Rotator cuff injury, 67 years old and nothing is working

by jocelyn

I have had pain in my shoulder and forearm for the last nine months and in spite of physio, rest, homeopathy, painkillers, anti inflammatories it is as bad as ever.

I am 67 years old and reasonably active but have had to limit my tai chi and yoga classes because of this pain.

I have tried your ice massage method and had some relief but as soon as I stop icing the pain returns. I have just had a MRI scan and the diagnosis (I'm in Spain so the translation might be iffie) is "partial tear of the supra espinosa, tendonitis and grade two impingement of the rotator cuff with osteophytes."

You don't have the promised page on rotator cuff problems up yet on your website so I am hoping you can give me some individual advice before I see the specialist next week.

Thanks in advance,



Joshua Answers:

Hello Jocelyn. I'm sorry to hear you are still in shoulder pain.

As far as the promised Rotator Cuff pages...yeah, that's on the list. Good news/bad news, I keep adding content to this website in various directions. Shoulder is on the thing at a time.

And, I'm sorry it's not available to you as you really need it right now.

So, let's see what we can do for you here.

In no particular order, I'm going to touch on a couple things and then expand on them later as needed:

1. Anti-inflammatories, pain-killers, and rest never cure Rotator Cuff tendonitis. They -can- help take the pain away...but really are not a helpful treatment.

Physio and Homeopathic remedy, depending on what exactly the problem is, can be good options or not. I'm not going to talk down about anything, but there is a RIGHT tool for every job, and the physio may or may not know and use the right tools.

2. Impingement of the shoulder cuff really just means that your surrounding muscles are super tight, stuck super tight, and are pulling your arm and neck into your shoulder, basically.

When a joint is compressed and you move it around, it grinds it's inner surfaces. This irritant can cause arthritis and/or bone spurs (osteophytes).

3. The shoulder is the toughest to self-care for as it's awkward to get to and there is a lot of muscles mass and different structures.

4. If there really is a tear in the supraspinatus muscle tendon, that's not so good. You may need some specific kind of manual therapy to help that heal, as well as the self care we'll talk about.

Plus, a tear is going to create a lot more pain dynamic in the area, which helps explain why the pain comes right back after you ice.

In general, you have to ice LIKE CRAZY for a certain period of time to overwhelm the The Pain Causing Dynamic.

5. Bone Spurs - may or not be a permanent problem
Tendonitis - not such a problem
Impingement - no problem
Tear in the tenon - likely your biggest problem at the moment.

If I could work on you in person for a week or two, it would be worth the trip to the states.

However, as that's not so likely to happen, if you stick with me in this conversation, I can provide you a lot of value, and I'll stick with you till you're as out of pain as you can be.

Questions to answer:

1. How would you rate your overall health?

2. Have you ever had any traumatic injury to the neck/shoulder/arm, like a car crash, falling off a horse, etc.

3. Did something happen 9 months ago that started this?

4. Have you had pain here before, even a little?

5. Any other injury/pain happening in your body?

6. Anything else I should know?

Answer these questions to give me a better idea of what is going on, then we have a lot to talk about before you see your doctor.

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

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May 17, 2009
PART 2 -- Rotator cuff injury, 67 years old and nothing is working
by: jocelyn

Hi Joshua, Thanks for your very prompt reply.

In answer to your questions.

My overall health is pretty good - (when I'm not hurting I feel fine!)

I did have a traumatic injury to my neck (right hand side) caused by an osteopath who manipulated my neck without warning when I went to her for a low back problem. That was about ten years ago and I have had neck problems and muscle aches in shoulder and back plus bad headaches from time to time as a result. Acupuncture helped a lot with the headaches and the physio who has been treating my shoulder has also treated my neck and has helped that a lot.

Nine months ago I had a fall and put out my right hand to protect myself. The shoulder pain started after this.

I had had shoulder pain two years ago which cleared up after a few months of Physio.

I also get pain in my right hip and lower back which comes and goes. Last year I had it checked and the scan showed a slight protrusion in L2.

Also, every time I have an x-ray I am told there are degenerative changes i.e osteo-arthritis, but I believe this is normal for my age.

The only other major problem I am aware of is that I have been diagnosed with Myelodysplasia but at the moment it is not giving me any problems.


