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Work related injury


Dear Orchidians, I wonder if some of you have experienced a ‘frozen
shoulder’ as a result of the work you do or other reasons, (in my
case a fall which cased a fractured ankle, now repaired, and a rotary
cuff injury which has developed into this problem). My range of
movement is severely restricted and I haven’t worked at my bench for
months. Soon I will have a manipulation under anaesthetic procedure
performed by an orthopaedic surgeon. I would be grateful if anyone
can offer me some advice on how they fared with a similar treatment.
Thanks in anticipation, Jenny Gore, Oz.


Dear Jenny: I have had my shoulder surgically removed ( the ball and
socket were ground down to the point were they no longer can contact
each other) as well as repairing a 2 inch tear in my rotator cuff
.From your discription you have not done or were not shown the range
of motion exercises that are critical to maintaining function in the
articulation ( joint ) …see if your surgeon can recomend you to
a physical therapist before the surgery and then for after care. I
don’t know where you live but if it happens to be in S.E. MI. I can
recomend a surgeon. Now to answer your ? I have fared rather well
but most of the credit goes to my surgeon and PT group the only
thing that gives me trouble is bezel setting since it requires
pressing with the shoulder down and much repetition which are still
hard for me to do…but please understand that no 2 folks are
coming out of any procedure the same and you have a somewhat
differant problem then I did . GOOD LUCK if you want more
please email me off list HTH Ron


Some years ago, I asked a question related to work strain and hand
pain. I believe some of the suggestions then are appropriate here.
Primary was to get the Bench Mate system to take the pressure off of
the extremities. Should work for shoulders too, especially bezel

One thing I have not seen in this thread is acupuncture. after a
head on collision 11 months ago and all the palliative therapies, it
was only when acupuncture was introduced that I got any relief at

Acupuncture is an excellent pain reliever. it is not uncomfortable
at all and very effective. I am a firm believer and recently agreed
to a higher insurance premium in order to include it. Teresa


Dear Jenny, Don’t get discouraged - I’m sure your shoulder will
improve. One December I beaded the 4 corners of about 125 little
silk lavender sachets and quickly realized I couldn’t move my arm
past my side. My Ortho Doc injected that frozen shoulder with
cortisone and gave me exercises to do (he had a little booklet to
give me). The little exercises seemed kind of dumb but I did them
and things started improving little by little. 2 months later I
bought some tools at Tucson and started my metal work. One day
while experimenting, I hammered the heck out of some copper on a
railroad tie anvil and I couldn’t believe how great that shoulder
felt. Figured it must have been the vibration and the wider arm
movement - the hammer was pretty heavy too. Now BEFORE you do what
I did, check with your Doc to MAKE SURE you aren’t causing more
injury - but in my case it really seemed to help. I just got
frustrated because I had to stop doing what I enjoyed doing - like
sewing and knitting and beading - and I was determined to start
jewelry fabrication. Since then the shoulder is back to probably
90% of normal and when I feel I have overdone done it when doing the
small motions, I find something to hammer. Good luck and take
care - things will get better! JoAnn Dean


After a long day’s work I feel like my muscles are all bound up. A
few years ago, after foot surgery, I joined a gym because it was
exercise that wasn’t foot-intensive. I find that using the weight
machines is a wonderful antidote to the very small, very forceful
motions we make when making jewelry.

Janet Kofoed


Thought I’d add yet one more viewpoint… a few years ago I damaged
my shoulder after pushing it too far with some projects at the bench
(long story). I couldn’t lift my hand above my ear, the doctor said
my rotator cuff was totally messed up. After a month of very painful
physical therapy which didn’t work at all, I decided to go to an
acupuncturist who kept me going through the Christmas season without
it getting worse (pretty amazing right there). Several months later
with no further improvement I tried something called Zero Balancing.
I was 20 percent better after the first one hour session, and almost
back to normal in a few months. It’s like a special type of
chiropractic, but different. Difficult to explain, but obviously very
effective. May not be helpful in all cases, but wanted to pass on
the story in case someone felt it helpful. (E-mail me if you want more


Thanks for your messages of encouragement everyone, a mixed bag of
advice! I think it has helped me to decide to go with the
manipulation but to think very carefully about more invasive surgery.
Teresa, yep, I did try acupuncture along with cortisone injections,
the last under ultrasound, nothing helped! So, the big day is
tomorrow, hoping for a good outcome, and expecting a lot of hard work
to follow with PT etc.

Cheers, Jenny.