I was just diagnosed with AC Arthritis.

I am 65 year old female, was a nurse for 20 years. I was just diagnosed with moderate AC arthritis and some tendenosis. I started using the Ibupropen cream today and I have to see an Ortho Dr. to discuss cortisone injection.

The pain is severe and if I move the wrong way it is at a level 10 and nearly takes
me down to my knees for about 15 seconds. I thought it was a rottor cuff tear but an open MRI without contrast did not show a tear.

Is the cream I am using titrated up with use, I am starting out with 1 ml to the affected area QD X 3 weeks. Oral NSAIDS are of no help.

Would physical therapy help? Peprhaps the Ortho Dr. will order it.

Thank you

Kerry E

Hello Kerry,
Don't be too stressed about the AC arthritis, it's the second most arthritic joint in the body and unless advanced often not the significant factor in shoulder conditions.

What is significant is the fixation in the AC joint, be it arthritic or not. A fixated AC joint means limited shoulder movement, the possibility of frozen shoulder and, because of its close association with the supraspinatus tendon, weakness and lots of pain in the shoulder.

There is considerable danger of biceps tendon rupture after cortisone injections. I would leave it to last resort, though it will probably reduce your pain if applied in exactly the right place.

You make no mention of calcium deposits in the subacromial space. Fortunately.

The scalene muscles and the first rib are often involved as well; and old neck injuries. Had a whiplash?

Take omega-3 for the arthritis, good for you anyway even if it doesn't help the pain substantially.

This is a condition which frequently brings patients to the Chiropractic Coalface. It needs careful analysis and, unlike most chiropractic treatment, can be painful. But not nearly as painful as a cortisone injection!

Obviously I can't make a diagnosis from a distance, but there seem to be elements of frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis). I would start the frozen shoulder exercises you will find at C-H. Use our Search this site function.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.



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