Joshua Answers:

Ok, that all makes sense.

1. I wouldn't worry about the bulge and degenerative disc stuff. You might want to get 'Healing Back Pain' by Dr. John Sarno.

It is one of 2 books that got me up off the floor when I first had ruptured disc pain. It basically says that everybody has some bulge and 'degeneration', but that doesn't mean that there has to be pain and problem. It's worth getting.

So normal for your age, probably yes. Does that mean it's a problem? Not necessarily.

Does it have anything to do with your hip pain? Probably not. There is so much going on in the hip and back that can account for the pain you describe.

2. Are we talking about the same thing with Myelodysplasia? The bone marrow problem that causes various syndromes?

3. It is totally common that a fall as you describe sets off a defensive mechanism that gets stuck on and causes ongoing pain and problem.

Overall it sounds like your nervous system is on high alert. Which basically means that it is constantly tightening muscles up to 'protect' you, which ironically enough sets you up for ongoing pain and problem, and more of it.

It sounds like the shoulder mechanism was already in place. Physio helped it become pain free 2 years ago, but it's been lurking and slowly getting 'worse'. The fall set it off again. This is a likely and probably scenario.

It's good acupuncture and physio have helped. That's a good sign.


May 17, 2009
PART 3 -- Rotator cuff injury, 67 years old and nothing is working
by: jocelyn

Hi Joshua.

Yes the myelodysplasia is the bone marrow problem.

Acupuncture and physio have helped with back and neck but this last few months nothing has helped the shoulder pain (except icing).

Should I be doing exercises like tai chi? I gave it up because I was feeling worse afterwards.

How long should I continue with icing?


Joshua Answers:

Good morning Jocelyn. I'm a little short and too the point this morning, I was up at 6 am after being woken up by a rat running around the place all night.

So I can elaborate more later.

Oh also, I made a Shoulder Impingement page last night.

1. Tai Chi. Yes, keep doing it. Experiment with not using that arm shoulder. Possibly use a sling. Ask your instructor how to keep flow going through the arm with out moving the arm.

This immobility is temporary. Movement is life, but we want to limit new irritation to the shoulder.

2. Keep doing yoga if you like, again, just don't use the arm. Stretch the neck, legs, torso, etc. Deep breathing to expand the rib cage and flex all those joints, creating movement and flow and stretch from the inside.

3. Tendonitis, shoulder tendonitis and this kind of pain follows a consistent pattern.

Over long periods of time, muscles get short and tight, stay short and tight, connective tissue shrinkwraps, the nervous system tries to protect you by tightening every thing up. Then Inflammation sets in and makes everything worse, which keeps the Inflammation Process in place.

Over more time, you get problems like shoulder impingement and torn tendon. Why torn tendon? Constant tension on the tendon, reduced circulation to the tendon, the tendon degrades and eventually can't handle the stress anymore.

What to do? Reverse the dynamic. Relax muscles, restore circulation, get rid of the inflammation process.

4. It looks to me like you are far enough along the spectrum where there is some damage, and basically the ecology of your shoulder is stuck in an acute, inflammatory, way too tight situation.

Possibly the fall tore the tendon, that makes sense. Probably it was already degraded so it wasn't a rip tear so much as a fall apart under strain tear.

That sounds bad, but isn't any worse than anything else.

5. Icing is key right now. Right now the worst thing happening is the Inflammation. That is our number one priority.

The number one tool to reduce inflammation is Ice. Ice cold, anyway.

What are the chances you can get one of those ice machines from your doctor? Mainly used after shoulder surgery, it is a sleeve that fits over the shoulder with a tube and pump that pumps ice water through the sleeve.

Know what I'm talking about?

I'll say more about that and other forms of icing shoulder tendonitis and shoulder cuff tendon injury after your response.


May 17, 2009
PART 4 - Thank You - Rotator cuff injury, 67 years old and nothing is working
by: jocelyn

Thank you so much Joshua for taking all this trouble to help me.

I am busy massaging with ice as often as possible.

Tomorrow I see the specialist and having read the shoulder impingement page I will have some good background knowledge to help me discuss the situation with him. Hopefully my spanish will allow a thorough discussion.

Tuesday I see my tai chi trainer and will talk things through with him.

