Shoulder Stiffness

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Distinguished member
Nov 27, 2007
I was wondering if anyone has ever heard of ALS causing stiffness in the shoulders?
When I went to Houston 2 yrs ago that was one of the things they checked on me was the movement in my shoulders by getting me to raise my arms over my head and behind. I have never noticed any stiffness in my shoulders. The nurse said that was 1 of the atttributes of ALS. Thought someone may want to elaborate on this.
I have stiffness in my shoulders, neck and hips and am in almost constant pain because of it.
cheryilyn, thanks for your response. I haven't experienced any pain or stiffness in my body anywhere, other than my legs hurting below my knees when I stand for awhile, once I sit down it leaves. May God bless you Cheryilyn.
Hi Jake,
My husband was at clinic yesterday and this was one of the issues addressed. He has been having right shoulder pain that wakes him up at night. He thinks it is when he lays on that side and then tries to turn. The doc said that he should see a PT or OT and do range of motion exercises so it doesn't eventually become a "frozen" shoulder, which she said is extremely painful. She offered a script for neurontin which he declined.
Linda, Thanks for your response and the info you shared. May God's blessings be with you and your husband.
Yes I have pain and stiffness. I went to The phyical theraptist who helped me with range of motion. The problem is not using the arms as much because of the muscle weakness. making the shoulders freeze up. You can work some of the stiffness nd pain by doing stretches lying down bringing your arms over your head everyday Pat
Patricia, Thanks so much for your response. People often ask me how I feel, in all honesty I tell them I feel as good as ever. My main problem is my hands and the weakness in my legs. Whats weird is, while I'm sitting down here at my PC, I feel like I should be able to go and do anything I've always done, but when I get up and go to walking I realize my legs are weak. I'm so greatful in spite of my situation, that God has blessed me and still blessing me so much. May God keep his hand upon you always Patricia.
Hi Jake, I've read in some of your post that you went to a clinic in Houston. If you don't mind me asking did you go to the ALS/MDA or the ALS Assoc. clinic. I go to the MDA clinic, run by Dr. Stanley Appel. Keep up the good attitude and God Bless you and your family.
bdyle, Thanks so much for responding to my thread. I went to Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, Tx., and Dr. Stanley Appel was my physician. They had a wing in the Methodist hospital that they worked out of, it was a 2 day ordeal. Theres some things I would like to discuss about this visit, but don't feel at liberty to discuss in the public forum. May God bless you bdyle.
Jake, do you have access to send a pm.
I have windows messenger. Isn't there a way to PM on here?
My email is [email protected], I can't type alot so we might can get phone #'s. I have a friend coming over at 11:00 to work on my pc, so I might be down a little while, I will get back with you soon as I can.
I too have stiffness in my right shoulder. It is definitely a common ALS symptom, or at least that is what I have been told. My PT showed me some range of motion exercises. Swimming is reallly god for the stiffness all over my body. I LOVE to swim. I think because my body feels so good in the water and I am getting the range of motion exercises accomplished in a much more fun manner.

For me, seems like stretching all parts of body is the absolute best type of exercise.

By the way, this is so valuable. I used to participate in ALS TDI . I prefer this so much more since it's mostly people with ALS - and, everyone is so supportive of each other. to me that is very important and I appreciate all the support offered here.

Best wishes.
There are several different causes for stiffness in the shoulders (can also be frozen shoulder or swimmers shoulder) It is very important to exercise your arms/shoulders or if you can not do this on your own to have family or friends move them for you. Of course it is best if a trained professional can show you how to do it safely... a physiotherapist or a family doctor or your ALS clinic.

Basically, not using your arms enough combined with the loss of muscle due to ALS leave a very heavy arm hanging from the shoulder. The shoulder has a tendon that wraps around your "shoulder joint" to keep it in place; without sufficient muscle or strength to keep your arm mobile, this tendon stretches and the shoulder joint becomes inflammed and sore, resulting in stiffness. It is really, really painful.
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