My life as a degenerate

January-March 2013

Physiotherapy: Treating my shoulder pain

Jan 11

At the end of the consultation, my neurologist wrote a referral letter to a physiotherapist. I was expecting to be given an exercise regime which would keep my muscles flexible, especially those in problem areas such as my fingers, which were losing fine motor abilities.

mid-late Jan

My doctor referred me to a physiotherapist experienced in Parkinson's issues. At my first appointment, I found out that the physiotherapy my neurologist recommended was core exercises to address balance problems. As I thought my balance had improved out of sight after starting the medication, I felt it was a bit of a waste, but I did the exercises anyway, daily as recommended, usually while watching TV.

My physiotherapist offered me some other options. One was hydrotherapy classes, which had helped a fellow PwP enormously. Another was treating my left shoulder soreness. That was what we worked on over the next couple of months.


He diagnosed a rotator cuff injury, and massaged it every session. At first, there were some painful muscle knots to remove, but soon it was feeling a lot better and not bothering me in my daily routine, He also used a TENS machine on it. The electricity pulsing through my shoulder brought on dizziness, which I combatted by drinking water. We never could find the cause, but from then on I would bring along water and some savory snacks, just in case.

After a few weeks, I was given a list of exercises to do twice a day with a Theraband. This is a long piece of plastic, like the one my mother had used to get her strength and flexibility back when recovering from her broken arms. I was given a red-colored one, which is quite easy to stretch. I did these exercises religiously too, in front of the TV.

Once I was back in Oregon I was a bit slack, and did the exercises more sporadically. However, I didn't have the pain that I had had the previous year, so I think the rotator cuff had healed.


Jan 2013: Brain health        My life as a degenerate        Jan-Mar 2013: Support group