Falling and Shoulder Pain

Posted by suzanne2 @suzanne2, Dec 12, 2020

Over a week ago I was at home bagging up unwanted clothes. I accidentally tripped on one of the full bags on the floor. I jerked my right arm trying to catch myself from falling. I have been in tremendous pain since in my right shoulder. Two days ago I was attempting to pull a sweater over my head and I heard a pop and my right shoulder popped back in place. I never knew that my daily 10 level pain was caused by my shoulder being out of socket. I thought I had pulled something in my arm. So my arm is back in socket but I am still in terrible pain. Any suggestions on what to do. I have been putting heat on it when home and voltaren gel, icy hot etc.I was going to go to the doctor but since it popped back in I figure there is no not much they can do. It is a level 8-10 on the pain scale but we know I am not going to get any pain medication.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Bones, Joints & Muscles group.

@carolasc

Best advice I can give after 2 shoulder surgeries is to go to you doctor – don’t wait. And icing it is probably better than heat until you can be seen. Have you been seen in Orthopedics at Mayo? Perhaps you can request a video conference there.

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@carolasc yes I have seen an orthopedic hand surgeon and a hip surgeon at Mayo. If I do not see an improvement by January I have considered a video visit with a doctor there.

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@jenniferhunter

@suzanne2 I do know shoulder pain too. I had a SLAP tear from reaching behind me from the driver's seat of my car and yanking on something in the back seat. That was painful, and so was the physical therapy. It was only after weeks of pain that they did an MRI and found the tear. At another time, my other shoulder developed some instability and it was going too far forward in the socket. It hurt to put on a jacket and try to get my arm into the sleeve. I saw an orthopedic doc who did an MRI after injecting gadolinium into the shoulder capsule. The imaging showed that the shape of the labrum was a bit different from being squashed by the head of the humerous moving abnormally. However, that injection created an even bigger problem because my shoulder socket became inflamed and any movement of my arm hurt. It even hurt to breathe because of the slight motion of the shoulder. All I could do was put my arm in a sling for a couple months and wait for the inflammation to subside, then I had a frozen shoulder and needed a couple months of physical therapy to get that moving again. The PT was forcing my arm to move up above my head a bit more each visit as I laid on the table. I also did some strengthening exercises. Eventually, I got past that.

There could be some soft tissue damage in your shoulder which needs to heal and it may take a few months to get through it. A physical therapist is a first step, and they can do a lot of good. It's usually after the therapy fails to help, that surgery could be considered. Chris mentioned me because I have done a lot of physical therapy and myofascial release which is a gentle way to stretch out facial restrictions. My shoulder was too far forward because of overly tight muscles in the front of the chest and because of slouching posture over the years, and MFR can get things back where they should be aligned and moving better. When our bodies get stuck and don't move properly, there is a problem waiting to happen. MFR can also help after injuries after the injury has healed. I am working on this right now with my ankle. I dislocated and broke my ankle 7 months ago, had surgery and a cast for 6 weeks, and then started physical therapy. My therapist uses the myofascial release to work on the surgical scar tissue restrictions and to ease the muscle tightness from the injury. Muscles are meant to work in opposition where some pull a limb or joint forward, and others pull it backward. If one side stops working because of injury, the other side can develop spasms and knots and even pull things out of alignment. After the injured side heals, it can be strengthened through resistance training so it can work properly in opposition again. The tendons and ligaments take time to heal. Here is our discussion on MFR and there is a provider finder on the myofascialrelease.com website. MFR is a gentle stretch, not aggressive which is why it works. If the stretch is too aggressive, the body resists to protect itself and nothing is accomplished. With a slow easy stretch, the fascia slides and reorganizes itself.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

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Hey Jennifer, long time! I'm way out of the loop. Girl, you are an accident waiting to happen! We're twins! I have to laugh b/c I thought SLAP was the name of the injury b/c so many parents get it from reaching into the back seat to slap their kids while on the road LOL! Oh my. Labrum tears are no joke! Really good info here and I so hope and pray you are much better and will completely heal in record time w/ no residual problems. Take care and many blessings, Sunnyflower @suzanne2, @artscaping

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Go to an ortho immediately for am exam and imaging. You can't know what's going on unless you get a full exam and x-rays or an MRI. If you're hurting, something bad is happening. Steroids will likely help, but you could need surgery.

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Hi everyone, my problem is that I keep on falling over I'm a 55 year old Male who is in pretty good health. Other than the falls. The last time I fell was on Christmas eve at work, I work in a supermarket, Grocery store. I was on my knees attempting to put a 2 kilo case of chocolate on a shelf then the next thing I know I'm flat on my back in agony (this by the way was due to a fall down a flight of stairs the week earlier which resulted in 2 broken ribs and soft tissue damage to my right shoulder.)

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Hi @mickeymoose, a warm and hearty welcome to Mayo Clinic. I am so sorry that you are dealing with periodic falls. How terrible to be in pain from falls that you cannot predict.

You will see that I moved your inquiry to a discussion in Bones, Joints and Muscles here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/shoulder-pain-1/
that was already started on falling and shoulder pain. I did this so that, as a new member, you can connect with other members who are experiencing the same signs and experiences. You can hit the reply button from your email notification in order to navigate to the new area.

