Painful shoulder

Does anyone else suffer from a painful shoulder? My stroke was a year ago and affected my right side. Generally I have improved and drag my leg when tired and can use my right hand ok. I started to have trouble putting a rucksack or a coat on and was painful when I put my arm back. Lately it hurts when I am not using it and have lost some movement. If anyone has had the same problem how did you overcome it or improve it? Not sure if connected to my stroke or if completely separate. Thanks.

Dear Debbie

I dont have that specific problem, but I have heard from many that do have this. Sometimes they call it a frozen shoulder. Hopefully a few contributors will ride to help you, but in the meantime, do remember that the stroke does not damage your limbs etc it is just the messaging system that is broken. 

Lets hope that year two brings much improvement (it usually does) and that the shoulder pains can be relieved.

Best wishes


Thanks Colin

Hi Debbie, 

I had issues with my stroke affected shoulder.  My right side like you.  I was told by a physio that the muscles supporting my shoulder blade weren't working properly and not holding my shoulder blade in place. It was taped with blue sticky tape for about 5 days and I had to do exercises a few times a day. Tightening the chest wall muscles for 2 seconds repeated for 10 reps . Without rising my shoulders. To give these too relaxed muscles a chance to tighten up again.  

If possible I would see your GP or physio for advice. 



Hiya Debbie. I had my stroke in June last year, and lost the use of my right side. After a few months of physio and exercising at home, the movement slowly returned, but I then suffered badly from shoulder pain..... at times it kept me awake at night. 

I eventually got to see a physio for the pain, and was told it was caused by the muscles that make up the rotator cuff in the shoulder. They had got very weak due to the arm not having moved much for so long, and as the range of movement gradually returned, the rotator cuff muscles were getting strained.

I was given exercises targeted at the cuff, as well as being shown how to use kinesiology tape. Within a few weeks the pain was noticably reduced, even though I was working the arm harder and harder.

As it stands today, sometimes there's a dull ache in the shoulder still, usually first thing in the morning.... especially if I've slept on my right side, but hopefully in time eventhis will go.

I also wake in the night with it hurting, will try and get a physio referral. In the meantime I will Google some exercises. Thanks for your help and glad your recovering too.

Brilliant will try exercise out and see if I can get a referral. Thanks for your advice it's good to know I'm not alone.

That's what's so brilliant about this site. Support and advice from fellow S.S's and supporters. Hope your shoulder gets better soon.

Hi, i had my stroke in January 2018 and recently getting bad left shoulder pain and the pain runs down my left arm at the back and boy does it hurt. My stroke affected my right side which is my weak side so bit confused why left should and Top arm hurt, weird 

Hi Debbie, I have had a frozen shoulder since my stroke three years ago. I can move it and exercise it, but it is still there, but feels less heavy than it did. No pain fortunately. I believe shoulder problems are quite common. When I first went into hospital it was strapped up to prevent it going out of its joint. I live with my frozen shoulder but wish it would go away.

Is it possible to have a steroid injection into the shoulder joint?  This could reduce inflammation and pain, and provide greater mobility.  I know of friends who have had this procedure for a frozen shoulder, it might be worth a try?  

Thank you. I will mention this to the doc next time I go in. There is no pain and It has mobility. It just feels heavy.


Hi NicaBella, Saw my FES physio today for my annual checkup and asked about the shoulder. She says it usn’t Frozen, but the muscles are weak. Apparently strong muscles give the arm its sense of lightness. She has recommended some arm exercises. She was please with my progress walking, but advised slower walking. She said survivors tend to try to walk faster than is advisable. She also pointed out that stroke survivors, unlike those suffering from MS, can make good recover of muscle power. As Colin often reminds us, Stroke is a brain injury and the muscles are all still in working order. Ah well, more daily exercise lies ahead!

Nice to hear about your gold stars from the physio. Thats a good thought, I should try slower walking. I am on my annual attempt to improve fitness and walking is my first call. Now it will be slow walking. Makes sense.


Hi John - it's funny you should mention walking speed.  I always felt that my husband was trying to walk too fast once he was back on his feet, post-stroke.  I tried to encourage him to focus on the quality of the walking rather than the speed!  I think it was such a relief to him that he could walk, he just wanted to speed off down the road, regardless of how wobbly he was!!  His former posture and walking style gradually returned thankfully, also his muscle tone recovered, he was doing really well until he suffered an inner ear infection in November.  He is now so wobbly that he feels he is back to square one, and we are facing another stroke legacy, namely, being unable to shake off minor ailments that wouldn't have been too difficult pre-stroke, but linger for weeks post-stroke.  It's made him really upset, and some of the dark moments have returned.  However, I take strength from yourself and Colin, (and others), and try to support as much as possible.  

Anyway, I've rambled!!  Good luck with your additional exercises, you never know, stronger arm muscles may help your battle with the duvet??  Imagine that!! Take care x

Hi Nic, 

Glad to hear that your husband has got over his ear infection. 

I know exactly how he feels. Recently I had a cold then I fell in the garden.  It has taken about 3 weeks to get over something that might have lasted 3 days. I too have found my walking isn't as good and not so steady.  My own fault I didn't have the energy and was in too much pain to keep up the previous exercise levels. So I  did what you suggested and looked back at my old diary entries to see what I was able to do when I started recording stuff.  I realised I was doing better than than. Okay not as good as before my cold and fall. So I have tried to keep positive and focused on moving forward. Listen to music that makes me happy.  Do some very odd dancing while washing up in the kitchen.  But hey it's all moving and makes me smile. 

With his work ethic and your amazing support your husband will improve his walking and get his mojo back.

Sending you big hugs and my angel to watch over you both. Especially as I borrowed yours when I had my fight with the floor. Kay   xx ??

Thanks Kay - it's a constant battle isn't it, just everyday things taking up so much time and energy ?.  However everyone here seems to find their own solutions - the quirkier the better!  So keep rocking & singing your way through - Make your own special music ?‍♀️

Glad you used your diary, at least it has been useful.  I check in with my angel every morning and evening, reminding her/him of their duties to all SSs ?

We had a new mattress delivered yesterday, whilst I was at school, and my husband lugged it upstairs all on his own (couldn't wait for me!!) so he is improving, I've told him no excuses now, all bets are off, he'll be busy wheelbarrowing the logs around today!! ? I'm a hard taskmaster!!

Have a good w/end, thanks for your kind wishes xx

Do I see a new career?  Fitness instructor  / life coach for S.S's . ?‍♀️?‍♀️?‍??

You'll be needing an assistant?

Me, Me, Me!!!  

I meant you as the fitness instructor / life coach.  You're better qualified working with children for all these years.  You seen and heard all the dodgy excuses. I'm applying to be your assistant ?