm no longer walking with a hitched gait. Can go up and down stairs without rail clutch! Generally feel good. I'm 70 now and expect some symptoms of the wheels falling off, but keep exercising -- I walk daily rain or shine with dog a couple of miles. Aloe vera is my only supplement. I also recently popped leg extentions on my wheel around Christmas as I'd picked up a sciatica nerve nag in left buttock and thought standing would assist which it did, but it's passed and the other day went back to normal seated position. Be flexible.

A great many folks are continuing to work and function, very nicely thank you very much, with far more diabolical conditions than cited in these posts. I've no direct knowledge of treatment other than tylenol/paracetemol or aloe vera juice, but I know which one I prefer ingesting for my allotted days. I've an innate suspicion of hocus pocus -- read as the passing of hands over body etc., etc. -- and just want to make pots and feel good.
Dinah
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#12 DianeA

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:56 AM

I'm too young to have these kinds of issues!

Since I got my wheel at home, I'm noticing that my right shoulder has an ache.... kinda right inside the joint and sometimes the dull pain goes down to my elbow.

I'm 100% certain it's related to more time on the wheel. I asked my friend, an orthopedist's assistant, about it, she said it was probably tendonitis/bursitis of that shoulder tendon/bursa.... But there's not a lot that can be done, short of surgery, which I'm not anywhere close to needing.... that, and NSAID pain relievers (Advil does help).

Surely, some of you all suffer from the same issues. Does anyone know any exercises that can help reduce stress on that joint? I'd rather not grow reliant on Advil. I don't like to take meds if I don't have to, and would prefer a more proactive route to helping with this.

Suggestions?


Occupational Therapists are trained in upper body anatomy and kinesiology, and furthermore are trained in task analysis. I recommend a consultation with an Occupational Therapist, particularly one who is also a Certified Hand Therapist. The OT can design a home exercise program for you and can make recommendations about either changing your environment (changing the seat height, therefore different ergonomics?) and/or changing your body mechanics. A doctor's referral is necessary for an OT visit. Occupational Therapy has its roots in crafts, so an OT will have a deep appreciation for what you do.

#13 claydog

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:58 AM

I'm too young to have these kinds of issues!

Since I got my wheel at home, I'm noticing that my right shoulder has an ache.... kinda right inside the joint and sometimes the dull pain goes down to my elbow.

I'm 100% certain it's related to more time on the wheel. I asked my friend, an orthopedist's assistant, about it, she said it was probably tendonitis/bursitis of that shoulder tendon/bursa.... But there's not a lot that can be done, short of surgery, which I'm not anywhere close to needing.... that, and NSAID pain relievers (Advil does help).

Surely, some of you all suffer from the same issues. Does anyone know any exercises that can help reduce stress on that joint? I'd rather not grow reliant on Advil. I don't like to take meds if I don't have to, and would prefer a more proactive route to helping with this.

Suggestions?


Take action now, don't wait. I encourage you to 1) get an MRI of your shoulder so you can really find out what is going on, and 2) seek physical therapy/rehab before considering surgery. And definitely get a second opinion before having any kind of surgery. The shoulder is an extremely complex joint so be careful who you let hack on it! At the very least you need to rest your shoulder by laying off the wedging and throwing for a while. Believe me, that is a way better option that getting to where I am now! I am past 50 and have lost half the cartilage in my right shoulder. Cartilage on the joint surface does not grow back. I started having shoulder pain in my early 30s. I used to just ignore the pain and keep on going, and that's why I have all the damage now. Now I am looking at a total shoulder replacement in five years, or sooner--whenever I just can't stand the pain anymore. I can't wedge or throw without extreme discomfort, so hand building is what I do. I love it, but I miss having the full range of creative options. NSAIDs are not a good long-term solution because they are extremely hard on your liver. In hindsight I really wish I had sought the help of a physical therapist early on. I have learned that usually chronic pain like that is caused by a combination of repetitive motion, unrelieved muscle tightness and lack of flexibility. Think about how much time you spend in a position with both arms in front of you, squeezing your chest together, putting pressure upwards into your shoulder joint. There are lots of exercises and stretches you can learn from a physical therapist that will help you combat the problem--BEFORE you lose basic joint integrity like I have.

