Help needed for shoulder impingement and acromion bone spur

by Sally

Hi Joshua,

I’ve just gotten the Reversing Shoulder Tendonitis ebook, as advised.

I’m a 37 year old female who was recently diagnosed with shoulder impingement after putting my left arm out in front of me. For 2 weeks I felt a vague muscle pull like sensation in my bicep area which I worked through (I work in an office) that gradually got worse.

Eventually, I was experiencing shooting pains in my fingers and burning pains in my palm, as well as the gnawing ache in the shoulder area.

I took NSAID’s for weeks and then saw a specialist who recommended a steroid injection. The lidocaine did numb the pain but the steroid didn’t have much effect. By that point, I was experiencing a hideous painful, “catching” sensation, when putting on a coat, dressing gown etc, so was referred for an MRI. That confirmed I had no tear but a small bone spur on my acromion.

My consultant explained about subacromial decompression but sees surgery as a last resort and so suggested that I give physiotherapy a good chance to see if it could help. I’ve been seeing a physio now for a couple of weeks and after some scapular strengthening exercises have found an improvement in range of movement, which has given me hope. However, I am still experiencing pain.

Furthermore, I have now been off work for 10 weeks and am feeling very low as I appear to be getting “tendonitis-y” pains in other parts i.e. in my other shoulder (right one), Achilles etc. After weeks of being housebound and not being able to drive, I tried to go for a gentle walk on Sunday but managed to pull my groin as I stepped through my front door! It appears that all my body is just weakening from lack of use.

I’m therefore writing to you in the hope that you could help me? I guess my question is, is there anything I can do to help things along? I know I’ve not been having physio for long at all and should be patient but in the interim, was wondering if there’s anything else you could suggest to improve the situation/strengthen me?

Does physio just improve movement or can it relieve the pain also?

In addition, I have acupuncture which helps a lot (then wears off) but I feel very low and also worried now I’m experiencing pains elsewhere i.e. I’m torn between wanting to gently exercise/walk to strengthen myself but fearful, that my body is so fragile now, it’ll just pull something else. I’m also frightened that I’ll get impingement in my other shoulder as it’s compensating so much.

If there’s any advice you could give, I’d be so grateful! I don’t drink and I’m very health conscious -I’m very aware of nutrition, acidity/alkalinity balance, importance of eating organic etc.

However, I am vegetarian and I’m wondering after reading your website whether the lack of protein in my diet could be a contributory factor? I’m currently using the following: dicloflenac, magnesium oil, turmeric, ginger, collagen, hya. acid, gluco/chondro/msm, fish oil, bromelain and spirulina. I’ve also heard great things about celadrin and cissus? However, I’ve heard cissus can have an androgenic effect and so I’m worried about taking it!

Finally, what are your thoughts re. computer based work when trying to resolve shoulder impingement? I’m desperate to return to work but frightened it’ll tighten everything up and hinder the physio so, in your opinion, is it best to avoid computers until I’m feeling better?

It’s also worth mentioning that I’ve had neck and back problems all through my life; my neck gets especially tight and I have to click it to get some relief, whilst my lower back can give me some problems (coccyx pain). I’m wondering if this could have caused shoulder destabilisation as after a deep tissue massage with the physio, I noticed the range of movement in my arm was significantly better?

Currently, I sleep on my back after being a side sleeper all my life as I’m unable to lie on the affected side. I’ve just ordered a tempur original pillow so I’m hoping that may help.

My physio also says that only a third of patients go onto have surgery i.e. physio can help impingement. Naturally, I desperately want to be one of them and so if there’s anything you could suggest to help, I’d be so grateful!

My mum’s due to have an op in a couple of weeks and I just feel totally useless :-(

Look forward to hearing from you….



Joshua Answers:

Hello Sally.

Yes, there's A LOT that can help. You'll find what you need in the Reversing Shoulder Tendonitis ebook. The bulk of it, anyway. Certainly the basis from which to work.

1. Physical therapy may help. I'm biased, as I work with all the people PT doesn't help. In general, my answer to you is "physical therapists are going to ignore the most basic of causes of your shoulder pain and other symptoms".

The scapular strengthening exercises are good though. But they're more a secondary than primary targeting tool.

You notice increased range of motion after deep tissue massage because it opens up TOO TIGHT muscle and connective tissue.

Worst case scenario, you working with the ebook will make the physio a lot more effective.

2. You have to deal with the Pain Causing Dynamic mechanism.

You have to deal with the cause of those shooting pains.

And that 'catching'. And the cause of the 'compression'. It's great to 'decompress' and all, but why in the world do they pretend that said compression just happens out of the blue for no reaons? It doesn't.

Make sure you know the answer to the following question: What Is Tendonitis?


Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for Help needed for shoulder impingement and acromion bone spur

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Jun 04, 2014
Joshua Replies to Sally - Help needed for shoulder impingement and acromion bone spur
by: The Tendonitis Expert

3. If you're having all over tendonitisy feel, then that points to nutrition.

I don't care if you're a vegetarian or not, but I do care if you're not getting the nutrition you need. You're not. It may or may not be a protein thing, but there's lots of other nutrition.

Did you know that Inflammation Causes Vitamin B6 Deficiency? And you've had chronic inflammation for YEARS.

See: Process of Inflammation

I'm a big fan of therapeutic supplementation, see the ebook.

4. Do you have a history of car crash, falling off a horse, boxing, etc? Forceps or other birth trauma?

5. Have you ever taken a Fluoroquinolone antibiotic like Levaquin or Cipro?

6. Computer work (or any other activity) isn't the problem. The problem is that your body can't handle it, for a variety of reasons, AND (over time) you haven't counteracted any negative aspects of long term seated hunched-forward work.

7. Shoulder Tendonitis is essentially what you have. Well...a shoulder tendonitis dynamic, anyway, which consists of too tight muscle and connective tissue, deficient nutrition, and inflammatory process. All that leads to various symptoms and outcomes, like a Bone Spur (which may or may not be a cause of any pain.

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