Monday, February 22, 2010

On to the Next Step

My shoulders are "a killin' me". The pain keeps coming; turning into a chronic beast with no end in sight. Such is the nature of adhesive capsulitis (or frozen shoulder) in many cases. I've tried steroid injections, physical therapy, ibuprofen, massage therapy and endless stretching on my own. Two steps forward and two steps back with no meaningful forward progress. The shoulders aren't exactly frozen....they're inflamed and certain movements make them zing and beg for mercy, like putting on a coat. It takes me ages to get that coat on without help some days. Most days.


Today I had my first session (for this problem) with an acupuncturist. I had seen her years back for another issue and thought maybe she could provide some relief for this annoyance too. She's great; trained in traditional Chinese medicine she not only takes a detailed history and performs the acupuncture treatment, she also gives "homework", things to work on in the interval between appointments. Plus she uses techniques like fire cupping which is another ancient remedy used primarily for painful syndromes. Having those glass cups applied to the skin and left in place for 20 minutes or so feels really weird; I had two on each shoulder. It doesn't really hurt but you'd never know that from the looks of the skin when they're removed.

Remember a number of years back when Gwyneth Paltrow raised a stir showing up in public with her back covered with odd looking bruises?

I'm sporting spots that look mighty similar to these on my shoulders. Truly, they don't hurt but they look rather scary.

As for the acupuncture needles and the little jolts of current she ran through some of them, I was glad when the treatment was over. But I signed up for five more over the next few weeks. I've got to try something.

My shoulders are still hurting. Nothing is as good as a couple of aspirin in the moment. The problem is, it JUST. COMES. BACK. AGAIN. I'm trying to get to the root and root it out.

Wish me luck.


  1. Good luck, Kate. I've had good luck with acupuncture in the past. May these treatments bring you lasting relief and healing.

  2. I had some pretty disturbing shoulder pain a few months ago and since I'd read about frozen shoulder, I wondered about it.

    I now have a Dr's appointment this week for some general check up stuff, and as I was thinking about asking her about the shoulder, I realized that for the last month or so it hasn't been an issue at all. How odd.

  3. Oh Kate, my hubby had frozen shoulder and the pain (as he related it) was terrible! I sure hope this alternative treatment provides you much relief!!

  4. Wondering how your treatments went and if the week has given you some relief?

  5. I'm hoping it works. I've got my own shoulder issues and greatly sympathize.


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