#14 claydog

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:04 AM


I'm too young to have these kinds of issues!

Since I got my wheel at home, I'm noticing that my right shoulder has an ache.... kinda right inside the joint and sometimes the dull pain goes down to my elbow.

I'm 100% certain it's related to more time on the wheel. I asked my friend, an orthopedist's assistant, about it, she said it was probably tendonitis/bursitis of that shoulder tendon/bursa.... But there's not a lot that can be done, short of surgery, which I'm not anywhere close to needing.... that, and NSAID pain relievers (Advil does help).

Surely, some of you all suffer from the same issues. Does anyone know any exercises that can help reduce stress on that joint? I'd rather not grow reliant on Advil. I don't like to take meds if I don't have to, and would prefer a more proactive route to helping with this.

Suggestions?


Take action now, don't wait. I encourage you to 1) get an MRI of your shoulder so you can really find out what is going on, and 2) seek physical therapy/rehab before considering surgery. And definitely get a second opinion before having any kind of surgery. The shoulder is an extremely complex joint so be careful who you let hack on it! At the very least you need to rest your shoulder by laying off the wedging and throwing for a while. Believe me, that is a way better option that getting to where I am now! I am past 50 and have lost half the cartilage in my right shoulder. Cartilage on the joint surface does not grow back. I started having shoulder pain in my early 30s. I used to just ignore the pain and keep on going, and that's why I have all the damage now. Now I am looking at a total shoulder replacement in five years, or sooner--whenever I just can't stand the pain anymore. I can't wedge or throw without extreme discomfort, so hand building is what I do. I love it, but I miss having the full range of creative options. NSAIDs are not a good long-term solution because they are extremely hard on your liver. In hindsight I really wish I had sought the help of a physical therapist early on. I have learned that usually chronic pain like that is caused by a combination of repetitive motion, unrelieved muscle tightness and lack of flexibility. Think about how much time you spend in a position with both arms in front of you, squeezing your chest together, putting pressure upwards into your shoulder joint. There are lots of exercises and stretches you can learn from a physical therapist that will help you combat the problem--BEFORE you lose basic joint integrity like I have.


In some states, like my own of Idaho, it is NOT necessary to see a doctor before you see an OT or PT. But I recommend that you see a shoulder specialist first so you can get the imaging necessary to know what is happening inside your shoulder. Xrays will not show soft tissue damage effectively; an MRI is the best option, but if you're young you'll have to insist on that to get it. (Wish I had insisted!!!) If you're not sure what doctors are good in your area, call around to the PT/OT offices and ask for recommendations. They know who is good and whose patients recover more quickly.

#15 yedrow

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:17 AM

When I started throwing pots we measured our pugged clay and cut it with a knife. Two inches equalled a pound. After doing this for about a year I developed De Quervain's in my right thumb tendon (I later met a chef who had the same problem). I took a shot about every five months, after the pain became unendurable. The problem with the shot is that it, "frays," the tendon and can rupture it. Bigger tendons can take it better, but smaller tendons not so much. After three or four years of that I got the operation, and it was a great decision.

Beyond my thumb I get tennis elbow (tendonitis), and bursitis (fluid on the bursa, on the top of the shoulder) from time to time. I have found though that I seem to be allergic to some foods and that the real problem is general inflammation that makes tolerable stresses intolerable. Some doctors are in fact suggesting that heart problems from cholesterol buildup are caused by arterial inflammation.

For me, and I underscore the 'me', I think that a diet that is lower in wheat, especially processed wheat, reduces inflammation. But, it seems that exercise and stretching are good ways to stave off tendonitis in a more directly attributable sense. A good half-hour walk a day seems to help my body deal with inflammation better. That being said, winter weather seems to also aggravate the issue.

Also, if you don't, you may consider throwing with your elbows as close to your body as you can keep them. Good posture at the wheel is a must. And, if your stomach can take it, the anti-inflammatory Diclofenac is a miracle drug. If you can't get a script then Ibuprofen can help.

As for taking a break, what breaks I could take never helped me. But, if I take much of a break from pottery I stop being a potter. If I stop being a potter then I can't pay my bills. So I just work through it. Bursitis seems to fix itself, and sometimes tennis elbow does too (some of the greatest pain I've ever experienced was from a cortisone shot in the elbow, and I've had an abscessed tooth!!!) .

