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What exactly IS "frozen shoulder?"It´s My Arm I Can´t Lift

Updated on February 5, 2012

painful but not permanent, (my frosen shoulder)

It must be 2 years now since my ridiculous fall inside my own house. Well, my 1st ridiculous fall anyway. I'd been mopping the floor tiles with soapy water and of course , a mop, when my daughter called in to see me.

Don't ask me why I began to demonstrate sumo wrestling to her. I really have forgotten and the reason must have been something quite absurd, since the full limit of my exercise regime is walking. I do plenty of that., but I don't think I've seen the inside of a Gym since my schooldays, (and back then, if I could escape the gym to play the piano ,or read a book, then that's where I'd be.)

Whatever the reason, there I was perfectly crouched as I'd seen the enormous men on t.v. ready to lift my left leg up just as I'd seen it done..........whoah.....left foot lands not on floor but in bucket compartment for drying the mop., bucket slides forward with left foot attached along with rest of me until ...."crash!' I'm flat on the floor the water is everywhere. I'm soaked. My foot is still caught in the bucket and lovely daughter .....standing over me with a look of absolute horror.!(I suffer from arthritis in my hips and back)...........until I started to laugh.

The poor girl was holding back her laughter until she was sure that I was ok, but once we started we just couldn't stop. Like little girls giggling...I could not get up for laughing. When I finally tried to rise of course, the floor was so slippery wet, It was not easy. Eventually with the aid of my daughter we managed to get me onto the sofa as she cleaned up the mess.

I expected some pain in my back andhips after that but I didn't fully understandwhy my left arm was hurting so much. "I think it's obvious, dear", said my husband. "You probably put that arm out to try to save yourself. It will have taken all your weight until you landed on your back" ok. captain sensible. I guess he's right..

Not too many months after this incident . My daughter brought her fiance to the house. We didn't see them very often since Lisa (my daughter) had moved over 2000 miles back to the mainland we'd come from and my husband and I were still living on our beautiful island..

Again!! I can't say how I managed it but I must remember always since that day to sit down when putting my trousers on. Why a woman of my age and fitness (er the lack of fitness, that is) stands up puts one leg into the trousers and then lifts the other leg aiming for the other trouser beyond me... Needless to say you know what's 2nd leg gears towards the trouser leg that is already occupied...yes...crashing down I go, but this time I land on my side. Don't ask ! You just know it's the side that's already been hurt in the previous fall of a sumo wrestler.....

I can hear the footsteps of Lisa running to my room. She lifts me up again, poor girl, tells me I'm losing the plot, even young people sit down to do things like that, she says. I'm cringing as I think of the handsome new fiance "what kind of nutty family am I getting myself into?"...

There was not so much laughing with this litle tumble. Mainly because my ribs hurt so badly. I spent the next few days in bed . In fact I think I waved goodbye to my daughter and her fiance from the bed.. Oh dear I'd done it now.....Most doctors agree that ribs will have to heal slowly on their own. You can only rest and take painkillers. Apparrently doctors used to wrap bandages around the rib cage but it often caused more damage by pushing a cracked rib into something else.

Little did I know that as I was recovering from these painfull ribs, my left arm was getting worse,. I didn't really need it much all those days in bed. Right hand for the remote control Right hand to pick up a cup of tea and pills, or anything and pills , please.


As soon as my ribs healed enough for me to visit my doctor I explained how painful my arm was,. After examination ,an X-ray and some waiting time. ,,the doctor tells me I have tendonitis from my elbow to my wrist, but at least no bones are broken , physiotherapy should do the trick. Er "should do?" "Yes" says my doctor quite merrily it usually works., although it could take a year, you know!!" No, I didn't know. and I don't like the sound of this. I make the mistake of thinking I'll manage. It will get better gradually. I'm not going back and forth to the hospital every week for something that only "might" make me better.

I must sound like a complete idiot by this point, but my dread of hospitals, coupled with fact that the physiotherapy department looks surprisingly like the school gym that I loathed, took all reasonable thought from me. Despite my husbands protests, I skipped all but 2 of the physio sessions.

Time to re-visit my doctor.. "Raise your arm dear." Can't lift it higher than my chest. "have you had all your physio sessions?" Doctor is beginning to give me funny look . I can only come clean. "sorry I thought if it may take a year, anyway, I'll let it get better on its own"

"OH my oh my but now you have a frozen shoulder.!!!!!!"

What a perfect description of my shoulder Have you ever felt frozen cold? My shoulder wants to lean over onto my chest. It definately does not want to stand to attention.. I had been gently pushing back a litle each day., but if I had been going for physiotherapy every time that I ought to have I wouldn't have had a frozen shoulder in the first place..........