I will get back to you in a couple of days to keep you up to date on my progress.

Thanks again, Jocelyn


Joshua Answers:

Great. Let's talk again after you see the shoulder specialist.

I am writing a page/article on something to help tendon heal and stay strong.

So I'll save my words here and point you to that when it's done. Along those lines, I want to talk nutrition with you some too.

On the Icing, and you can find this in various places on my site including these kinds of pages, apply cold as much as you can, as often as you can.

I'll give you a specific plan when we talk. For the moment, consider it an all out battle, with repeated icing on one side, and pain and inflammation on the other.

The more often, the better. Ice packs, ice cubes, tubs full of ice water, finishing showers on cold, whatever you can do to hit that shoulder with cold over and over.

First line of battle is getting the inflammation out and the inflammatory response to dial down. Then we can deal with the rest.

See if you can get one of those ice machines from your doc, they should rent them out if they have them. Otherwise, find one. It will be worth it.

Talk to you soon.

And you are very welcome.


May 22, 2009
steroid injection
by: Anonymous

Hi Joshua,

The traumatologist looked at the mri scans and was very clear that the only way he could see to help me was to try a steroid injection and if that didn't work it would have to be surgery.

J- That's pretty much all they have in their bag of tricks. If it's a GIANT tear, surgery may be wise. But it doesn't deal with why you have the tear in the first place.

I was very worried about both options!! He explained that the steroid jab would use a minimal amount of steroids and that it was the only way of getting to the root of the inflammation (icing is good but after all this time it is difficult to reduce the inflammation with external applications and I have already tried anti-inflammatories).

J- I'm not a big fan of the whole corticosteroid injection thing, but if it works, awesome. Let's watch and see what happens.

If the inflammation is reduced it will give the tear a chance to heal.

J- I really don't agree with that as I don't believe that that's the way the body works.

But let's go with it for now.

He suggested one injection (which I agreed to) then in a couple of weeks time if there has been an improvement but I still have some pain he would give me one more. He would not do more than two injections.

If there is no change he would not do another one and obviously if I am pain free by then I would not have another one.

There has been an improvement but I still have pain at the front of the shoulder and upper arm.

I'm not sure why I should have more pain at the front - I thought the supra espinosa was at the back?

J- The tendon of that muscle attaches at the top of the shoulder. Referred pain can be felt in the front of the shoulder.

And that's assuming that that's the only source of pain. Realistically, if you have a damaged tendon, everything in the surrounding area is going to be too tight and painful.

I am continuing to ice and I will go to physio again next week. Is there anything else I can do and do you have any suggestions for the physio?

I really would like to avoid surgery!!!!

J- Me too!!

1. Ice as much as you can, as often as you can.

2. Increase your protein intake to give your body more building block to repair with.

3. Lay out in the sun every day and absorb a bunch of Vit D.

4. Calcium/Magnesium supplement, extra.

5. Make and eat a good Bone Broth.

6. Keep the shoulder constantly moving, just little shakes and wiggles, to keep everything from locking down into tightness. Movement is life. Don't stretch it necessarily, but keeping it getting a little bit of shortness and length, repetitively.

That's the best I can offer right at this point. Ice is key, and the shoulder is tough to ice effectively. It's going to take some work.

Did you ask the doc about the ice machine?

Many thanks,

May 27, 2009
PART 6 - Shoulder improving - but now have bursitis of hip!
by: jocelyn

Hi Joshua.

The steroid injection and the icing seem to be doing the trick and I have practically no pain in the shoulder now. How long do I continue icing? Should i start exercising?

Another question:-
I had a fall on to my hip a few weeks ago and have been getting more and more pain in the buttock and hip and top of leg. I have had x-rays and investigation by physio.

Nothing is broken but the fall has triggered inflammation in the area of the sciatic nerve and also in the bursa around the hip so I now have sciatica and bursitis.

Does this come under your remit?

My physio has recommended ice massage for the bursitis and lying on a golf ball on the tender spot of the muscle around the sciatic nerve to release the tension (only for a minute or so) for the sciatica. Do you have anything to add.

Your comments are really appreciated

Joshua Answers:

I'm so glad the shoulder is feeling better.

WARNING! Just because the pain is gone doesn't mean the problem is solved.

