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bursitis in the shoulder/physical therapy excercis

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    Posted: Jan 07 2009 at 12:57pm

Our user asked: "Hi, Yesterday Iwent to my Doctor with severe right shoulder pain. I pretty much already knew I had bersitis and my doctor agreed, however adding to my disapointment that it is frozen". She has put me on a steroid treatment and told me to call her this coming Monday if I do not have full range of motion - i.e. being able to lift my hands above my head, so on and so forth. If I do not have a full range of motion, she is going to give me an MRI and set up physical therapy treatments. Right now I am able to move my arm out from my side about 6 inches before it hurts. I am able to lift it in front of me about 2-3 inches. I can straighten my arm and push my arm, palm flat, away from my back about 8 inches. I can lift my arm if I have help with my other hand - which is what I've been doing. My question to you is, is it safe to do any physical therapy exercises now and work through the pain? If so, which ones on your video list would you recommend? Or, should I try to keep my arm immobile and only move it to the point of pain and wait to see if I get my range of motion back? I am a fairly athletic 53 year old woman. I am used to having that athletic"muscle ache" after I work out. It tells me I had a good work out. But, this is different and I don't want to add to the injury by doing toomuch or helping it to "freeze" by not doing anything at all. Any advise would be helpful."

Ask a PT Response: "Steroid treatments can assist with decreasing inflammation which may help with your condition if you have a bursitis. However, since you mention you also have adhesive capsulitis, it may be difficult to achieve additional range of motion if you're not stressing the joint in order to break up adhesions/scar tissue. Participation in physical therapy and performing exercises prescribed by your PT is a safe and appropriate treatment. It will be up to YOUR physical therapist to determine what exercises are right for you and advising you on the duration, frequency and reps. Once you have obtained the results of the MRI, your MD and PT will be able to obtain an even better ideal as far as what the plan of care should be for you. Good luck and thanks for using CyberPT."
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