April 2, 2016

Stiff, Frozen Shoulder Caused By Jerky Movements – A Woman’s Ordeal


One day when I was doing my regular yoga poses / asanas in the privacy of my cozy room, the doorbell rang. I hastily rushed to open the door only to find the courier boy who had come to deliver some parcel. Strangely, the very next morning, I found that I was unable to move my left arm.

I carried on somehow for days, asking my part-time maid to help me while dressing and doing my hair. I decided that age was catching up on me and that I would have to put up with all these body ailments, joint pains, disability of movements, etc. But I started feeling more and more uncomfortable as the days passed by and my whole body slowly started to get stiff. Eventually, I consulted a surgeon.

“Frozen shoulder, frozen shoulder”, he murmured. “What have you done? How long have you neglected this for so long?” he bellowed. He asked me to get the X-rays, MRI and ultrasound done and see him the next morning. (More info about frozen shoulder here, here and here.)
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Flickr Photos: 1 & 2

Fortunately, he was more sympathetic the next day. He examined the reports, prescribed some tablets, advised diathermy and referred me to the physiotherapy department. Furthermore, he advised me to have a wholesome diet with vegetables fruits and protein rich food.
Image Credits: Wikipedia
The physiotherapist Dr. M said, “You must do the exercises every day.” “This happened suddenly”, I explained. “I didn’t have these aches and pains and stiffness before. I do my morning exercises regularly too.” I pointed out.
“Madam, you must have done something hastily. You may have jerked while doing the exercises,” he observed. “Unconsciously also, one makes jerky movements at times.
I sighed and murmured, “Maybe I got up from the floor suddenly while performing yogic asana – and ran…”
“One should never do that. Especially with yoga, one has to be very quiet, peaceful and never in a hurry,” he advised.
My sister-in-law too had mentioned about experiencing something similar. I hadn’t given much thought to it then, but now after I went through a similar condition I think that her problem too was stiffness with shoulder due to jerky movements. Fortunately for her, it was not as serious as mine and it definitely was not a case of frozen shoulder, by God’s grace.
My poor sister-in-law was suffering from piles and doctor had given her an ointment to be applied in her anal region. While trying to squeeze the tube to get the ointment out and into her anal region, she perhaps twisted her arm. Her entire arm became stiff and she found it difficult to lift heavy utensils or to move her arm up and down. She could manage household work but her movements became restricted. She took at least 4-5 months to recover from this ordeal. As if the misery of painful bloody piles was not enough, she had to bear this also. If only she had consulted a physiotherapist earlier, she would have recovered much earlier.

Any kind of debility is unnerving. One gets irritable when one can’t perform one’s daily routine and body functions like going to the toilet, combing and doing one’s hair, bathing, etc. Then, the question comes of the family, cooking food and other household chores such as tidying, washing up etc.
However, don’t give up hope. Don’t imagine you are disabled for life when the doctor says you are suffering from a frozen shoulder. Consult a good surgeon and tell him you want to get rid of this ailment and you will do all that is necessary. That you are not lazy and will do any exercises he recommends!
Then sit down a while and say to yourself: “I am determined to get over this and will do my best and put in all effort.”
I also made a resolution when I suffered. I said to myself, “probably, the surgeon was concerned about me. So he scolded me for neglecting myself. If I succeed, and can do my toilet rituals, make my tea and breakfast myself with my own hands, I must invite the the physiotherapists to tea.”
This kind of resolution is a good morale booster – and we look forward to achieving something.
You need your family’s co-operation. A sympathy, understanding and encouragement from your family members are required. They have to be considerate and help with household work.
I started with diathermy the next day, which warmed up my shoulder. After that, I began the following exercises under the direction of physiotherapist’s assistant Mr. P.
I will describe the exercises by names so that it is easy to remember. You can do them easily and they are good for those with shoulder problems and, generally, for everyone, to keep the body movements in order.