I hope some of that helped, and I hope you get to feeling better. Making pots when you are in pain is no fun.

#16 Pres

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:41 AM

When I started throwing pots we measured our pugged clay and cut it with a knife. Two inches equalled a pound. After doing this for about a year I developed De Quervain's in my right thumb tendon (I later met a chef who had the same problem). I took a shot about every five months, after the pain became unendurable. The problem with the shot is that it, "frays," the tendon and can rupture it. Bigger tendons can take it better, but smaller tendons not so much. After three or four years of that I got the operation, and it was a great decision.

Beyond my thumb I get tennis elbow (tendonitis), and bursitis (fluid on the bursa, on the top of the shoulder) from time to time. I have found though that I seem to be allergic to some foods and that the real problem is general inflammation that makes tolerable stresses intolerable. Some doctors are in fact suggesting that heart problems from cholesterol buildup are caused by arterial inflammation.

For me, and I underscore the 'me', I think that a diet that is lower in wheat, especially processed wheat, reduces inflammation. But, it seems that exercise and stretching are good ways to stave off tendonitis in a more directly attributable sense. A good half-hour walk a day seems to help my body deal with inflammation better. That being said, winter weather seems to also aggravate the issue.

Also, if you don't, you may consider throwing with your elbows as close to your body as you can keep them. Good posture at the wheel is a must. And, if your stomach can take it, the anti-inflammatory Diclofenac is a miracle drug. If you can't get a script then Ibuprofen can help.

As for taking a break, what breaks I could take never helped me. But, if I take much of a break from pottery I stop being a potter. If I stop being a potter then I can't pay my bills. So I just work through it. Bursitis seems to fix itself, and sometimes tennis elbow does too (some of the greatest pain I've ever experienced was from a cortisone shot in the elbow, and I've had an abscessed tooth!!!) .

I hope some of that helped, and I hope you get to feeling better. Making pots when you are in pain is no fun.


We should also realize that much of what we think of as tendonitis is now being diagnosed as tendonosis. Tendonosis is characterized by a degeneration of the tendons. More specifically, it is caused by a degeneration of the fibrous material known as collagen, from which tendons are made. Tendonitis is caused by an inflammation of the tendons, typically caused by a sprain where the muscles of the body connect to the bones. Tendonosis usually occurs in older individuals after years of repeated activity, and can be quite debilitating. Whereas Tendonitis is more easily taken care of with anti inflammatory techniques. New presurgical techniques are being used to treat early stages of tendonosis that should help many individuals. The main point here is to see a specialist that is up to date on the treatment of joint/tendon pain and treatment.



Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#17 Wendy Durand

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:44 AM

I'm too young to have these kinds of issues!

Since I got my wheel at home, I'm noticing that my right shoulder has an ache.... kinda right inside the joint and sometimes the dull pain goes down to my elbow.

I'm 100% certain it's related to more time on the wheel. I asked my friend, an orthopedist's assistant, about it, she said it was probably tendonitis/bursitis of that shoulder tendon/bursa.... But there's not a lot that can be done, short of surgery, which I'm not anywhere close to needing.... that, and NSAID pain relievers (Advil does help).

Surely, some of you all suffer from the same issues. Does anyone know any exercises that can help reduce stress on that joint? I'd rather not grow reliant on Advil. I don't like to take meds if I don't have to, and would prefer a more proactive route to helping with this.

Suggestions?


google "shoulder exercises" and start doing them! they help.

#18 Pittenweem Pottery

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:13 PM

Hi Melissa, I'm glad I saw this post. You have a lot of ideas here too being thrown at you - so there is only one thing you can do - Evaluate the suggestions and make a plan.

I have the same pain in my shoulder, radiating down to my elbow and wrist. I was sure what was causing it. My Doc says the rotator cuff joint is loose and may be trapping a nerve. I felt at times as if it were coming out of the socket. The very fact that you have gone onto the web to write about this tells me you have the same habits as myself, which may indicate that you have poor posture at the PC - or, the chair/desk and monitor is not set up for you. I also play flamenco and at times it is impossible. So I have at least three things that could be causing the injury / pain.

