Adhesive Capsulitis or Cervical Herniated Disc or something completely different.. That is the Question !

by Angel
(Glasgow, Scotland)

My symptoms started 6 months ago with a sharp pain when I awkwardly twisted both my neck & head in an upwards movement to prevent a door that was coming of its hinges landing on me. Since then I have had various theories from different GP's.

1st)was Torticollis
2nd) was Frozen Shoulder
3rd) was disc herniation
4th) now back to Frozen Shoulder wait 12 months and see how things are.

My symptoms are pain down left centre back of neck, pain radiating down left trapezius muscle but no discernible tingling in fingers or hand.

I can rotate my neck towards the good side but find it painful to rotate to the left. Limited movement of left shoulder and I can't lift my left arm up my back.

I am receiving physiotherapy via NHS and when I told physiotherapist that the Bakody Test relieved my pain, she asked me what was the Bakody Test !!!

Can you please give me your opinion, I am on an NHS waiting list for an MRI because I have made a complete nuisance of myself demanding that if they don't send me for one I want it recorded on my case notes that my health and wellbeing is in severe jeopardy due to lack of a proper diagnoses.

Hello Angel,
I like your spunk! And I confess I too had never heard of the Bakody test! Where did you find out about it? It's usual name is the Shoulder Abduction Relief sign, or SAR.

However, SAR is relief of arm pain by taking the traction of the nerve root. And as I understand you have no symptoms radiating down the arm. Thus in my book this does not constitute a positive Bakody test, or SAR.

Disc herniation is certainly a possibility, but I think unlikely. Do you have any changes in reflexes and skin sensation on pin prick? Has anyone done the "Upper Limb Tension Test" on you. Find it using the Search Site function at Chiropractic Help.

Also ask if anyone has done Spurling's test on you.

The lower neck is very connected to the shoulder and my guess, note I have no examined you, is that the diagnosis of torticollis is the closest fit; it's an old fashioned name for a cervical facet syndrome. It's an entrapment of a part of the capsule around the facet joint. Because the nerve root passes close by, any swelling may affect the arm; in your case the shoulder.

All of this is speculative obviously, but a cervical facet syndrome usually responds very quickly and well to a chiropractic adjustment; unless there is old injury at that level, in which case it may be more complicated.

Do stretch that shoulder gently, otherwise you may end up with a neck and a shoulder problem.

You are right; I'm reminded of an old Giles cartoon with four doctors standing around a patient's bed. One says: Well at least we've narrowed it down to one of four conditions.

Have you had xrays? What do they show? And an opinion from a local chiropractor?

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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