Just a rant... Shoulder impingement? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 03-11-2014, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Just a rant... Shoulder impingement?

Fair warning this is pretty much just a rant and me feeling sorry for myself…. But I’m so frustrated :( My shoulder has been bugging me for 3 years on and off after I injured it twisting and throwing a load from a shelter I was cleaning. I finally went to get a diagnosis today.

I’ve honestly been scared to go up until now. I grew up never going to the doctor for anything, everyone was expected to just “suck it up”, but after getting to the point where I’ve been breaking down into tears every other night trying to sleep (which I hate to admit) and some everyday tasks have become extremely painful I thought it was time. That and my boyfriend threatened to tie me up and drag me in if I didn’t go in myself.

So fine, I scheduled an appointment with a sports medicine clinic specializing in shoulders and joints. Waited the 2 and a half weeks I had scheduled in advance knowing I could get the day off work. Drove the 2 hours in… And it was all for nil.

The doctor asked if I had seen anyone else, I said a chiropractor once who suggested it was shoulder impingement. He did a quick assessment and found my neck, around my shoulder blade and lower back were extremely tender and my arm weak on my right side. Then said it’s unusual for someone to be in so much pain and for so long, but ok schedule with a physiotherapist and have blood work done. Goodbye. 10 mins max. As he was half out the door I was desperate and asked what else I could do to help it at all. He turned back and told me “heat's always good”. I said no… Heat is very painful and showers can be excruciating. So he says “oh well ice then, whatever works”.

WHATEVER WORKS? I didn’t come out to be told do whatever works. I didn’t come to a doctor to have them seemingly take the suggestion of a nameless chiropractor that looked at me for less time than he did and who’s “adjustment” made the pain unbearable for 2 weeks.

I just don’t know any more and I’m kind of feeling at a loss, I feel like I’ve used up all the options available to me. I don’t even know if this really is shoulder impingement and he didn’t say. I’m having a harder and harder time even holding on to objects. I feel nauseous and dizzy using the arm for work and I’ve had to switch to my left. I can’t sleep on my right side or back and the nightmares and waking up constantly aren’t any easier to deal with. I’m worried about my work with Cass and how difficult leading, grooming and saddling are all getting to be… Not to mention my future career plans as an RMT.

I guess I’ll phone physio in the morning after my first shift and hope for good days. Maybe because I’ve never really gone to a doctor I was expecting too much but I can’t help but feel there is something seriously wrong with our health care system.

Miserable. Thanks for the rant.
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post #2 of 26 Old 03-12-2014, 12:18 AM
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Welcome to our health system lol. Welcome to the grind. Enjoy the cookies!

At least he admitted something is wrong with your shoulder and sent you for physio. I'd give my left tit to get a referral and not get told constantly that I have the flu, or am crazy.
Good luck I hope you can find some answers. You might have more luck going through acupuncture and Chinese herbs - that is where I find the most relief.
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post #3 of 26 Old 03-12-2014, 12:53 PM
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I think you should have an MRI done - might be a rotator cuff injury.
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post #4 of 26 Old 03-12-2014, 05:03 PM
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Ugh, that really bites... I hope you start feeling better soon )8
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post #5 of 26 Old 03-12-2014, 05:29 PM
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Find another doc
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post #6 of 26 Old 03-12-2014, 08:45 PM
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It sounds like a rotator cuff injury. I tore mine three years ago and it bothers me constantly even still. I recommend getting another doctor to look at it and am MRI. Until then, put it in a sling. Try to use it as minimally as possible and do not try to lift any thing over 3lbs with that arm. If it is a minor tear, it will heal up in about a month typically. If it is more severe, you will need surgery. For sleeping at night, try to sleep on your back or prop a pillow under your arm pit to support the weight of your shoulder. Hopefully you can get another doctor to patch you up properly.
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post #7 of 26 Old 03-12-2014, 09:08 PM
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I agree with those above, it sounds like a rotator cuff injury. I'm going through the exact same thing right now but I haven't got a diagnosis yet. Buy a sling and wear it as much as possible and as stated sleep on your back. And find another doctor to see you.
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post #8 of 26 Old 03-12-2014, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys... you're right and thank you. I'm feeling a little better about it today. I should definitely see another doctor, and a rotator cuff injury was what I first thought too. I figure chances of a small injury that can heal in a month are very low with it having been 3 years but positive thinking is never a bad thing I suppose. I do try sleeping with a pillow prop and it helps but sleeping on my back has become almost as bad as my right side so that's a no go. Not using it at all or slinging it really isn't an option atm... I milk at a dairy barn and throwing bails, shoveling and heavy lifting are impossible to avoid although my employers have tried to minimize the things that bother me the most. I take Ibuprofin and a joint supplement before each shift but I know I need to really contemplate my work situation. I was just hoping for some answers first :/
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post #9 of 26 Old 03-12-2014, 09:44 PM
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Wow. 3 years! That's crazy. My guess is that it was a minor tear that healed, and has been continually re-torn and healed over the years until it has finally progressed to a more significant tear. If it is not a severe tear, you run the risk of tearing it to a point where it will need surgery if you don't rest it. Just a warning. Get an MRI and a new doctor asap. The longer you wait, the worse the overall damage will be.
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post #10 of 26 Old 03-12-2014, 09:50 PM
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Sorry for the second post. It may very well be fixable in a month. Don't freak out yet. When I tore my rotator cuff, I couldn't move my arm more than an inch off the side of my body without being in severe pain. A month in a sling did me wonders and I did not need surgery fortunately. Hang in there. Also, I recommend putting on lots and lots of liniment to help ease some of your discomfort. I used tiger balm on my shoulder before bed each night and it did help a bit with the pain.
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