One member has suggested "Stretching" and this was prescribed to me also and it helps - but I still have the pain. On Cortisone, the facts are that it may or may not work for you. sometimes the body cannot repair itself - get rid of the inflammation and it needs a helping hand (Cortisone) and you could have Cortisone three times before it works properly. And the sad fact is, that if it doesn't work after three shots (sessions) the doc may give up on it ever helping you. Posture will be the number one thing you need to be aware of from now and stretching. Animals stretch naturally - everyday. We should do it. Also, gentle movements. Part of the therapy can be done with someone assisting your arm to elevate and rotate. That way, you leave them to do all the work. But theses are not jerky movements, but slow and gentle. The point is to get your arm into a position it hasn't been used to. Pain is a warning and we should heed it to a point. There is no point in taking pain killers that are so powerful that they kill the pain and then you work like crazy causing more damage. We take painkillers and respect the injury.

I'm finding I can't sleep because of the pain, so I use a pillow to support my right arm. This helps.

So, all though you are sure it's your wheel that has caused the problem it could be RSI as a result of your daily activities including throwing pots. Tendons are almost sure to be a big part of the pain. Tendonitis/bursitis can be checked out, but my experience is that these don't really heal, they just behave better if you give them more respect. Some things that we do in life cause tendons to shorten, so we need to try and lengthen them by stretches. On my youtube site you'll see a series of videos called "Exercises for Drummers/Guitarist" and you'll find these helpful. In fact, that just reminded me that I also played the drums when the pain first got bad, but I've not played drums for over a year and the pain is still with me. (not as bad though) http://www.youtube.c...00?feature=mhee

Thanks for the post and I hope you can get relief somehow and perhaps report back.
Kind Regards - Steve



#19 QRP

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:43 PM

Before getting shots, which are quite painful and may provide only temporary relief, find a good physical therapist. Besides getting help for the problem now, you'll learn exercises you can continue doing so as to stay pain-free in the future.

#20 Idaho Potter

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:10 PM

I'm checking in here because I had a similar problem and had the MRI done. I believe the doctor's comment was your shoulder is a mess. It was, but I suggest--unless you need emergency surgery-- you try ALL alternatives before considering surgery. My injury came about by taking down a box from a high shelf that was really too heavy and I tore my bicep. When you feel something rolling up in your upper arm like an old window shade, you seek medical help. Turns out that if you can't get surgery done within 24 hours (something like that) it doesn't make any difference.

Not knowing what to expect, I realize--now-- I should have asked people who had had surgery what some of the problems turned out to be. I live by myself. You really need to have someone there to help out. You spend two to three weeks with your arm strapped to your side to prevent movement. That means anything that takes two hands, you are unable to do. Sleeping is another problem, I couldn't lay down. Spent almost two months sitting up all night. A recliner helps--if you don't have to operate a lever with your injured arm. A friend's husband had shoulder surgery, couldn't use the lever because it was on the right side of chair, and she also didn't get much sleep because if he needed to get up, she had to manipulate the chair.

After all this, I kept trying to find out how I could have circumvented some of the pain and maybe recovered sooner. A friend of my college aged grandson sent me this list and it was--in his estimation--in the order of importance:

1. Have live-in girlfriend.
2. Have recliner with auto controls.
3. Order in all foodstuffs for all meals.
4. Have lots of pain meds.
5. Have plenty of friends to give you rides.
6. Have lots of button-up shirts (impossible to get T-shirts on).

Only 4 & 5 fit my situation, so La-La-Land was my home for several months. The worst part was that--at my age--the tendons and muscles that get stretched don't necessarily snap back anymore. I'll never be able to reach over my head to do things like getting stuff down from a high shelf or changing a light bulb in a ceiling fixture.

There are lots of exercises that will rehabilitate your shoulder and a good physical therapist is a great starting point. I still do exercises utilizing the shoulder pulley. I may not be able to raise my arm by itself, but the pulley allows me to get it raised by using my other arm.

Get a diagnosis so at least you'll know what choices are available to you. Not knowing is far worse than any pain you may have, because you don't know what your next move should be.




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