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Arthritic Shoulders. What can I do/take?

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    Arthritic Shoulders. What can I do/take?

    30 years post injury, C6/7. Active life until this past year when my shoulders seem to be extracting payment for those 30 years of use and abuse.

    Any suggestions as to any thing that might help would be deeply appreciated.

    thanks,
    mark
    I still play hard http://www.miata.net/motm/2007/thomson.html

    #2
    I assume you are immobile, but you do not say so. This is the route I chose to follow.

    Request your GP practicioner refer you to a orthopedic doctor or shoulder doctor, to get a MRI of them. I assume you are in a chair, if it is a manual chair, it may exacerbate your shoulder issues. I have severe shoulder injuries, and have had for many years, and reverse shoulder replacement was suggested. You should make your self aware that the surgery and repair is not worse than your current problem. my prognosis was, a recovery that would have consisted of 3+ months per shoulder in an extended care facility, plus very likely loss of my transfer ability. I chose a different path and refused the shoulder repair but found the my cervical spine was the cause of much of my discomfort. And I use a self provided power wheelchair for my mobility.

    Comment


      #3
      I do push a manual lightweight chair, and transfer in/out of the driver's seat in my van. I absolutely do not want surgery, as the recovery time would be unbearable, and leave me unable to work. I was hoping for suggestions along the lines of OTC meds, therapy, etc.
      I still play hard http://www.miata.net/motm/2007/thomson.html

      Comment


        #4
        My son is a c6/7, 11 years post, started having shoulder pain in both shoulders. He recently received a Smart Drive attachment for his chair and it has made quite a difference. We went through insurance and they did cover a good portion of the cost. Hope this helps!

        Comment


          #5
          Best managed by prevention unfortunately. Many of the things we used to teach in rehab we know now were just outright wrong for joint preservation. The emphasis now days is on "preserving for the future" vs. the old model of "push to the limits".

          You may want to get an evaluation by an orthopedist who specializes in shoulder problems and determine if your problems are "just" wear-and-tear arthritis, or if you actually have shoulder problems such as rotator cuff damage or impingement issues. Therapy and specialized exercises may help, as well as an evaluation of any poor body mechanics you are using for functional activities that may be making the situation worse.

          I would also recommend that you download and read this document:
          Preservation of Upper Limb Function Following Spinal Cord Injury: What You Should Know
          http://www.pva.org/site/apps/ka/ec/p...oductID=883954

          and that you consider the use of assistive devices to take the load off your shoulders. This can include power assist devices or power chairs, mechanical lifts, driving a van instead of transferring to a car (and maybe even driving from your chair to avoid having to do transfers), minimizing the number of transfers you have to do daily, and even which sports and exercise activities you engage in on a regular basis.

          (KLD)
          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you all for the suggestions. It will be extremely difficult for me to give up my manual chair (pride, vanity, whatever) but someday that may just have to happen. Up until last year I was able to independently transfer in and out of my little Miata, but no longer. Now my only transportation is my GMC Safari with lift and 6 way power seat base.

            KLD - I downloaded that pdf and will read it through. Thank you.

            mark
            I still play hard http://www.miata.net/motm/2007/thomson.html

            Comment


              #7
              Mark electric wheelchairs are replaceable.....your shoulders are not. We have been threw this on this site many times in the past. I can do more things with my electric chair then I could ever do with my manual.
              Art

              Comment


                #8
                I know, but I love the portability and maneuverability of my Crossfire. It gets close enough to my bed and van seat for independent transfers still.
                I still play hard http://www.miata.net/motm/2007/thomson.html

                Comment


                  #9
                  Liquid form is best for our slow motility guts:

                  http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/osteo...is-supplements

                  Therabands REALLY helped me. Keep one at work - one at home when you're watching tv or on your computer and work, stretch with it. Can't stress how much that helped.

                  Also, I've heard that ibuprofen and acetaminophen work well together for OTC products and pain relief ... there are some things to read about taking both though:

                  http://www.arthritis.org/living-with...de-effects.php

                  I went and had an ultrasound when I was having trouble and found that my tendons were 'extra thick' and there were no tears. Have your doctor gets those scans done etc and monitor for changes.

                  Finally, I'm using a power chair part-time as of two years ago. I use the manual at home ... and if I go out in my car (which isn't often anymore). Funny thing? No more shoulder pain AT ALL. The downside is that you lose muscle and stamina real quick so trying to figure out that balance is key.

