Really Bad Shoulder Pain

So I’m on vacation in France.Thought I slept wrong on my left shoulder. Three days later it actually hurts more. I CAN HARDLY MOVE FROM MY NECK PAST MY SHOULDER. Have take two aspirin each day. Nothing. One ibuprofen, which help, but I’m a little afraid. I’ve tried exercise, heat. Out of ideas. We go to Paris Saturday, but can hardly move…


Sounds like you might have frozen shoulder. It is one of those things that can occur with age.

Frozen shoulder happens when the capsule that contains the ligaments and tendons and bone that make up your shoulder joint starts to thicken, and it tightens the movement in the area.

You can do physical therapy to improve your range of motion and return to feeling normal, or you could also try a cortisone injection for some temporary relief.

If you do the cortisone, watch your BG, because it will spike for a while after the injection and you will probably need to take more insulin for that spike.

Until you can get to physical therapy or a doctor, try to maintain your range of motion with it as best as you can.


I don’t know how long “forever” is in T1Forever, but frozen shoulder is quite common in those who have had diabetes 25+ years. From your picture of TestTape I’m guessing you go back at least as far as me (36 years!)

Some will say that elevated glucose causes frozen shoulder, but several research studies have shown no correlation or even an anti-correlation between A1C’s and frozen shoulder. see for example . I personally think it’s more likely that the inflammation in frozen shoulder is auto-immune in origin.

Steroid shots help but also substantially boost your insulin requirements.

I had frozen shoulder in both shoulders, not at same time. I also had tendonitis from my shoulder down to the elbow (biceps). I think it is also possible that the tendonitis could run up to the neck (but that wasn’t my case). The tendonitis was EXQUISITELY sensitive to any sort of jarring in my arm or my whole body. Sometimes I would walk and take a step that would kinda jar my arm and WORLD OF PAIN.

It was so bad that I would wake up at night crying. It does get better but it takes a lot of time. The “inflammatory” phase of frozen shoulder is simply awful. The “recover” phase isn’t easy either but is a lot better than the inflammatory phase.


@T1Forever I feel for you, but as @Eric2 and @Tim12 mention, I believe it is frozen shoulder as well.

I had it in my left shoulder requiring surgery after months of pt, cortisone shots, and so on.

To not move it is the enemy, but to move it is extraordinarily painful.

I found sleeping in a recliner chair helped, but as you are traveling, that might not be possible. Ice helped me a lot before and after surgery.

Do little activities to help loosen it / keep it from getting worse. There might be some papers online but I recall one where I stood near the wall and walked my fingers up then down; gentle, but movement none-the-less.

I’ll send good thoughts and prayers your way that it eases up so you can enjoy your holiday in Paris.

I recall hearing/reading that there was an autoimmune component to frozen shoulder, so I’m with you on that.

I’m sending out a call for @Terry4 who just came out of a frozen shoulder experience; he might be able to give you some current ideas.

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You should be able to see a dr. to maybe get some anti inflammatories to help ease the pain. Your travel insurance should cover medical treatment.

Sorry that you’re dealing with this shoulder pain. It’s especially hard when traveling as you’re without your usual support.

You may read about some of my experience in this thread. I ended up getting a lot of pain relief and return of most range of motion by combining a cortisone shot with physical therapy. My pain started a year ago and while it is not completely resolved, I feel so much better than I did before I got the steroid shot.

I wish you the best in finding the source of your pain and hope you can find a suitable treatment. My reading about frozen shoulder is that there is no magic treatment. Sometimes just doing nothing ends up being just as successful as other methods. I’m happy I gave the cortisone injection a try. It brought me great relief.

I went to a French pharmacy, explained my problem. Had a problem with the first Prescription. I took it, was sick. Took it back. Requested Motrin.

Am feeling good!

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If it is in the front of your shoulder, where the clavicle meets the shoulder joint, it is possible you injured a tendon and the pain will go away in a day or two, though not completely, and the injury will limit your range of motion.

The pain is breathtaking, especially when moving your arm up and away from your body. I have tendinitis in my shoulder and re-injure this one tendon every year or two. The ortho doc prescribes OTC NSAIDS, cold packs followed by physical therapy once the worst pain is over.

Best of luck to you in determining what is happening with your shoulder.