The structure isn't any different than it was before the shot, but the pain is gone.

Which either means that the corticosteroid injection kicked out the inflammation, or it numbed the neuro-receptors.

But the pain is gone. That's great! Now, support the shoulder healing by doing soft gentle movement and shaking/jostling of the arm and shoulder. Reach of for the sky several times a day, rotate the arm in various positions. Slowly and gently.

Keep Icing. That creates a lot of good circulation. Circulation helps tendonitis and other problems heal.

Does that answer your question? I feel like I'm missing something.

Re: the hip. That's pretty good advice from the physio. If there were some way to freeze a tennis ball, or something like it but a little smaller, I would say lay on that instead. That will force the cold in deeper.

Hip bursitis, like any bursitis, is no fun. That can be intensely painful inflammation. The more cold you can repeatedly get close to it, the better.

So lay on an ice pack, lay on something cold to get your bodyweight against the cold.

And yes, use the tennis ball multiple times throughout the day to massage and relax the hip and butt muscles.

Again, keep me updated, ask questions!


May 27, 2009
PART 7 - About my clicking tendons.
by: jocelyn

I forgot to say that when I rotate the arm the tendons at the front of the shoulder click and pop as though they are not tracking properly.

Also I have inquired about an ice machine for the shoulder and no-one here (southern Spain) knows what I am talking about.


Joshua Answers:

Hey there.

Probably, the clicking is from muscles being too tight, thus pulling tendons tight.

When you rotate your arm, the tendons don't flex enough, so as the structure turns, they take the path of least resistance, which equals a sudden shift to a new position.

Instead of an easy flow that soft relaxed muscles/structures have.


As far as the ice machine, here are a couple links to what I'm talking about.

Hospitals and clinics (some of them, anyway) in the U.S. have fancier looking machines that they let their patients take home and use as they recover from surgery and such.

These look like simpler homemade jobs, but hey, whatever works.

I'm not endorsing them, I'm just showing you what they look like.

And it's just a matter of getting cold to the shoulder, so they probably work just fine.

In the relatively near future I'm going to be working on and filming a shoulder cuff tendonitis dvd, and I'll get a couple different types and test them out.

Ice Machine sample #1

Ice Machine sample #2


Jul 26, 2009
PART 8 - now a completely torn tendon!
by: jocelyn

can't type very well - using just left hand.
after lots of conventional treatment and icing as discussed previously I had sudden extreme pain and couldnt move arm . eventually got x-ray and then MRI. x-ray shows large area of calcification near head of humerus, MRI shows completely torn long biceps and partial super espinatus (as before). now waiting to see orthopedic surgeon, arm in sling, painkillers, ant-inflammatories, icing, acupuncture and shock wave therapy for the calcification.

also going on at same time is a painful, slightly swollen area on outer hip where I fell three months ago. acupunturist/chiropractor thinks, tendonitis and then all muscles which join in round that area are inflamed. icing, acupuncture and exercise recommended.

what's going on with me? am I falling apart? ....and I'm not vegetarian, and do eat a healthy/mediterranean type diet.

Jul 26, 2009
PART 9- Now we have to start Healing
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments:

Jocelyn, it looks like you are falling apart! Yikes.

So, the tendon(s) have been deteriorating over time. Something is causing this. Tendons don't just come apart like that for no good reason.

I wonder if the myelodysplasia is keeping good blood cells (and nutrition) from your tissue and thus helping your tendons degenerate.

Tendon inflammation doesn't make tendons structurally weak. But if they aren't getting the nutrition they need for whatever reason that would explain why they have been 'faling apart'.

I also wonder if that has something to do with your hip not healing.

Also, on the topic of Calcific Tendonitis (I just made page yesterday for that but haven't published it yet. I'll make a link here tomorrow), it turns out that being deficient in Magnesium can cause the body to pull Calcium from the cells, which for some reason likes to clump together in the shoulder area.

Where exactly is that Calcium deposit? In the joint, outside the joint, at/on one of the shoulder cuff tendons? Head of humerous, you said?

One of the treatments for Calcific Tendonitis and deposit is to increase one's intake of Magnesium, which has good results for helping Calcium buildup get reabsorbed.

