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Has anyone had experience of a rotator cuff injury? I'm suffering at the moment. I didn't do it dancing - I fell in a rather humiliating way on ice  - and although my lower back is now better my arm is definitely not. I don't think it's a big tear but it's uncomfortable enough and I can't sleep comfortably,  lift things off a high shelf or fasten my bra. Anyway, I have a physio appointment tomorrow but I wanted to hear from anyone with a dance-specific experience. I can just about manage balletic ports de bras if I'm very careful and keep my arms on the low side but Free Movement (arms straight above head) and character (that Hungarian pose with hand to nape) are both out of the question. I have my Grade 7 exam in 10 weeks and I'm hoping it will be better in time.

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So sorry to hear of your injury. Painful. I totally understand and sympathise. 
Have you seen an orthopaedic consultant for the injury prior to engaging in physio? It’s unclear from your post. It is imperative that all other injuries are eliminated before any further activities are entered into. When I injured my shoulder in a similar fall but on dry/warm land  the hospital only treated the location of the pain which actually masked the the true source of the injury that I had sustained. It’s taken a very long time to get to where I am today. 
Physio will reduce the risk of developing Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder). This condition can sometimes result in more pain than the original injury but the physio must be full aware of the extent of the injury and to what degree. Superficial will recover over time  without surgical intervention. Severe tear could require surgery. Not all physio exercises are suitable for injuries to the shoulder.     
Please Please Please see a qualified Consultant preferably a specialist in shoulders to ensure a full and accurate diagnosis. 
 

Edited by balletbean
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I am suffering from the very same thing The Red Shoes right now! 

Ive had no fall since my one last August and this came on in early November and I don't know why.

At first it wasn't too bad but by mid December was severely affecting my left arm so can't lift it higher than 90 degrees in any direction....slightly less at the side. 

Ive seen my osteopath twice but if it doesn't show any sign of improvement in a couple of weeks then been advised to get a referral from GP because a physio needs to know what they are dealing with as some exercises can aggravate it. 

Its so annoying ...as well as painful ..  as my foot has improved enough to consider driving again but now this 'injury' as it is the left arm means I can't change gear with it so still can't drive. 

Ive tried using 10 percent Ibuleve gel and rubbing that in or I use the Ibuprofen leventhemol which is quite soothing for a while but am not sure if I've now irritated it further so this week am going to try with no painkiller relief. 

At the mo the Osteo thinks it's just an inflamed rotator cuff so not sure if has a tear or not but I can only assume Ive stressed it using the crutches back in August September October. I'm now crutch free completely with the foot but this shoulder is giving me more gip than the ankle now 😢 

I have read it can take 2-4 months to get better if just inflamed but a friend of mine ended up having to have injections. The fist one lasted three months and completely reduced the pain then she had another one which cleared it up completely but still took some months.

As you have your exam coming up it may be best to go to GP now and maybe if it's not too serious they could allow you to have an injection if it's still painful nearer the time. I certainly could not contemplate an exam with my shoulder as it is now anyway.

Whether serious tear or not this condition is very painful so hoping yours recovers sooner rather than later 😊

 

 

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29 minutes ago, LinMM said:

I am suffering from the very same thing The Red Shoes right now! 

Ive had no fall since my one last August and this came on in early November and I don't know why.

At first it wasn't too bad but by mid December was severely affecting my left arm so can't lift it higher than 90 degrees in any direction....slightly less at the side. 

Ive seen my osteopath twice but if it doesn't show any sign of improvement in a couple of weeks then been advised to get a referral from GP because a physio needs to know what they are dealing with as some exercises can aggravate it. 

Its so annoying ...as well as painful ..  as my foot has improved enough to consider driving again but now this 'injury' as it is the left arm means I can't change gear with it so still can't drive. 

Ive tried using 10 percent Ibuleve gel and rubbing that in or I use the Ibuprofen leventhemol which is quite soothing for a while but am not sure if I've now irritated it further so this week am going to try with no painkiller relief. 

At the mo the Osteo thinks it's just an inflamed rotator cuff so not sure if has a tear or not but I can only assume Ive stressed it using the crutches back in August September October. I'm now crutch free completely with the foot but this shoulder is giving me more gip than the ankle now 😢 

I have read it can take 2-4 months to get better if just inflamed but a friend of mine ended up having to have injections. The fist one lasted three months and completely reduced the pain then she had another one which cleared it up completely but still took some months.

As you have your exam coming up it may be best to go to GP now and maybe if it's not too serious they could allow you to have an injection if it's still painful nearer the time. I certainly could not contemplate an exam with my shoulder as it is now anyway.