                  Go back to a transfer board ... I did this at 25yrs, saves the risk of a fall and saves your shoulders. I also bought a bath lift that enables me to get under hot soapy water and soak - best thing ever.
                  Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

                  T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have been through the cycle. I am using a fully powered wc these days after more than 50 years of manual wheeling. For the last 10 of those I had a power assist. If I had started using power assist10 years or so earlier my shoulders would be in much better shape. However power assists had not been developed at that time. When you are forced to change because of shoulder pain it is too late. I drove a vehicle like you are doing now. I had to quit because the pain became excruciating when I had to do a sharp turn. I realized I was no longer a safe driver. Now is the time for you to act. Below is a link to the power assist I used. This is the second generation,. It is integrated into a custom chair similar to today's manual chairs. IMO it is the best technology out there.

                    http://www.clintonrivermedical.com/
                    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
                    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

                    See my personal webpage @
                    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The Tailwind system looks interesting. But at 56 lbs it's a serious heavyweight.
                      I still play hard http://www.miata.net/motm/2007/thomson.html

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by mthomson View Post
                        The Tailwind system looks interesting. But at 56 lbs it's a serious heavyweight.
                        Yes, that is an issue when using it in less that optimal environments with power assist turned off. The wheels and battery can be popped off for transport. However it is probably weighs less than some of the other assists added to a chair like e-motions. There is one, the ZX-1 that detaches from manuals. There is a lot of related discussion in threads in the Equipment Forum.

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bRuhHfg660
                        You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
                        http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

                        See my personal webpage @
                        http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

                        Comment


                          #13
                          There is a never ending battle on this subject. The add one costs almost as much as a Power Chair. And, there are the obvious set backs with Power Chairs. But, it is only the pain that is your reason to buy a Power Chair I believe that should be enough.

                          Weight being the biggie, I dealt with this by finding a "CurbSider" lift. on Craigs list for $150 and had my local mechanic install it. There are few secrets with this installation, Directions were right there on their site. So it is also transferable from vehicle to vehicle. Of course a mini van is the desirable conveyance. As you lose any current mobility you have left you might find it wise to plan ahead.

                          Both of my shoulders are destroyed, My GP who has an orthopedic
                          background, after looking at my MRI report he said my shoulders were F----d. He is honest, to say the very least. Now I can get into my van with comparative ease, and my wife loads the chair. it is a click into the lift mechanisms and push a button to lift and another to swing it into the back of the van. I do suppose one day I will not be able to get into the van as I do currently, and we will have to do something different.

                          I have a manual chair, that sits unused any more. It is overall wider and for me now much more difficult to maneuver indoors. An inch of width is a big thing when wheeling around my old house, so is another inch of length.

                          My Power chair spends the evening right beside the bed. I use it like the bed rails that hospital beds use and reach to the arms to push and pull by body around and to roll over. The weight is a plus when you use a power chair as a stabilizer. And the motors automatically lock the wheels in place when the joy stick control is centered.

                          I charge it every night, usually as I watch TV. I am on my 3+ years on my current batteries. Lead acid Batteries are best kept at a nearly full charge or as close as you can to it. Running them down to full discharge is stupid. But running them down once in a great while to around 80% depth of discharge or below does little harm . But recharging ASAP is definitely recommended after such an event. I have no clue to why some folks do not recharge their batteries every evening. Simply plugging a charger into a connection on their chair is nothing too difficult.

                          I simply do not understand the allure of an "add on" power unit, no matter who makes it..........





                          Comment


                            #14
                            I went through the add-on phase ... The Smart Drive weighs 11lbs so can still be lifted into a car with a manual.

                            Financial reasons. I can't afford a van AND the adaptations. Though I've seen many Braun Turny lifts for $1000 on used sites. If the curbside lift works midway in a mini-van, I might be in luck as I've seen those used as well.
                            Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

                            T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Lynnifer,
                              To use a sidewalker lift you have to be able to get from the door which you use to utilize the lift to either the drivers seat or the passenger seat. I never personally saw a mid vehicle sidewalker. There may not be any difference at all, I simply do not know. Are you mobile at all? That is are your legs workable at all? If so, just what is comfortable for you to do? I can do quite a bit if I concentrate, and plan every move well before I do anything. My legs do work momentarily, but any false moves or delay, and they will fail me. Then I am down, just like a sack of feed. However, if and when I get another minivan I will give more consideration to utilizing the side door.

                              I currently use the rear hatch, and never gave any serious consideration to using the side doors. We often use the 2nd row seats for passengers. I suppose using the 3rd row seating for passengers is just as good.

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