So we have two priorities. The first is dealing with your pain. The second is making your body healthier so it will hear strong from the injury of surgery (I'm assuming you're going to get surgery on the ruptured tendon?)

1. Ice Pack. A lot. 5 minutes on, 5 off, as much as possible. This is to reduce inflammation and reduce pain. Depending on the kind of pain the ruptured tendon puts off....we're not looking at healing, we're just looking at reducing pain.

2. Increase you Magnesium intake. Here's a good page on finding the right Magnesium Dosage on my Kerri's site.

3. Add in (more) Bone Broth. You need all the collagen, amino acids, and mineral nutrients that you can get. I promise you that you aren't getting enough.

4. Lay out in the sun every day, and get sun on your skin. You need that Vitamin D, critically, for a variety of reason.

5. Keep the shoulder constantly moving, just little shakes and wiggles, to keep everything from locking down into tightness. Movement is life. Don't stretch it necessarily, but keeping it getting a little bit of shortness and length, repetitively.

In short, to answer your "what's happening to me" questions, I'm going with Protein and mineral nutrient deficient, a long term Pain Causing Dynamic, and probably some subtle aspect of the myelodysplasia keeping your from healing.

But right now, we have all that to deal with, -and- the reality of a ruptured tendon.

Sep 22, 2009
PART 10 - up date - Rotator cuff injury, 67 years old and nothing is working
by: jocelyn

Dear Joshua,

The shoulder has been improving and I have seen a specialist who says that the calcification is in the reabsorption stage and will gradually clear and that because the torn tendons are not caused by trauma at my age it is not wise to have surgery so as long as I can manage and have reasonable movement - leave well alone.

I saw another specialist about my hip and he said it was definitely trochanter bursitis and I needed a steroid injection. The injection was very painful and continued painful for a couple of weeks but then the pain and inflammation has improved and it is certainly better than it was though not cured.

I have been rereading some of your other posts and see that you frequently ask about taking levanquin. I decided to look this up and found it was a fluoroquinolone. then I looked up all the antibiotics I have taken over the years and found that I was prescribed ciprofloxacin in March 2008 and that this is a second generation fluoroquinolone.

This date must have been around the time my shoulder began to ache. Could it be related? If so is there anything which can be done about it now?

Sep 22, 2009
PART 11 - Rotator cuff injury, 67 years old and nothing is working
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments:

Hi Jocelyn!

Let's see here. I agree that surgery would be more trouble that benefit.

That's good to hear the calcification is reabsorbing. I'm curious, have you been taking Magnesium? Bone broth or equivilent?

I'm curious why the calcification started in the first place, was it not enough magnesium and the calcification happens, as it does, or....? I don't know if there's any sure way to tell....

Interesting re: the ciprofloxacin. It certainly could play a role in the tendon degeneration and the bursitis.

Some people get hit with a hard sudden degradation of tendons (usually Achilles). Some people have mild pain, in a varity of locations.

It certainly could play a role. Not in the calcification, but in any other tendon-falling-apart issues.

What to do about it? Well, all in all, you're doing all right (comparitively). No cure or reverse has been found by science.

My Kerri and I think we have a good place to start though. Here is a link to a page and a test. Levaquin Tendonitis Treatment

Without saying much about it here, the results the test provides will give valuable clues about exactly how your body is working and what deficiencies it has.

There is a theory that certain (unknown) deficiencies set a person up to taking Levaquin damage. Some people get hurt, some don't. My theory is that this test will start to give important answers that hold the key to a 'cure'.

It's worth it to do.

Also, I'd start doing daily hip stretches. Bursitis usually (unless it's Levaquin related, but even then, who knows) shows up because muscles and connective tissue are too tight and compressing the bursa, which gets inflammed and painful.

Good to hear from you:)

How much ciprofloxacin did you take, out of curiousity?

Sep 23, 2009
PART 12 - Rotator cuff injury, 67 years old and nothing is working
by: jocelyn

Hi Joshua,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I had a 5 day course of ciproflaxin.

The calcification was treated by a chiropractor by "extracorporeal shock wave treatment. This had a dramatic effect and improved both pain and movement within days. Unfortunately he is in Canada and I am now in Spain.

I had taken magnesium and bone broth after your previous advice (at about the same time as the shock wave treatment - curious).