Always stand in front of a window before starting your program and take a few deep breaths. Enjoy them. 
You will feel exhilarated.
Tell yourself, “I am going to feel fresh and energetic with my exercises.”
Gradually increase the time for each movement but never overdo this and tire yourself. Also, time your exercise period. This may vary from person to person.
Be slow, don’t be sloppy. Pay full attention. You may do your breathing before starting diathermy, if you are advised by your doctor to take it.
1. Climbing the wall: stand facing a blank, straight wall. Stand straight. Raise your arms slowly. The arm on the side of the frozen or stiff shoulder will be reluctant. (that is the word I am using for the arm, which cannot be raised to begin with.) 

Pat “him” a bit. Touch the wall with both your hands. Put your fingers on the wall and try to “climb” it with the fingers. First two fingers will do – index and middle. Slowly, try to go up, raising your arms as much as they can. The reluctant arm will go a little and will tell you, “No more.” Don’t force “him”.
Mr. P, the therapist’s assistant said, “Madam, do this every day at home in the evening. Today when you begin put a pencil mark on the wall to where your each arm reaches today.”
2. Swinging: Stand straight with arms loose at sides. Slowly swing both the arms forward and backward. Repeat 4 times. Daily increase gradually taking it up to 20 times or more. It must be convenient to do and not too much.
Photo by imagerymajestic, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

3. Swinging crossways: Stand straight, with arms loose at sides. Slowly swing left arm toward right side and right arm toward left side. Repeat 4 times. Gradually increase daily till you reach 10-15 times or little more. Do not exert.
4.Nautical wheel: Physiotherapy departments have this maritime wheel. The therapist asks you to hold its handle and move it. But you can do the same movement at home on a big blank wall. I was asked to practice it that way.
Stand straight facing the wall, arms loose at the sides. Put left foot forward. Your left arm, that is the reluctant arm, will not obey, but coax “him”. Spread it out straight, big, wide, and touch the wall.
Lift it and spreading it now try to make a big wide circle with your index fingers as if you were drawing one with a pencil. Begin from the left and go to the right, and come back to your starting point. Do the movement twice. Repeat once more.
Daily go on increasing to 10-15 times without stopping in the middle. Let the rhythm continue. Don’t tire yourself. Now make a circle from right to left on the wall. Repeat twice. Go on increasing daily. Repeat with both the hands and change the directions from right to left.

Photo by Ambro, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
 
There are many more exercises which I practiced. But writing about them all, will make this post lengthier and may bore you. Instead, I’ll be pointing you to a wonderful site where you can see similar exercises with pictorials and which will be more helpful you. Do hop over to this page for exercises and this page for yoga poses. (try yoga when you feel a little better).
Doing all these exercises will start the blood coursing in your veins, joints and limbs. You will feel refreshed and rejuvenated as days pass. Not only that, you will look forward to these exercises! Do twice a day, morning and evening.
After a month, I noticed while doing exercise no. 1 that I had gone a little over my marked pencil line of the first day! My reluctant hand was actually climbing above the line. The joy was great. After 3 months the joy was greater still. 
And I did invite the physiotherapists for a tea party. I myself mixed and baked the cake and fried snacks.
The physiotherapists complimented me with, “You really took it very seriously and co-operated fully. We wish all our patients have such patience and determination.”

Photo by Ambro, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

 
Not only for a frozen shoulder, but otherwise too, these exercises are good for general body fitness and movements, and I still do them daily with joy.
Author Bio: Vinita is a homemaker who likes to share her experiences on the health issues that she has faced in her life.


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2 comments:

  1. siriamma2:39 PM

    d use of Dead Sea Natural mineral soap daily will help hill the Frozen shoulder.

    ReplyDelete
  2. To prevent the problem, a common recommendation is to keep the shoulder joint fully moving to prevent a frozen shoulder. Often a shoulder will hurt when it begins to freeze. Because pain discourages movement, further development of adhesions that restrict movement will occur unless the joint continues to move full range in all directions. Therapy will help one continue movement to discourage freezing

    ReplyDelete

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