Whether serious tear or not this condition is very painful so hoping yours recovers sooner rather than later 😊

 

 

Hi. Your lack of movement sounds as if you’ve developed a Frozen Shoulder. A GP can’t help except refer you to the Ortho team at your local hospital. 2-4 months is a fairly conservative time frame for a recovery. Can be more like 6months, however that’s if treatment is consistent otherwise symptoms can go on for years 😢

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The GP can refer you to have a scan though so can see exactly what you are dealing with. Am not sure if the physio/ Osteo can do this without sending you to GP first? 

 

I'm not sure what a frozen shoulder is but I didn't have one last Thursday when went for treatment!! It has been roughly the same for the last month though now. 

Ive got quite good movement in the shoulder as a whole ....Eg can circle them in both directions etc etc it is directly connected to two main movements....lifting the arm stretched out ...and holding it there for any length of time and the same sideways so would be difficult to hold my arms in second position for any length of time say and at the moment ....couldn't get my arm up to 5th position at the mo. 

The other awkward movement is reaching across the body and trying to touch the other shoulder. The main and original pain is in the inside of the shoulder joint on the front. 

 

As it happens I'm still under the hospital for my foot as am attending a series of classes for the next six weeks to help keep that improving. The physio there gave me a form last week and told me I could refer direct to them for my shoulder if I wanted to any time in the next six weeks. But to be honest if it was showing no signs of improvement in by the end of Jan I would be wanting a scan. 

I don't feel it can be hugely serious though as there is no substantial injury there .....haven't exactly been hitting 100mph tennis serves down the court!! As this can be known as tennis shoulder! And before my accident in August have been reasonably active doing three ballet classes a week and yoga and Pilates once a week etc. But no violent type exercise. 

The biggest drag at mo is not being able to drive ....or at least not safely in my view. So haven't driven the car since the end of July😢😢

The longest break I've ever had ....hope I haven't forgotten how to do it 🙄!  

 

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A frozen shoulder develops over time when the joint is not exposed to its full range of movements. 

” The bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement” 

 

My injury started off as a niggling pain/discomfort after a fall. Started off at GP then the Hospital ortho team. As I too didn’t think it could be that hugely serious but it wasn’t until I saw a Specialist Shoulder Consultant that he diagnosed the full extent of the damage. The general ortho team has missed it for over 10 months. Sorry to sound so negative but after what I have experienced over a long period of time I can’t emphasise enough about seeking specialist advice care and attention for any injury. 

 

 

Edited by balletbean

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Oh yes entirely agree!

Have spent this afternoon reading up the difference between rotator cuff injury/inflammation and a frozen shoulder. 

Im still trying to convince myself that it hasn't developed into the frozen shoulder yet but my arm is definitely weaker than it was amonth ago 😳

Im seeing the Osteo on Friday and have some gentle exercises to do which I think are meant to stop it going to a frozen shoulder etc. 

I haven't used any painkiller since yesterday evening and to be honest it's not a lot worse than when I was using the gel. I've read taking painkillers for more than about a week for a longer term injury is counter productive in the end so will see if I can get through the night without anything .....have changed to a more natural Glucosamine and Turmeric and Arnica recipe and see how that goes! You are right though that it can take anything from 6 months to two years to get better 😩

 

As it happens in my reading today I've come across this shoulder clinic in Covent Garden in the Piazza ( no.30) so may give that a look over on Wednesday when I'm up in that area for piano tuition to see how expensive they are 😬 probably extortionate but can look anyway just to see what they're about. 

At the moment I can still play the piano as not at a high level ....both ability and arm height wise ....can imagine a bit of Rachmaninov might do it in though!! 

I was feeling so positive before this came on though ...as foot was much better ...not normal yet but doing okay and in the right direction. I used to feel ten years younger than my age but these days feel ten years older 😢

 

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I hear you, Lin! I do too since I broke my knee. I’m not allowed to kneel on it anymore and I forgot for about three seconds yesterday when I knelt on our lovely soft bed. My left knee has been telling me for the past 36 hours that it was not a smart move.

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Oh Lin, how rotten for you, just when your foot is getting better. Isn't it dreadful when you're an active oldie and then something happens and suddenly you can't do the things that are such a big part of our lives and of what is keeping us young? I managed my exam prep lesson today, just substituting 1st position for 5th and 3rd for 4th and at least I can work on everything else. I'm not taking any pain killers at all. If i remember not to make movements that I shouldn't then it doesn't hurt  and if I do then it burns/aches for some minutes after the aaagh! moment but then quietens down again. I can manage 2nd position fine and even arabesque and I can lift and carry things and push them as long as they are no higher than a little over waist height. However my sleep is very disrupted as I just can't find a comfortable position and there's all kinds of odd things that are difficult  (putting my hair up,  getting my arm into a sleeve).