@mickeymoose, Have you had a chance to speak with your physician about possible reasons you may be falling?

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@mickeymoose

Hi everyone, my problem is that I keep on falling over I'm a 55 year old Male who is in pretty good health. Other than the falls. The last time I fell was on Christmas eve at work, I work in a supermarket, Grocery store. I was on my knees attempting to put a 2 kilo case of chocolate on a shelf then the next thing I know I'm flat on my back in agony (this by the way was due to a fall down a flight of stairs the week earlier which resulted in 2 broken ribs and soft tissue damage to my right shoulder.)

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@mickeymoose How recent have you kept a log of blood pressure.. when you went to the Doctor for the broken ribs, they are certainly painful… did they take your blood pressure? Fainting particularly as you move from a kneeling position to standing up rapidly… can cause fainting spells…

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@mickeymoose BTW: love the name! I fall, often. Have had this issue for years. theories, none actually led to solution. Now, our situations are different!!!!! I'm 73, have health issues, etc. But, some info might help you. I was in Mayo ED 2X in Nov. , admitted to hospital for testing. I 'fell' at Mayo when getting up from lying down for imaging tests. fainted. This happens a lot, getting worse, when I sit up from lying down or, it's worse when standing up from sitting. my blood pressure drops and doesn't go back up where it's supposed to be. Orthostatic blood pressure. Hospital ck'd for heart, but it's ok. If you have a bp monitor and ck yours for a journel…..if not, might consider doing that for several days to give to your doc….Since my bp stays down, the Mayo docs think it may be related to autononomic neuropathy. Autoimmune. I'm having tests tomorrow to find out if this is it. Hope so for a diagnosis. Hope not, since it's not a good one. But, all to say, you may have a bp issue with it dropping when you change posiition. If so, it can be treated. You can't keep on falling! Let us know what your doc says. Blessings. Elizabeth

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@sunnyflower

Hey Jennifer, long time! I'm way out of the loop. Girl, you are an accident waiting to happen! We're twins! I have to laugh b/c I thought SLAP was the name of the injury b/c so many parents get it from reaching into the back seat to slap their kids while on the road LOL! Oh my. Labrum tears are no joke! Really good info here and I so hope and pray you are much better and will completely heal in record time w/ no residual problems. Take care and many blessings, Sunnyflower @suzanne2, @artscaping

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@sunnyflower I try not to think of myself as accident prone… LOL.. instead I focus on what I need to do to recover if I am injured. A SLAP tear stands for abbreviations for the name of the injury and specific tear to the shoulder cartilage. That happened to me some years ago and it is completely healed. I think our bodies always remember injuries with some stiffness or scar tissue. I do have a lot of physical injuries that I've talked about here with the shoulder issues, the spine injury, and the recent ankle fracture last May and my collection of surgeries. I could just about be a physical therapist since I've learned so much with my own rehab and if you pay attention, you have some stories to tell. Another thing I've learned is that bad habits lead to injuries, like the slouching I did for years that moved my shoulder too far forward in the socket, and then when I reached into the back seat and yanked on something that was stuck, my shoulder was in a position of vulnerability and it didn't take very much to tear the cartilage. I felt a sharp pain when I did that. Thanks for your concerns, Sunnyflower. Right now I will direct that to my ankle that is still healing and needs your good energy the most.

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@jenniferhunter

@sunnyflower I try not to think of myself as accident prone… LOL.. instead I focus on what I need to do to recover if I am injured. A SLAP tear stands for abbreviations for the name of the injury and specific tear to the shoulder cartilage. That happened to me some years ago and it is completely healed. I think our bodies always remember injuries with some stiffness or scar tissue. I do have a lot of physical injuries that I've talked about here with the shoulder issues, the spine injury, and the recent ankle fracture last May and my collection of surgeries. I could just about be a physical therapist since I've learned so much with my own rehab and if you pay attention, you have some stories to tell. Another thing I've learned is that bad habits lead to injuries, like the slouching I did for years that moved my shoulder too far forward in the socket, and then when I reached into the back seat and yanked on something that was stuck, my shoulder was in a position of vulnerability and it didn't take very much to tear the cartilage. I felt a sharp pain when I did that. Thanks for your concerns, Sunnyflower. Right now I will direct that to my ankle that is still healing and needs your good energy the most.

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Jen, you've got it! I will be praying for your ankle to heal completely and quickly and of course for zero pain!! 🙏❤️

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@mickeymoose

Hi everyone, my problem is that I keep on falling over I'm a 55 year old Male who is in pretty good health. Other than the falls. The last time I fell was on Christmas eve at work, I work in a supermarket, Grocery store. I was on my knees attempting to put a 2 kilo case of chocolate on a shelf then the next thing I know I'm flat on my back in agony (this by the way was due to a fall down a flight of stairs the week earlier which resulted in 2 broken ribs and soft tissue damage to my right shoulder.)