I am still taking magnesium but at a lower dose as I started to get very dry flaky skin. the bone broth is a problem as we have been traveling constantly.

I have had a quick look at your web page about the Levaquin and it sounds interesting but I suppose the test would be impracticable as I am now in Spain for the winter.

Hope this explains a few things.

Thanks again,


Joshua Comments:

Yeah, bone broth can be tough to keep going unless one is in a very stable living situation. Even using a pressure cooker, which drops the cooking time down to just a few hours, ya still gotta make it all the dang time.

Interesting with the calcification and the chiropractor. Would be nice to isolate whether it was the ultrasound, or the ultrasound and the magnesium, or the ultrasound and the magnesium and the bone broth, or just the bone broth, or or or.

Have a great winter in Spain. It's just starting to really cool down in San Francisco.

Keep me updated if there's anything interesting happening.

Feb 15, 2010
PART 13 - will it ever get better? - Rotator cuff injury, 67 years old and nothing is working
by: jocelyn

Dear Joshua,

Since being back in Spain I have had constant ups and downs with the pains in my shoulder and hip/upper thigh.

At the moment I am in a down and hope you can give me some positive thoughts.

I have had a dozen sessions of acupuncture which helped somewhat with the pain. She also did some ultrasound which seemed to have a calming effect on the lower back/sciatica and that pain has susbsided for some time now.

I bought a hand held ultrasound of my own to continue the treatment.

I have also been going to physiotherapy regularly particularly for the hip and have been doing stretches.

I have had periods where I could not walk more than a 100 yards without extreme discomfort followed by gradual improvement until I was able to walk maybe half a mile.

During my last session with the physio he pressed hard on the area where the bursa are and since then I have been in constant burning pain around the area of the trochanteric bursae and down the outer thigh (iliotibial band?).

I am not able to sleep at night in spite of taking Devil's Claw (easier on my stomach than Ibuprofen etc) and icing. I am taking 450 units of magnesium and have had my vit D & calcium levels tested (calcium 6.2mg, vit D 38.60 ng). I am now waiting for a supply of vit D arriving.

Shoulder continues to give me pangs and I have to be careful not to do small repetitive movements or anything very strenuous but it is far less of a problem to me now than the hip.

Why does the hip show signs of improving and then go back to square one? What more can I do?

You and Kerry are giving a wonderful service. I can't thank you enough. I just wish we lived the other side of the Atlantic and I could visit you.

Thanks so much for your help.


Feb 17, 2010
PART 14 - Rotator cuff injury, 67 years old and nothing is working
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments:

Hi Jocelyn.

1. I wish you lived here too, if only because if I could get my hands on you for 5 minutes I'd have so much more information about your situation. You have a lot going on, makes it an adventure to try to figure out over distance!

2. Have someone take a picture of your posture from the side (either side) and email it to me (I won't post it). That will give me a lot more information about neck/shoulder/back.

3. Calcium level is fine, Vit D a bit low at 38. Research recommends a level of 40-80, and the newer stuff I've seen recommends 50-80. 38 isn't horrible, still, I'd shoot for 50.

4. Do you have your blood work report? Do you know the BUN and Creatin levels/numbers?

This is Kerri's arena, but I think we need to look to see how well you are detoxing. If your body isn't doing it's natural detox mechanism very well, that leaves you full of 'bad stuff' than can result in any number of pains/problems, including super sensitive/painful tissues and bursae.

5. Get the books '7 Steps To A Pain Free Life' by Dr. Robin McKenzie and 'Healing Back Pain' by Dr. John Sarno.

The first will deal with any L2 disc bulge pain/problem (and potentially help your neck too). The second will give you a very helpful persoective on the whole degenerative disc 'disease' thing.

These two books got me off two months of ruptured disc pain on the floor and onto my feet in two days.

6. Please describe in great detail what it felt like when you couldn't walk 100 yards.

And say more about the sciatic pain thing.

Feb 18, 2010
PART 15 - reply - Rotator cuff injury, 67 years old and nothing is working
by: jocelyn

Hi Joshua,

Thanks again for taking so much trouble for me.

I have ordered the two books you suggested.

I have the photos ready and will mail.

When the walking is bad it feels as though I have a wound around the hip joint and the movement is pulling at it. Tearing.