 

I shall ask the physio tomorrow if I really should be seeing a doctor. And I'll need a doctor's certificate if I need to defer my exam : (

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I know that 'aaaagh' moment! A few days ago I suddenly sneezed without warning and that caused one of those moments!! It's just agony for about 1-2 mins. I'm actually getting less of those at the moment. Mine used to be like that ....it only hurt when I did certain movements etc but now there's a sort of dull ache around the shoulder and upper arm most of the time. But I've decided that it's better to get used to it than keep masking it for a while. It is sort of bearable but awkward putting on t-shirts...especially if body is damp!! 

I want to try to go swimming on Thursday....doggy paddle and breast stroke should be okay ....but I'm sure the exercise supported in the water will be beneficial to keep the whole shoulder moving. I need to find a blouse which will be easy to do up! 

Im sure mine is a combination of the crutches and actually being really inactive for a few months .....sitting or lying around in the Autumn!! 

Good luck at the physio tomorrow I hope you can get some gentle exercises which will help it a bit. Apparently the GP doesn't always send you for a scan as if you can get  to see a shoulder expert they can tell with various movement tests what's going on  ( not sure how they work out the exact extent of any tear you may have which a scan would show of course 🤔

 

 

 

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I had a frozen shoulder a couple of years ago (in my early 50s)  which I  initially mistook for a rotor cuff tear. It took over a year to get back to (almost) normal movement - I was told this was the usual timeframe. I do believe injections can be offered to help improve movement (unfortunately I wasn’t eligible due to the risk of infection with a compromised immune system so I had the long haul option of physio treatment and daily exercises) Hope you both recover quickly and get back to your beloved activities! 

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Sorry to hear that cluelessmomma glad it's better now though.

How long did it stay in the acute stage ....where you could hardly lift your arm above shoulder height? 

 

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6 hours ago, LinMM said:

Sorry to hear that cluelessmomma glad it's better now though.

How long did it stay in the acute stage ....where you could hardly lift your arm above shoulder height? 

 

It was for a little over 6 months, Lin! 

Edited by Cluelessmomma

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Well the physio was very positive. It seems to be the infraspinatus and some bursitis but she's hopeful as I gained measurable improvements in range of movement after manipulation and passive stretching. I could even do a nice 5th position! So I have to use the kind of strategies I have already been doing to avoid pain and irritation and I have some very gentle exercises to do to start with to maintain/increase mobility while avoiding irritation. This will be followed by further stretches and strengthening once it's all calmed down a bit. She wants to see me again next week. She's aware of my exam, the kind of movements I need to be able to do and the time frame and hopes it will be ok in time but we'll have to see how it goes and trying to rush things will just be counter-productive.

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Oh that sounds good the red shoes! There's no way I could get my arm to fifth! We are probably doing the same exercises! 

 

After my first Osteo treatment on 19th December just before Christmas I also got an increase in movement. 

But then perhaps knowing what I know now I should have booked an earlier 2nd appointment. 

 I wasn't given any exercises until the 2nd visit by which time it had definitely got worse. I assumed after the first visit it would just get better as I am normally a quickish healer. When I did my elbow last summer I only needed two treatments from this Osteo before it really started to improve and was back to normal within 8 weeks. 

 

So early intervention is best with this type of injury I think. As mine tightened up considerably between Dec 19th and Jan 8th.

My range of movement hasn't improved really since Jan 8 th ( second visit) But I think the Osteo saw this and immediately gave me the exercises and wanted to see me again this week! 

My good news is I'm off the Ibuprofen now....slept okay and the pain hasn't got any worse 😊 

 

 

 

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Yes, I gather that it's important to stop it from becoming tight and weak while it's painful and irritated. Glad to hear you are off the painkillers. I need to find the perfect sleeping position, though I'm rather constrained by the demands (and weight) of my very entitled cat!

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Aah naughty pussy cat and don't they just always want to go just where it's awkward for you even without an injury! 

But I would give anything to have my cat Toscar still around even if being a bit of a determined lump on the bed on occasions! 

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Oh my goodness. Please take all the professional advice you can. ❤️
 

I had a  frozen shoulder and it lasted over 2 years,  triggered from a shoulder op we think. Absolutely the worse pain I’ve ever had in the freezing stage - and I’ve had two children with no gas and air!

 

It stopped me doing my Adv1 5-6 years ago and although I have 97% ROM back, aa a dancer I still notice the last niggle :( At my worst I could raise my arm to about 4 o’clock at the side and from and nothing to the back. 


There’s a great support group on FB where you can compare notes on how to do things like wash your hair, fasten your bra, deal with “zingers” etc
 

The upside is you will defrost with or without intervention. I had hydrodilation which was very painful but gave me more ROM.

