Frozen Shoulder/Migraine Re-occurence

by Jay

Hello Barrie

Sorry I dont know if to put this under frozen shoulder or migraine?

October 2017 I started a programme of treatment (14 visits) with my chiropractor as I had chronic migraine. I was fed up with injections and being off work sick so went this route in desperation.

I had to give up work completely as always ill....

Huge help and my migraines went down from daily to about 1 bad headache a month.

The day I started my treatment in October 2017 I fell over, full on to my left shoulder and it felt hurt and bruised very much, around the top of the shoulder/Joint area.

I never thought frozen shoulder or felt I should go to the doctor as I assumed it would get better by itself.

In January/February time 2018 (so 3 months) I started having much worse pain in the shoulder, can't shower properly, dress, dry hair etc....

Didn't go to the doctor because I thought it would get better by itself!!

April time I went to osteopath for 3 treatments and she helped with the deep pain but I couldn't afford to keep going....

I went to doctor 2 weeks ago, he did all the things they do to determine my problem and said I have frozen shoulder, gave the pendulum exercise, use heat advice and take paracetomol 3 times per day and use anti inflammatory gel 3 times per day as well....

I am now waiting for an ultrasound and some physiotherapy....

Since then, my migraine has reappeared with vengeance

I think he caused me some kind of problem and it feels like trapped nerve from my shoulder up my neck thus the headache.....

Do I try to get help for the headache or the frozen shoulder or can both be dealt with at the same time....

My funds are limited as not working so feel a bit trapped between a rock and a hard place.....

I must also say, my doctors are completely against alternative therapy. I mentioned going to a chiropractor and they just shut me down about it.. I was quite shocked.......

Life is pretty miserable at the moment.....

Hello Jay,
Yes, I can understand the misery.

It's obviously great that your headaches responded so well to chiropractic help, but what mystifies me a little is that your chiropractor did not also address the shoulder issue. Did you not tell him about it, or wasn't he interested, or what?

The norm is that most of our new patients come with several difficulties, and one starts by treating the main acute issue; in your case the headaches. And then once that starts to improve, then one looks at other problems which might be pain in the metatarsals, or stiffness in the groin or, in your case, shoulder pain. Did that not happen? Do you have any idea why not?

It's a sad fact, but true, that alternative therapy and mainline medicine are both in competition for your pounds; so we tend to badmouth each other. Ignore what was said because there obviously is merit in both chiropractic and mainline medicine; you just have to use your common sense to figure out what fits best with your problem.

The pendulum exercises are a waste of time - yes, I'm badmouthing your doctor! but the right exercises are vital to fix that shoulder, and it all depends on what was injured, and that I cannot comment on.

If 'isometric exercises' cause pain - resistance without movement of the shoulder - then it's probably related to the rotator cuff, or biceps tendon. Place your elbow against your side, at ninety degrees, grasp the wrist with your other hand and press inwards and pull outwards, with no movement of the shoulder. Is it weak or painful?

For the biceps place your arm in front of you, elbow straight and palm up; press down on the forearm with your other hand while trying to raise your painful arm, but no movement. Pain in the shoulder? Probably biceps tear.

It's complicated, frankly too complicated to try and test from a distance, but perhaps this gives you some indication of what's going on, and which way to turn. I hope so. Good luck, and let me know in a month how you are getting on.

Dr B

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Jul 03, 2018
Update on my migraine and shoulder pain
by: Anonymous

Hello Barrie

Just to update

To be fair I mentioned at the beginning of our work together, you know when you do the whole discussing at the beginning about your health history.

I did mention I had a fall but it was never discussed again

I just went for headaches.

To be honest I thought in my naivety, now my headaches are fixed it seems my shoulder pain is coming to the fore...

I did go back once and he said rotator cuff probably, which I now know is quite complex.

I read up about that and thought the osteopath might be better because of muscles and she did help a lot when she massaged.

She found a good few trigger points; that sent me up to the ceiling when she touched them.

Since then 2/3 months now I bought a book about Frozen Shoulder by Clair Davis (a man) and his work has shown me I have a big problem in Subscapularis as I cannot bring my arm up my back.

I have been massaging against the wall with a ball and it has helped a lot with pain BUT I still can't move the arm backwards.

So I have booked myself a new chiropractor appointment now to help me get it back to full movement...

I am going for an ultrasound at the hospital today but only because I feel I ought to.

My doctor will prescribe physio which I don't think will help.

I think the chiro will be able to sort me out...

Hello again, Jay, and apologies for the delay.
There are different philosophies in chiropractic, and some of my colleagues only treat the spine; perhaps that was why your chiropractor was reluctant to look deeper into your shoulder injury; perhaps he was just having a bad day; all doctors do, you know, same as everyone else.
In any event, a frozen shoulder is a very debilitating condition, perhaps not as bad as migraines but because it disturbs sleep must be addressed.

You have been going for treatment, and that's good, and I hope it's helping. A daily commitment to exercising your shoulder is now vital, possibly even for the rest of your life. That's not a big deal, just like you care for your teeth; couple minutes every day.

Let me know how you are getting on.

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 have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is 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 is 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 pain-free. 

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 is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has 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 stroll 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; he has a short leg.

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. X-rays 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 few months 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 is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year 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 could not 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 should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

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