When I had sciatica type pain it was from lower back through the big muscle in buttocks and down outer thigh (no further than knee).

Sitting was worst. Acupuncture and ultrasound definitely helped this area of pain.

The pain when walking feels as though there is a cut inside the flesh and behind the hip bone and that it is tearing apart. (difficult to be sure when you are not actually feeling the pain right there & then).

As far as I remember the sciatic type of pain originated just to the side of the lower spine (on the right), passed through the big muscle of the buttock, over the hip bone and down the outer thigh (never over the knee)

Thanks again,


Joshua Comments:

Hi Jocelyn.

Urea and Creatin levels are fine.

Well, your posture looks better than I would have expected. That's good.

Upper arms are medially rotated too much (rotated inward). Rotate your arms such that your palms are facing straight ahead. It feels funny, but do this movement A LOT for the next couple weeks, throughout the day.

Lower back is arched a little too much. I can't tell if your pelvis is anteriorly or posteriorly rotated, but I bet you that the two sides are very different.

My best guess is that your lower back is arched like it would be if were tilting/sticking your butt out, but that you're actually tilting/tucking your tailbone/pelvis the opposited direction.

This usually straightens that curve in the spine, but doesn't have to. If it doesn't, like it looks like with you, that overstretches all the structure, which makes sense with what you describe as pulling from the low back down to the glutes/hip.

This is easy to show but tough to explain let's start with this exercise.

Either standing or laying down, we're going to have you rock your pelvis forward and backwards (not side to side, though that would be good too).

Tilt the pelvis/hips in both directions, in a thrusting motion and then the opposite of that. I suspect that one direction will be easy, and the other will be hard/impossible.

Impossible only because your body isn't used to doign that motion anymore. You're body will want to cheat and move other parts of your body, but you want to focus and isolate and tilt only the pelvis.

Also, get a tennis ball or equivelent, or a frozen water bottle, and lay your hips/glutes on it. ROll around a little so it gets massaged in there. It's already overstretched so you don't want to loosen the muscles, per se, but you do want to get circulation in and out of overworked muscles, and they'll feel better.

Try those out and let me know how that goes.

Feb 23, 2012
two years later
by: jocelyn

I can't believe that this has gone on for so long and I haven't been back to you. I think I have just got so dispirited and simply tried to live with the pain.

I have done everything suggested, spent a mint on physio etc and basically am no better off, worse in fact because I now have knee pain(left knee) probably as an effect of bad posture because of the right hip/glutes pain. I also had a bad fall a year ago when I came off an elephant during a stampede (don't ask!). I am lucky to be alive really.

I fell on my left side and was very badly bruised (left buttock) and shaken but no broken bones. The pain was intense on my right side around the sacrum and I couldn't walk for a few days.

With intensive physio and osteopathy I recovered but have fairly frequent relapses of pain from sacrum through glutes to hip bursitis and down thigh.

I have been to a sports medicine specialist who has tried ESWT treatment on both the bursitis and the knee (he says the knee is the iliopsoas - I had an MRI and there is no prob with the meniscus etc), but the treatment has had no effect. He also tried Neuro treatment, injecting a pain killer to stimulate the nervous structure of the tissues, but I had a bad reaction to that so won't continue.

I really don't know where to go from here. Bury my head in the sand and start popping pain killers?

I don't know if you can possibly help any more than you already have but it is good to hear a sympathetic voice. Thanks for reading this far.



Joshua Comments:

Hi Jocelyn.

Pain is a huge drag on the psyche, and on one's life and quality of life. I hear ya.

So it's been....2 years since we spoke?

Give me an update on what you've been doing.

1. How much Vit D are you taking?

2. How much Magneisum are you taking?

3. Are you eating good fat, and enough protein?

4. How's the shoulder doing nowadays. It sounds like your primary complaint now is back and hips?

Feb 25, 2012
here we are again
by: jocelyn

Hi Joshua. Good to hear you.
I am taking 200mg magnesium, 400 iu vit D (and we live in the south of Spain so I do see the sun a lot.
I eat mostly extra virgin olive oil (lots of it) with a little virgin coconut oil when I do a stir fry. I don't eat a lot of meat, when I do it is mainly lamb or wild boar from the local mountains. I eat mediterranean fish, sardines, tuna, dorado, etc or bacalau (salt cod), local home produced eggs and goat or sheeps cheese for my protein.

