Yesterday morning I had my shoulder xrayed and ultrasounded and got the results in the afternoon, then saw my doctor today. It turns out I have a big tear in my supraspinatis tendon - the rotator cuff. It wasn't at all what I was expecting (I thought I had frozen shoulder) and at first it really threw me. The thought of a ripped tendon made me really nauseous too. But by the time I woke this morning I was at peace with it. It is good news, I think, in comparison. It needs to be looked after, like a newborn kitten, but it feels like part of me again.
Since there was no trauma to my shoulder and the pain has been gradually increasing over 5 or 6 months, I assume it was originally a little tear that has gradually got worse. My doctor and I are taking the conservative treatment option first: rest and gentle physio, then a cortisone injection if I need it. Only if there is no improvement over a long period will we look at surgery. I am already back on anti-inflammitories which are helping with the pain of the inflammation in the joint.
Of course it severely limits my exercise. Some authorities recommend a sling to immobilise the shoulder so it gets proper rest, but there is a danger of frozen shoulder. Better to just be careful. I can't do anything that uses or jerks the arm. So walking seems the best option at present. Outside or on the treadmill at the gym.