The tendonitis is much better but the shoulder takes a lot longer. (can't think why?") Heat directly onto the shoulder is very helpful. If you are lucky enough to live in a warm climate and you suffer from this condition, sitting with the sun directly on your back is good. So are heat lamps and even hot water bottles. The heat helps relax the muscles all around the bone and it will slowly but surely become 'un-frozen'.. There's no reason why anyone should have a permanent frozen shoulder or suffer any disfigurement apart fom the slight leaning forward when it is at its worst..

Of course if you are a sensible person you should see you doctor. I would have been better much faster if I'd listened and had physiotherapy immediately and regularly. Having said that not everyone can afford all the treatments they need these days. So if you fall into that category and you have 'frozen shoulder' take heart.! It's painful but it does improve. Like a child, it needs time and patience.


Submit a Comment

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    6 years ago from Great Britain

    Thanks for the expression ´cute story´ once l got as far as ´´´Somehow l was standing on the washer.... fell off...´´´ l knew we are both nutters on the same wavelength.Hee Hee.....

    Nothing funny about frozen shoulder, though or the Tendonitis it´s left me with.

    l hope yours doesn´tgive you too much trouble now.

    Thanks again, Take care,

    Dim x

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 

    6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    This is such a cute story that illustrates your condition and how it happened and what there is to be done about it. Somehow I was standing on the washer trying to get the cobwebs out of the corner when I fell off and caught myself with my hand-elbow-arm-shoulder. It took months for my shoulder to feel better. Now, years later it is becoming frozen and feels like my hand weigh a ton. I wondered if there was a cure. Thanks for the explanation and hope you are better now. Peg

  • Iberkenbosch profile image


    6 years ago from Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Thanks! Here some more information about pain in your left area (Read arm):

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    7 years ago from Great Britain

    Thanks Micky. Been feeling rather deprssed lately nd felt l just can´tput anymore sad poems on here r I´ll be shot!!!

  • Micky Dee profile image

    Micky Dee 

    7 years ago

    I've missed my Dim so I'll start over on her beautiful hubs! I do love that Dim! God bless you Girl!

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    Hello 4FoodSafety, nice to meet you on hubpages.

    I hope your shoulder keeps on improving.

    Thanks for reading my page and commenting

  • 4FoodSafety profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 

    8 years ago from Fontana, WI

    Fighting a frozen shoulder now - great explanation. Hot water in the spa is my favorite.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    outch ... sounds very painful. Glad my experience was of some encouragement to you. Get well soon

  • ALL4JESUS profile image


    8 years ago from USA

    Terrific ending - I need time and patience. My shoulder keeps leaving or wondering out of its socket - long story for the injury. Off to do some wall push-ups and try to help this terrible pain. Great Hub!

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    yes thanks,bagt, not without pain but huge difference from a year ago. x

  • bayareagreatthing profile image


    8 years ago from Bay Area California

    Oh you poor dear! Those little falls sure get more dramatic as we age. I hope you feel better.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    So glad you are getting treatment, shepherd's lamb..

    Mine is far less painful but still not completeley recovered. I wish you all the best for a full recovery.

  • Shepherd's Lamb profile image

    Shepherd's Lamb 

    8 years ago from Roseville, CA

    You know, I had a fall a few months ago after an interview (slipped on the steps outside). I sprained my ankle badly, and my whole body was racked with pain. I had no medical insurance (still don't until March). About three months ago, I couldn't lift my arm more than a 45-degree angle. The gravity caused my arm to ache with pain, it was nearly unbearable. I just wanted to put it in a brace and not move it or use it.

    I finally am seeing a chiropractor who told me I have frozen shoulder (tears in the muscle). The X-ray showed arthritis on the tips of the bone. Another lady I know had to have surgery to smooth out the tips of the bone and they literally had to break the bones loose.

    My chiropractor has me doing stretching exercises and applying heat and ice. It's the only way I can get use of my arm again. I now can lift it to a 90-degree angle. The movement hurts terribly. This is such an unfortunate thing people have to suffer with!! Thanks for writing about it! I will keep hope!!

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile imageAUTHOR

    Dim Flaxenwick 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    thanks for the the play on the word 'googbye'. you must have read my hub..made me smile I should look also into some of your bach remedies. may help.

  • Shalini Kagal profile image

    Shalini Kagal 

    8 years ago from India

    Hi Dim - I don't blame you for skipping physiotherapy - and yet, it does really do a lot of good. At our age, I guess everything takes time to heal - do hope your frozen shoulder 'unfreezes' and you can say Goodbye to the pain soon!


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