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@mickeymoose I can relay some information that you might want to consider. I had a spine injury caused by a whiplash years ago, but then the damaged disc degenerated and I needed spine surgery which I had 4 years ago. I also have thoracic outlet syndrome which is tightness and nerve impingement between the collar bone and rib cage and it along with the spine injury was causing muscle spasms in my neck that were twisting or tilting my neck vertebrae just a little bit. I developed vertigo and the episodes happened if I looked up, and I fell over backward. I didn't know at the time it was because my neck vertebrae were out of alignment, and it happens with C1 & C2 and the way he skull sits on top. If you were looking upward at the grocery store when you fell, you could have something like this. With the injury you just had falling down the stairs, there could be a problem or muscle spasms in your neck moving vertebrae around. Did you have any spine imaging and did anyone look at the discs and alignment? My physical therapist was able to resolve this, and since I had corrective spine surgery for a collapsed disc, it doesn't happen anymore. There are a lot of muscle connections between the shoulder blade and the spine, and you are probably guarding the injury which just adds to the tension. The vertebral artery passes through the sides of the upper cervical vertebrae, and if those vertebrae are twisted, the artery is stretched, then if you look up, it gets compressed and causes vertigo. You might need so time off work to heal from your injuries. Thoracic outlet syndrome or TOS can also result from a shoulder injury and can cause reduced blood flow to the brain. One of the tests for it is to listen to the pulse in the neck, and have the patient turn their head, and the pulse stops. I certainly would consult a doctor about the balance problems and ask for a spine consult at facility that also treats patients for TOS. TOS is often misunderstood and since your issues can be a combination of these things, it is best to consult at a place where they have specialists for all of it. That is what brought me to Mayo as a patient. There are a lot of physical components to balance with the neck, inner ear and vision, and physical therapy may be able to correct that now. Balance does become a problem for a lot of people as they age, so what you do now will affect your future. Get well soon and advocate for yourself until you get some answers and are on a path to recovery.

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@jenniferhunter

@mickeymoose I can relay some information that you might want to consider. I had a spine injury caused by a whiplash years ago, but then the damaged disc degenerated and I needed spine surgery which I had 4 years ago. I also have thoracic outlet syndrome which is tightness and nerve impingement between the collar bone and rib cage and it along with the spine injury was causing muscle spasms in my neck that were twisting or tilting my neck vertebrae just a little bit. I developed vertigo and the episodes happened if I looked up, and I fell over backward. I didn't know at the time it was because my neck vertebrae were out of alignment, and it happens with C1 & C2 and the way he skull sits on top. If you were looking upward at the grocery store when you fell, you could have something like this. With the injury you just had falling down the stairs, there could be a problem or muscle spasms in your neck moving vertebrae around. Did you have any spine imaging and did anyone look at the discs and alignment? My physical therapist was able to resolve this, and since I had corrective spine surgery for a collapsed disc, it doesn't happen anymore. There are a lot of muscle connections between the shoulder blade and the spine, and you are probably guarding the injury which just adds to the tension. The vertebral artery passes through the sides of the upper cervical vertebrae, and if those vertebrae are twisted, the artery is stretched, then if you look up, it gets compressed and causes vertigo. You might need so time off work to heal from your injuries. Thoracic outlet syndrome or TOS can also result from a shoulder injury and can cause reduced blood flow to the brain. One of the tests for it is to listen to the pulse in the neck, and have the patient turn their head, and the pulse stops. I certainly would consult a doctor about the balance problems and ask for a spine consult at facility that also treats patients for TOS. TOS is often misunderstood and since your issues can be a combination of these things, it is best to consult at a place where they have specialists for all of it. That is what brought me to Mayo as a patient. There are a lot of physical components to balance with the neck, inner ear and vision, and physical therapy may be able to correct that now. Balance does become a problem for a lot of people as they age, so what you do now will affect your future. Get well soon and advocate for yourself until you get some answers and are on a path to recovery.

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@jenniferhunter I know we have discussed our respective shoulder injuries before but just another ask…Did you find yourself in a lot of pain for a considerable time after your injury? My shoulder is really giving me a lot of grief! The pain sometimes is beyond discussing! i can relate to ankle pain and I hope you heal quickly it is no fun!

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@suzanne2

@jenniferhunter I know we have discussed our respective shoulder injuries before but just another ask…Did you find yourself in a lot of pain for a considerable time after your injury? My shoulder is really giving me a lot of grief! The pain sometimes is beyond discussing! i can relate to ankle pain and I hope you heal quickly it is no fun!

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@suzanne2 Yes, I had pain for about 6 weeks while the shoulder SLAP tear injury was healing. Raising my arm hurt and it felt like a sprain. It wasn't bad if I wasn't moving the joint. The inflammation that caused a frozen shoulder after a diagnostic MRI with a gadolinium injection in the joint was far worse and I had intense pain and the slight motion of my shoulder from breathing made it hurt all the time. I had to put that in a sling for about 2 and a half months, and then rehab a frozen shoulder. Moving it at all was out of the question. The MRI was done for shoulder instability, and just doing physical therapy without imaging would have been a better choice, but I listened to the doctor. It really was the injection that caused it; a standard MRI without any contrast material would have been fine.

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