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Thread: Strained Muscle in shoulder...difficult cutting fabric

  1. #1
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    Strained Muscle in shoulder...difficult cutting fabric

    Does anyone out there ever strained a muscle in your shoulder and having a difficult (painful) time cutting fabric or ironing seams? i strained my shoulder about a weeke and half ago and now every time I go to cut fabric or iron the seams, my right shoulder kills me and ackes something fierce. The doctor is sure I only strained it...I was afraid I might have torn my rotary cuff.

    Any suggestions on what I can do that might help eleminate the pain when I cut or iron? I'm hoping time will heal this.

  2. #2
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    Yes! I've been fighting my problem since before Christmas. I went to the PT and she gave me some exercises to do and I'm to use ice frequently. It's slowly getting better but when I cut it starts hurting again. Ice your shoulder after you cut, that may help the inflamation.

    Try getting a new blade for the rotary cutter-a good one. Change the table level, maybe do you cutting on a slightly lower table....or better yet, tell all your quilting friends you're having problems and one may come over and cut for you. I belong to a charity quilting group and when I said I couldn't cut because it hurt, the next time I had several people give me bags of squares and strips.

    Good luck,

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    You know, there is a famous quilter out there (sorry, can't remember her name offhand) who does not press seams as she goes and teaches her students to do the same. Someone posted on the old board that they tried a block both ways, and it was just as accurate not pressing! Might be something to consider trying, in order to cut down time at the ironing board.

    Would turning a crank aggravate your shoulder? Now might be a good time to invest in an Accuquilt Go!

    My concern would be that periodic re-irritating the shoulder will delay healing. Gentle exercises would be good, but not tasks that cause the pain to flare up again.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hen3rietta's Avatar
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    I've had that problem on and off for a number of years. It is not rotator cuff for me either, merely muscles that tighten up and forget how to relax. It's in my shoulder, across part of my back and sometimes into my neck. I got hooked up with a massage therapist that specializes in sports pain and deep tissue massage, not the day spa variety, who has really helped. The returns are not instantaneous, but it is non-invasive and non medication, both of which appeal to me.

    Diana
    Diana

  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Sometimes one just needs to take a break and let things heal!

    ITA ... it could be that you have an ongoing problem ... it might be a good idea to learn how to "stretch" your muscles more regularly, before, during and after a sewing/ironing session to minimize problems for the long haul.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  6. #6
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    I fell a few weeks ago and broke my shoulder blade and 2 ribs. Believe it or not, I can cut on a good day. Not many of those, tho. I'm fortunate that my sister has an Accuquilt Go and she will cut the longer pieces for me.

    I was told not to do anything that makes it hurt. Of course we're talking about bones here compared to muscles, etc. Best of luck in whatever you decide. I feel your pain.

  7. #7
    Member Bicycle Hobo's Avatar
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    Why suffer with pain when the above comments offer so much good advice. Along with the above, I make sure my muscles & joints are kept warm by wearing sweaters & wrapped in my quilts/blankets during cold spells even in Southern California. I don't use over-the-counter pills (like Advil, Tylenol, and the rest) very much except at bedtime-and generally rarely taken at that. I do use and prefer the topical applied cremes and lotions more often. The brand I use is JointFlex (along with http://www.jointflex.com/faqs.html).I use it during the day when physically operating machinery (like bike riding and sewing machine use) or when performing repetitive activities (like cutting with scissors) as needed.
    Last edited by Bicycle Hobo; 03-19-2012 at 01:33 PM.

  8. #8
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    About 12 years ago I had a shoulder injury that I think was caused by working out improperly on an exercise machine. It got so bad that I couldn't raise my left hand above my neck, so even trying to comb or wash my hair was an effort. We moved to a farm about this time, and there was a lot of work to do and horses to play with and so I wasn't able to give the shoulder much rest. This went on for about a year, the doctor suspected a bone spur but wasn't sure, and finally I had surgery. It healed quickly and completely and since then I've had no problems.

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    I have something going on in my shoulder too. My back goes out sometimes. I take glucosamine when I think about it and it really helps. When my back would go out I would go to the chiropractor and one treatment would do the trick, but my chiropractor retired (he was a cracker) and the new one only wants to use the thumper. It doesn't do anything for me. Most of the chiropractors here won't take you if you don't have health insurance, so I will have to keep looking.

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    My grandmother had very bad shoulder pain for years. She couldn't lift her arm very high. She said it was bursitis but was never officially diagnosed. A retired Dr. to her to take two teaspoons of concentrated cherry juice every day. Her shoulder pain went away in a few months and never came back unless she forgot to buy cherry juice. It's hard to find concentrated cherry juice in the stores now. Most health foods have it. She mixed it with a small glass of water. It certainly won't hurt you and it may work.
    Got fabric?

  11. #11
    Senior Member ChaiQuilter's Avatar
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    I just completed physical therapy for a strained neck/shoulder and it worked wonders. It may not go away on its own if you irritated the nerves. Tell your doc to send you

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    I'm gonna get some Cherry juice. Also Ice makes your body think it is freezing and it will send blood to the area. Also, I don't know anyone's age but, the large tendon that runs up into the top of your arm where it fits into your shoulder gets hard and doesn't stay flexible and it hurts like crazy. Not much to do but get a new shoulder ugh!