You are right - the problems with my shoulder are now contained. I don't do any heavy carrying or lifting and don't raise my arm too much or I have pain but otherwise the shoulder is fine. The big problems are hip and buttock/low back and knee. It means that walking and sitting are both very painful and I have difficulty sleeping at night.

Feb 27, 2012
reply - back and hip now main problem
by: jocelyn

I tried replying a couple of days ago but can't see any record on the thread so here goes again.

Yes the back and hip are the main problems now. The shoulder pain settled down after ESWT to break up the calcification but the hip bursitis and related pains through buttock and sacrum seem to be intractable.
I am taking 200 mg of magnesium
400 ui of vit D (and usually managing at least half an hour in the sun)
I eat only extra virgin olive oil (local) - I cook with it and pour it on everything.
Protein is a mix of Mediterranean fish and local lamb or wild boar plus local eggs and goats or sheeps cheese. Lots of nuts and seeds too - local almonds.
I can't pin down what makes the pains worse or better - they change from day to day without any obvious causes. I think that swimming may have triggered more back pain (breast stroke - like a frog?) Sitting is always a problem. Walking sometimes makes me feel worse and sometimes better.

Rubbing with various oils and liniments sometimes helps sometimes doesn't. for a while I thought that Emu oil was improving everything but then I regressed. Icepacks always help to reduce pain while I am applying them but it doesn't last.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Jocelyn.

200mg of mag is not enough, in any kind of muscle pain situation.

What's your Vit D level? Until we know, I'm going with that 400i.u.'s of Vit D is super low, not even an infant's dose. How much you actually get depends on a few things like how much surface area actually gets sun, if you shower off with soap afterwards, sun screen or not, body fat percentage, etc.

I fear I'm a bit helpless in the hip/buttock/knee pain thing.

If you fell off an elephant (at least you have a good story to go with it....) and landed on your ass, that could have cause any various factor/result of a large amount of mayhem.

Hips and/or sacrum and/or spine could have been forced out of alignment and now muscles are holding you out of whack. That's far to complex for me to deal with online.

I'm curious what a regular yoga routine putting all your spine/hips/upper leg structures through their range of motions (or attempt to and see where you're stuck.

Muscles I would focus on if I was poking around in a massage to see how tight/painful things were:

Quadratus Lumborum
Glutes and the lateral rotaters under them

Side bend and/or rotation of the spine and sacrum.
I wonder if there's an Onsen Technique practitioner somewhere in Spain or neighboring country. A good Onsen Technique practitioner can do some subtle but very accurate manipulations of the spine/sacrum/hips to get you lined up again.

Osteopath should, but A. not every professional is created equally and B. Some pain dynamics are just a mystery, and you gotta keep looking till you fine and answer/someone that can find an answer.

May 15, 2012
Amino Acid Complete Complex for post shoulder surgery pain
by: Anonymous

The first time I tore my shoulder rotator cuff was in 1996, for some odd reason, I found and started taking the complete amino acid complex.
The day I went for my pre-surgery appointment I took all medications being taken, with me. At that time, (1 week after the injury), my shoulder did not hurt at all.
When the surgeon saw the bottle of the Amino Acid Complex, he laughed. He stated that so few people know and believe in the healing proprieties of the Amino Acids.

I am on rotator cuff tear number 9 and when I feel that type of pain, I take 3 of the Complete Amino Acid Complex (should be 23 in all) - 3 of them 3 times a day. In 3 days, (if I rest the shoulder as well - hard for me to be inactive), there is no more pain.
At a young 53 year old woman, have a tendency to push myself too hard, and do things such as plumbing, that I know I shouldn't...Just cannot afford nor trust an "expert" who charges too much to do the right job.
Which is how I happened upon this site - I tore my rotator cuff again, and yes, the dratted kitchen sink still isn't right yet. (If anyone is interested, I have come up with 4 inventions to make the task of plumbing superbly simple - the just don't make these simple parts that would save a rotator cuff).


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonyplumber.

That's very interesting about the amino acids. Please say more.

So....what's up with your body that you keep tearing?

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