Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Physio for the Frozen Shoulder

Paolo was as direct and merciless with his words as he was with the pressure he brought to bear on my shoulder, neck and back. It was the first time that I had met him, but he was already talking to me like he had known me for a lifetime. He was unapologetic when challenging me, "why are not you making the lifestyle changes that you know you need to make?", "why are not you getting exercise 3 times a week?", and "when are you going to start taking care of yourself?". Good questions. Too bad I did not have any good answers?

At the time I made my first appointment with him my shoulder and elbow were a little sore and stiff, but I could not isolate the cause. Was it the PD?  These days I immediately identify almost any physical, cognitive or imaginary change to my bodily functioning as being attributable to Parkinson's. However, my second response is to pooh-pooh that first response for fear of the label "hypochondriac" being put on my business card. By the time I made it in to see Paolo the physiotherapist today, the range of motion in my shoulder, elbow, and then neck, were becoming more limited everyday. I have been wearing an arm brace just below my elbow, as it seemed to help with daily tasks. But the pain streaked down my arm whenever I put my arm/shoulder in the wrong place or position.

Despite the pain of the probing by Paulo this morning, it was evident afterwards that my range of motion had increased thereby validating his diagnosis and making his prognosis quite likely: if I do not work on the "frozen shoulder" now I will run the risk of rendering my right arm of limited use. I am already becoming a virtual left-handed person due to the tremor, and this would only speed up that switch.   My elbow pain is apparently from acute tendonitis.

I suppose it is only appropriate that today, the 4th anniversary of my "PD Diagnosis Day", I should receive a wake-up call from someone I had never met. After all, that is what happened 4 years ago. Maybe I need the feedback from a distance instead of those close to me. Change must occur. I must do a better job of shining a light into the future and responding now to what I can discern there.

So tomorrow morning I climb back on the "wagon" with my personal trainer and recommit myself to exercise at least 3 times a week for an hour, focusing on aerobics, core and stretching (yuck, how boring).


  1. Bob is this last photo a cartoon of you?
    Good article by the way.

  2. It is an avatar of yours truly!

  3. Bob, We seem to be on the same track. I went to a new specialist for my arthritis today and we went through the frozen shoulder thing...In the past month all I have heard is exercise and more exercise and sleep....I am exhausted just thinking about it...love Pokie

  4. Saw this the other day:


  5. Try pickleball. a bunch of retired people place 3 times a week here, and most have replaced knees. Only if you can move laterally and forward well though. If falling is a problem, maybe not.