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    I have had bursitis in my left shoulder. I waited a year to go to dr. After a steroid shot it got better but really got better after I had nose surgery (they shot me full of steroids for swelling). I had impingement in right shoulder and steroid shot helped but I have reinjured it several times over the last year and a half. I go later in the month for another shot in right shoulder. I also do manual labor on our acreage like cleaning out fence rows and lots of mowing. I am going to ask for physical therapy this time. I also use active - on roll on gel as needed. Getting older is definitely not for sissies. lol
    Linda

  14. #14
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    I too have isues with my shoulders. I have an old injury in my right shoulder so I have limited range of motion. I overused my left shoulder and ended up with a torn rotator cuff. I had it repaired about 18 months ago. I am still doing the exercises from PT but have issues with my job (I am a bookkeeper on the computer all day long) and the muscles in my shoulders get so tense it wraps around my shoulder blade and goes up my neck at times just like shihtzulover. I have tried icing, some of those rubs for sore muscles, acupuncture, chiro, PT, massage, just about everything I can think of to get it straightened up. If anyone knows anything that will help in just daily routines I sure would like to know also. We have even purchased me an ergonomically correct desk at work and it doesn't seem to help at all.
    Amy

  15. #15
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I would take a few days off and give yourself time to heal. Trying to work an injured area really is not giving it time to heal. I know your anxious to sew but you are prolonging your recovery time.

  16. #16
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    make a rice bag you can heat up and use that on your shoulder about 1/2 hour before you go into the sewing room..leave it on if you have to, but get that muscle to relax!

  17. #17
    Senior Member nycbgirl's Avatar
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    You might want to take a few alfalfa tablets a day, it may help. It helps me tremendously. I take 5 a day.

  18. #18
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Amy, you might want to try Mobisyl. Here is a link to it on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00008WFLP/
    Check out the reviews. My 96yo mil uses it every day.

  19. #19
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    All of these suggestions are great, and may be what you need. As for me, I had a bad fall about a year ago, and ended up with whiplash and a concussion. The concussion cleared up, but it seemed the whiplash just kept getting worse, leading to painful knots in my neck, upper back, shoulders and upper arms. Everything was painful. I tried chiropractic, massage, pain relieving gels, sprays and creams, exercises, physical therapy, you name it. I was still in pain, and nothing seemed to relieve the muscle spasms and trigger points, making things like cutting fabric, ironing, sewing --- anything that involved using my arms and back -- just so painful. Finally I went on Amazon, and found a great deal on an ultrasound machine, and I've been using it ever since, along with my PT exercises. I can be in acute pain due to a muscle spasm, use the ultrasound on it, and the pain goes away. I've been using the ultrasound regularly, and slowly the knots are softening up, the spasms are releasing, all that "hard tissue" is softening up, and I can do more. I do my best not to aggravate it, and I know when I do. But the point it, it's the first thing that's actually making me better. I got the idea because when I got out of Graduate School, I had a lot of knots in my neck area, and a chiropractor I was going to used ultrasound on them, and eventually the knots just melted away. I never had another problem until this fall, which would be 18 years after I was initially treated, so 18 years without knots or pain. Too bad I've moved to another state, or I'd be going back to the same chiropractor!

    Anyway, just a thought, and my solution to this problem. If you use it, make sure you follow the directions, don't use it over your voice box, or over any major blood vessels (carotid, jugular), don't use it in the lower legs if you have a history of blood clots, don't use it period if you are on blood thinners, and keep it moving. Start on low, and work your way up to high. Do low for most of your session, and short bursts of medium. As you improve, use it on medium with short burst of high. If it starts to cause discomfort, move it somewhere else! Don't use it directly over the spine, or over the brain = we don't want any scrambled brains here! Just take a few precautions like this, and you'll be safe. You want to work on muscles and ligaments, and nothing else. You can work right up to the spine, right along it -- just stay off the top of it. Any questions, PM me.
    MacThayer

  20. #20
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    I am currently suffering from an inflamed muscle in my left shoulder blade. 3 weeks later and it is finally getting better. I keep taking a hot shower when it gets tight to relax the muscles. I tried icing it but that just made it hurt worse. I have taken enough aspirin with codeine for the pain to sink a battleship. I also took my wallet out of my heavy purse for shopping/driving until it heals but I am going to switch to a waist pouch to prevent problems in the future. It is not fun and I hope to return to quilting activities soon.

  21. #21
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    cherry juice...sounds interesting......can't make fun of those old remedies......less chemicals than the "new"ones. Anyway, I did the same over the Christmas holidays by reaching up and pulling down storage bins......wow it hurt for about a month....I found SalonPas medicated pads applied right to that sore spot really eased the pain-each one lasted about 12 hrs...and eventually the pain subsided and finally went away. It was so bad, the pain would goes up my neck and down my arm.......even now occasionally there will be a tingling in the arm......so I think a nerve was bruised too and those take a very long time to heal....so be patient with your body.......it takes seconds to hurt it and sometimes months for it to heal.........

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