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Shoulder Injury

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I injured my shoulder last week moving furniture for the carpet cleaners. Just pulled on my storage trunk which I have moved 100's of times. Well, I don't remember it being that heavy, or I don't remember being that weak. Anyway, it hurt bad the next day and worse the next - probably because I kept using it...So off to my doctor's office to see a nurse practioner. She was convinced by my level of pain and immobility that I had torn something and ordered X-rays and refered me to an orthopedic surgeon. She was positive I would have to have an MRI. Unrelated to the injury, X-rays showed "calcific tendonitis" good to know...I guess?


Today was my appointment with the ortho doctor. He immediately diagnosed "frozen shoulder" (happens from not moving it when you're in pain)and did a sonogram. Thankfully, the sonogram showed no signs of a tear! So no MRI needed either. I was so happy to hear that I would not have to spend this beautiful spring and probably part of my summer recovering from a shoulder surgery!!


Instead I got a shot of cortisone and 4 weeks of physical therapy. I also got 'diagnosed' with a "low tolerance for pain" when I said, "owe, owe, owe that hurts so bad" in reaction to the cortisone shot. "You have a low tolerance for pain. That should not have hurt at all. I was in exactly the right spot and it went in perfectly". Okay, next time I won't say "owe". I wanted to see what HIS tolerance for pain was but with my shoulder injury, my right hook isn't up to par.


Pain is pain dude! Don't take it personally. I'm sure you did do a perfect job with your injection. My reaction to what my body perceived as pain is not a direct reflection of your abilities to administer a shot. And just because other patients may not have reacted the same way, does not mean that it was not painful to them, nor does it mean that I have a low tolerance for pain. If anything, after giving birth to 2 kids, au natural, passing kidney stones, gallstones, having migraines and putting up with all that scleroderma has done to my body, if anything I surely have a HIGH tolerance to pain. I certainly have a low tolerance to arrogant doctors. Oooo I should have said that! (no not really)


Anyway enough venting. This subject of "pain tolerance" is intersting to me. I think I'll do some research.

Take care,



Serena Justis

ISN Blogger

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Barefut, I have dealt with the frozen shoulder for the past couple years. Still I have a few issues. You were correct in saying just because someone doesn't say oweeee ohwee that they aren't feeling extreme pain at the time of injection. They just know it is going to hurt and get themselves siked up for it. I have had a few different types of injections in my shoulder, some hurt more than others but when you know that you have almost instant relief you can handle the short spurt of pain. Sorry, to hear that you have one more issue to deal with. You were right on top of things so you didn't have to suffer to long. Keep us informed on how you are progressing.

Strength and Warmth,



Sheryl Doom

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Chat Moderator

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Frozen Shoulders are very painful! I developed one after badly breaking my wrist and not being able to use it for about 10 weeks. I was given physio for my wrist and shoulder. The shoulder took an awful long time to get my full movement back. One of the exercises involved lying down on my bed and using a metre ruler to hold and gently lift over and behind my head, I had to do it about every hour! But eventually I did find the movement coming back, it took about 12 months before it was finally right.


Hope it eases for you soon.



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I'm with you barefut! I've been on the receiving end of 7 cortisone shots in various places - shoulder, hips, wrists...and it doesn't matter how smooth they go in - they hurt!


Also, makes me remember a job I had, many years ago - I worked in a medical office as an assistant. One of my tasks was to help hold patients down while they got their cortisone injections (as you can imagine, I'm not exactly a petite woman). I literally have seen grown men cry getting their shots, so I'd say you did really well! I'll bet your doctor never got one himself...


Heal quickly,


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Me too - 1 cortisone shot in the shoulder, hurt lots, and was a great motivator for doing the prescribed exercises!


Y'know the 1-10 happy to sad face pain scale? Oh, for one that looks like a doctor~ Anybody who makes a comment about how much something should or shouldn't hurt gets a :(.


Warm hugs,

Jeannie McClelland

(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Manager

(Retired) ISN Blog Manager

(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide

(Retired) ISN Artist

International Scleroderma Network

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Hi Barefut,


Ow, ow, that story makes me hurt!


I've had some cortisone shots that were just the usual, expected pain, unpleasant but still bearable. But I had one in my neck decades ago that was really excruciating. I thought I was going to pass out, but I ended up hyperventilating. It was my first experience with hyperventilating, a cute trick I've managed only a few times in my life, so I thought I was going to die. But a few minutes of breathing into a paper sack was all it took to scrape me off the ceiling and bring me down to earth.


I felt so abashed! But the nurse said, oh don't worry, that happens to people all the time from the cortisone shots, even to great big football players.


When they are injecting something into a spot that is so sore, you can't even use the limb (or neck), what on earth do they expect, anyway? It's not like you're getting the usual flu jab that you can't feel at all.


I'm sorry it hurt. And I'm sorry he made you feel bad for saying ouch.

Warm Hugs,


Shelley Ensz

Founder and President

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099


The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

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