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Sometimes My Arms Bend Back: Roxy Has A Frozen Shoulder…Time for Tri-County Orthopedics and Kessler Physical Therapy

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When I was maybe 3 or 4 years old, my older sister (who was about 18 at the time) would soak her feet in my hot bath, and tell me she was “old and feeble.” Well, it seems I’ve caught up with her, and have been struggling with shoulder pain that has been getting progressively worse since September. Oddly, the pain does not get worse when I lift weights in Pump class or row at NitroFlex Gym in Chester, NJ, but trying to get in and out of a sports bra or a long-sleeved shirt can be excruciating. Although Rex has become the Bionic man, with five joint replacements over the past 15 years, and London and Maddie are frequent flyers with Vytas at Kessler in Mendham, NJ, I’ve been putting off a visit to the doctor, hoping the pain would go away on its own. It didn’t. So I got an appointment with Dr. Claudia Ginsberg at Tri-County Orthopedics in Cedar Knolls. Dr.Ginsberg asked me some questions about where and when it hurt, and moved my arms this way and that.

She sent me downstairs for an X-ray, which Rex and I couldn’t make heads or tails of, but apparently indicated no bones or joints out of place and some minimal age-related arthritis. Dr. Ginsburg’s diagnosis?  Frozen Shoulder. Otherwise known as adhesive capsulitis, or stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. Instead of being lose and flexible, everything in my shoulder has tightened up. And it hurts when, as Laura Palmer told Agent Cooper in his dream, sometimes my arms bend back. According to the Mayo Clinic:

Frozen shoulder typically develops slowly, and in three stages:

Freezing stage. Any movement of your shoulder causes pain, and your shoulder’s range of motion starts to become limited.
Frozen stage. Pain may begin to diminish. However, your shoulder becomes stiffer, and using it becomes more difficult.
Thawing stage. The range of motion in your shoulder begins to improve.

Each stage can last a number of months. Symptoms typically begin gradually, worsen over time, then resolve, usually within 1 to 3 years.

One to three years? Are you kidding me? The good news, according to Dr. Ginsburg, is that physical therapy will improve my range of motion, and nothing I’ve been doing (Pump class, NitroRow, putting on the sports bra, etc.) is making my condition worse and may even make it better.

Dr. Ginsburg recommended physical therapy and home exercises to regain my range of motion. I stopped in to Kessler to drop my prescription off, and Vytas said, “Frozen shoulder? That’s one of my favorites….it’s easy!” I, of course, replied “easy for you, maybe…” but he promised my PT wouldn’t hurt too much. I start next Wednesday, and will keep all of you posted on my progress.

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