 

My other side showed signs of starting a couple of months ago, I’m hitting it hard to prevent another onset as Adv 1 is on the cards this year!!!

 

xxx

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OMG two years!! Could you drive though...which arm did it affect? 
I didn’t exactly enjoy reading that at least 30 per cent of people then get it in the other shoulder!!

Perhaps it’s all the extra work you have to do with the good arm! 

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It was my left arm and we have an automatic so I was able to drive. When fully frozen, if you tuck your elbow into your waist, you can move your forearm - just look a bit like a deranged T-Rex 😂

 

I’ve seen an osteo and physio re my right side, taking anti-inflams and magnesium, daily massage and lots of stretching and *touch wood* the niggle seems to have gone, so I’m hoping it wasn’t the other side starting, just a trapped nerve!

 

I’m also dancing more and I’m sure that’s helping too :) 

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12 minutes ago, Sheila Beelam said:

It was my left arm and we have an automatic so I was able to drive. When fully frozen, if you tuck your elbow into your waist, you can move your forearm - just look a bit like a deranged T-Rex 😂

 

 

I had to click "like" on this, I'm afraid - not because of the frozen shoulder, but just for the mental image!

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Kudos to everyone who has managed to cope especially over prolonged periods. It's remarkable how we take mobility for granted and then how the most ordinary actions can suddenly become difficult. It makes you aware of how many people have to find get arounds for mobility problems all their lives. I'm managing my bra by putting it on back to front then twizzling it round. Hair brushing and washing are awkward but doable. For ballet doing a bun is impossible.  I can manage a kind of messy twist hair style or my current favourite hairstyle which is "vintage ballet" - just tucked into a net with a wide hairband. I'm about to have  a go at changing my duvet cover - I think that's going to involve basically crawling inside it!

 

I've made a start on the exercises the physio has given me. I've definitely got somewhat better ability to raise my arm today but rotating behind my back  (as required for bra fastening or Hungarian character port de bras) is the area where I have 0 movement.

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Luckily for me a few years back I had a craze on buying bras which do up at the front! So I’ve fished those out and that’s helped a lot. I’m going to have to buy some sort of blouse today which does up in front because I don’t want to get stuck in the swimming pool cubicle tomorrow not being able to pull

my t-shirt down properly.... I was glad my partner was around this morning as got it all twisted somehow and just couldn’t pull it down with the good arm 😳

What with my ankle and arm I think I need to employ a helper tomorrow to walk me to the pool and stand by for any dressing problems 😩 I hope I don’t cop out at the last min as I do think some gentle swimming will be good for just about everything at the moment. 
I will leave driving for another couple of weeks I think. I will trade looking like a deranged T-Rex for the joy of the open road!! My partner has been a wonderfully uncomplaining chauffeur so far but I don’t think even 

he was expecting to have to drive me( when I can’t bus it) well into January. 
I know this may seem a strange thing to say but I didn’t realise just how much the shoulder affected arm movements .. even quite small ones. Really the body is ingeniously made and it’s true as you say Red Shoes that you don’t really appreciate it till it’s not working in some way. 

 

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8 hours ago, LinMM said:

Luckily for me a few years back I had a craze on buying bras which do up at the front! So I’ve fished those out and that’s helped a lot. I’m going to have to buy some sort of blouse today which does up in front because I don’t want to get stuck in the swimming pool cubicle tomorrow not being able to pull

my t-shirt down properly.... I was glad my partner was around this morning as got it all twisted somehow and just couldn’t pull it down with the good arm 😳

What with my ankle and arm I think I need to employ a helper tomorrow to walk me to the pool and stand by for any dressing problems 😩 I hope I don’t cop out at the last min as I do think some gentle swimming will be good for just about everything at the moment. 
I will leave driving for another couple of weeks I think. I will trade looking like a deranged T-Rex for the joy of the open road!! My partner has been a wonderfully uncomplaining chauffeur so far but I don’t think even 

he was expecting to have to drive me( when I can’t bus it) well into January. 
I know this may seem a strange thing to say but I didn’t realise just how much the shoulder affected arm movements .. even quite small ones. Really the body is ingeniously made and it’s true as you say Red Shoes that you don’t really appreciate it till it’s not working in some way. 

 

I’m with you all the way on that one. Whilst waiting for major surgery on my shoulder injury I collapsed (pain related). Result. Left knee in brace, a week later post surgery I was completely lopsided with my right arm in a sling Not the Winter seasons best look. 😉 
Pain, no matter what part of the body affects the whole of you. Even sleep there is no respite. 
I wish you all the best xx
 

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