Jump to content
Sclero Forums

Cortizone Shot, ?physical Therapy

Recommended Posts

While waiting to see a rheumatologist, I recently had an MRI of my knee and shoulder, which showed a lot of calcification, for which ortho doctor gave me a cortizone shot in the shoulder (i chickened out of the knee one). It helped for about 2 days, now doesn't feel any different. He also wants me to do physical therapy on my shoulder, but I've read that for polymyositis that exercise really is not a good idea. My muscles most of the time feel like I've been exercising, isn't that good enough? LOL. I thought at first, well it's just the shoulder, but oh my goodness the muscle aches and spasms in that arm are just so bad, I don't think I can do it. Any thoughts? Should I wait until I see the rheumatologist?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Krista,


I also have bone spurs in both shoulders. My first cortizone shot didn't work, as they missed the spot. The second one I had done by a physiatrist, and she nabbed it perfectly.


That reduced the swelling and inflammation enough to begin physical therapy, which did not involve exercising. It began with ultrasound treatments, hot/cold packs, and later on, very gentle stretching. Gradually I was able to do more stretches, but at no point did it devolve into exertional exercise or a vigorous round of racquetball.


I was thrilled to be able to do simple things again, like lift a milk carton or put on a jacket without wincing or yeowching or having to bypass the activity altogether. I was also highly motivated to follow all of the PT advice, since they threatened me with surgery to remove the spurs if therapy didn't work.


That was nearly 10 years ago, and I've been doing fine ever since. A few times it has acted up, but by promptly starting anti-inflammatories, using cool packs, and resting and stretching, it has rather quickly settled back down again. So don't avoid PT over fears of exercising. Usually PT is quite the opposite, with firm instructions to coddle the affected part until healing is sufficiently underway.


I may be wrong (I often am!) but I'd say you need the PT and the most the rheumatologist could do is probably send you back to the PT. Sometimes it takes a little while for the cortizone shot to kick in, but in my experience, it quelled things just enough to begin PT, and certainly did not bring it back to anywhere near normal all by itself. The PT was priceless!

Link to post
Share on other sites


I have polymyositis and gentle exercise and stetching is extremely important. The trick is not to exercise to the point of exhaustion or to tire the muscles. If you don't move the muscles they could atrophy which is something you definitely don't want to happen. So I support Shelley in suggesting that you should work with the PT as suggested by your doctor. Just make sure that the PT knows that you have poly so that he creates exercises that move the muscles without stressing them.


Please let us know how things go and if the PT helps.


Big Hugs,

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Joelf locked this topic
  • Joelf unlocked this topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...