Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) but is it something else?

Posted by Nenahurts @nenahurts, Jun 14, 2017

Hi! I was diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis in September 2016 after I experienced a most unusual pain in bilateral shoulders that began in August. It began with some mild pain then progressed to the point that it hurt to carry a shoulder purse and stopped using a backpack completely because range of motion was compromised. After a few weeks pain got better but I noticed I could no longer raise my arms above a certain degree. Imagine my angst when I found it difficult to shave my armpits! I knew something was wrong and went to see an orthopedic MD. He took x-rays and injected cortisone into left shoulder (worst of the 2 even though I am right dominant) and prescribed Mobic daily along with 4 weeks of physical therapy. Well, Mobic burned like fire in my stomach, PT was quite painful but gained range of motion and my spirits came up a tad. I now take ibuprofen when I have pain and try to keep up with exercise regimen prescribed by therapist. I am trying to eliminate inflammatory foods + sugar, I am doing Tai Chi bi-weekly, and I am trying to decrease stress. Unfortunately I have a job that rotates my schedule from day to nights at least 4-5 shifts a month and I notice my pain get worse at this time. **I also developed a new pain in my right elbow that is suspiciously feeling like “tennis elbow” but has not been diagnosed yet. The pain began about 2 weeks ago but last 3 nights it has impaired my sleep and I am now getting concerned because I also am noticing how stiff I feel after sitting or laying in a certain position for a while. My left inner knee hurts today… I am sleep deprived and at risk of diagnosing myself with fibromyalgia based on recent reading about pain! I do not “want to go there” and have an appointment scheduled with a physician on Friday. I hurt. My nickname is Nena and I am 49 years old. I used to run marathons for charity prior to August onset of symptoms. I live in a beautiful mountain forest area and I no longer want to even take hikes… you know– swing of my arms is irritating my elbow. I always have a constant dull pain in shoulders that never goes away but the right elbow pain is most acute. Even hurts to use that arm to brush my teeth let alone activities such as cooking, driving, or shopping. I just needed to put this in writing and cried a bit at seeing my words because this is the first time I have acknowledged my situation in a nutshell. Appreciate any advice… gracias.

@nenahurts Hi Nena, let me be the first to welcome you to Connect. I’m glad that you have found a safe place to vent where others understand. I have had a few rounds of frozen shoulder and it hurts like heck! I also have Fibromyalgia. Honestly, although I was diagnosed only 5 years ago, I had symptoms years before. Although technically fibro is not something that attacks your joints, I feel it right at both sholders, one hip, knee and elbow, as well as various muscles in legs and torso. My current medicine regime is Cymbalta and Lyrica. I cannot take any nsaids due to having gastric bypass 10 years ago.
Nena, I would love for you to meet some other folks who have similar pains you describe. Join us here Fibromyalgia Pain


Hi, Nena, CiPaul here, back in 1982, I was diagnosed with Fibro, before it was accepted by Doctors, like it is today. I have verying degrees of Muscle & Joint pain, that is always there, some days are worst than others. I found that OTC, nsaids, like Motrin, or alleve help somewhat, along with HOT showers, or baths, good luck to you, & let us know if those things help!


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