Case Study - Shoulder Pain

Neck and Shoulder pain are very common complaints but can affect the quality of life when left untreated. Symptomatic management gives immediate relief but long term solutions are the need of the hour.

A 75 year old lady presented with a complaint of pain in both the shoulder joints radiating towards the biceps. She has recurrent pain episodes and was unable to do her day to day activities. The present episode of pain was more on the right hand and it was gradual in onset for 2 months. Pain triggered after physical activity or exertion and often subsided after rest. She also had stiffness especially in the morning with movement restriction.

The participant had no history of any illness but complained of sleep disturbance because of pain. She was not on any medication but was on calcium supplements for 2 months.

Prior to her visit at VHG, she consulted an orthopedic physician and was advised Supplements and analgesics (pain killers) which she took for a month. She stopped the medication as it was giving her temporary relief. If she withdrew pain killers, her pain would recur. She therefore sort other treatment options.

Findings

Cervical and shoulder X-ray done was normal.

Treatment Intervention at VHG

Participants underwent Ekanga Elakizhi or Patra potala sweda (Fomentation therapy using medicated leaves boluses) for 5 days and Acupuncture for 7 continuous days. Along with external treatment, internal Ayurveda medication was also prescribed. Diet and lifestyle advice for better recovery was also given. She was further advised for Acupuncture as a follow up for 3 weeks where she visited the center weekly twice. During this time, participants practiced yoga therapy where concentration was on strengthening shoulder joints and relaxing her mind using simple modified yoga practices.

Participant felt better wrt her pain after completion of 5 days of Elakizhi and acupuncture

Outcome

Based Pre and post treatment Assessment at VHG

Pre treatment- Participant marked 8 /10 on the visual analogue scale and mentioned the nature of pain to have been sharp especially while raising hand. Visual analogue scale measures the pain index where 0 is no pain and 10 denotes worst possible pain.

End of 4th week from the date of consultation the intensity of pain reduced and scoring reduced to 3 from 8.

There was significant change in range of motion as well. A follow up after 15 days also showed that the participant was feeling good with regular yoga practice and medication and had almost got rid of pain.

Conclusion

The combination of Ayurveda with Yoga and Acupuncture provided a good solution to the participant. The follow up also showed that her quality of life had improved significantly.