Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
I dealt with severe shoulder pain (to the point where I was on the verge of passing out just from hooking my bra) for over two years. It started when I was moving 12-foot welded steel stall panels with a friend and was doing the lion's share of the work. My shoulder was sore, but I didn't think anything of it. The next day, I went to saddle my gelding with my friend's 45lbs western show saddle (only saddle that fit my guy) and there was a loud pop as I swung the saddle up, followed by excruciating pain in my shoulder and numbness in my fingers. Went to the doctor within a week and after an x-ray, he said I had sprained my AC joint. He prescribed PT and that was that. Problem was, my insurance wouldn't cover the PT because it wasn't associated with a surgery. So, I went once and couldn't afford it (didn't have a job, so was on state health care), so I just dealt with the pain.
Fast forward two years. I lost my gelding that I had when I got injured and bought my current gelding. I still mucked stalls every day but Sunday, but now I had a job, too. Two months after I bought my gelding (so July of 2011), I was being nice to a fellow boarder and hopped up on her new mare to try her out. The mare went bat-crap crazy before my butt even touched the saddle and I was thrown over her right shoulder. When I hit the ground, I hit butt-first and rolled back to my head. When my shoulder hit the ground, there was a loud pop and an explosion of pain (masked slightly by the ridiculously painful fractured left ankle I had received when my foot tangled in the stirrup on my way over her shoulder). Miracle of miracles, though, at least for a week, the constant pain I had lived with for almost two years was mostly gone. It was short-lived, unfortunately.
Over the next six months, it got steadily worse until I couldn't lift anything more than a couple of pounds, I couldn't reach higher than right below the level of my bra band, I couldn't sleep because no matter what position I laid in, it hurt, I would get bouts of weird tingling numbness through my elbow and fingers, and I couldn't function at my job. So, I went back to the doctor
This time they said that I had edema in my AC joint at first. After one cortisone injection that made things worse, they finally ordered an MRI. The verdict was that I had torn my rotator cuff and needed surgery. So, I went in for surgery. As it turned out, I had pinched my rotator cuff almost to the point of tearing it due to the edema in the bones of my shoulder joint, and I had popped a bone shard off my collarbone when I was thrown from the psycho mare.
Two weeks (well, was supposed to be two weeks...I had to muck my stall and work my 2yo gelding, so it ended up being more like five days) in a sling and what was supposed to be six weeks of PT, but ended up being none because my insurance wouldn't cover it, later, I had almost no pain (unless I overdid it) and limited mobility. That was in March of 2012. I am now just to the point where I have nearly full range of motion, but if I overdo it, my shoulder is on fire. I also have some weird muscling under my armpit from not doing the PT that makes it difficult to get the size bra I need to fit comfortably.
My advice is to go to an orthopedist and ask that they do an MRI.
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