2 years post stroke.... muscle & joint pain

Hello every one,  I hope all of your recoveries are going well and that your all still smiling.      Following my stroke in my right cerebellum on 22nd October 2017 when I was 47, I am now 2 years post stroke.  Without warning the stroke struck and I couldn't speak..  Moments later a strong electric feeling  almost like a rush of water ran from my head down my face, and the right side of my chest.. My right arm was numb  in fact it didnt feel like mine. I also couldn't speak...    My speech though initially slurred returned and physically I could walk and passed grip tests etc.    The first year was all about headaches, dizziness, chronic fatigue and short term memory loss..  The 2nd year has been about improving and managing the above symptoms..    I am a Sales Manager and my job involves, pressure and a lot of driving. I have been on a phased return and currently aiming to do 5 hours per day, 5 days per week.  I am currently driving and visiting customers within an hour's drive from my home 3 times per week.  My employer has been supportive and patient but in January I am expected to be back to full time duties,  and driving distances every day..                                  like my whole recovery it's going to be a challenge.. But I am proud at how far I have come.. Initially I could be awake for an hour and not really do much and then the fatigue would hit and I would sleep for 4 hours or so. I still get dizziness and headaches every day. Mainly first thing in the morning.  I also still get fatigue every day.. I try and manage it , but some days come crashing down... I have tried to push for a little progress every day since my stroke and even though I am currently working 5 hours per day I can now most days go 10 or 12 hours before the heavy fatigue bites..  My short term memory is still not great but I manage this too..  a sense of humour helps. One thing that has crept up on me though, especially in the last 6 months is muscle and joint pain in my right arm  elbow and shoulder. Some days my right side of my back and right leg are also weak and painful.   Initially my right hand and fingers just felt stiff. But as I have become increasingly more active my muscle and joint pain especially in my right arm have become more constant.. I only have to make a fist and the muscles in my right arm are instantly painful.  I now also have noticeably less strength in my right arm. Even lifting up a kettle now hurts.. For a 6ft lad who has always been strong   it's so frustrating.  Has anyone else found that after a noticeable period of time after a stroke Muscle and joint pain has increased.. Anyway thanks for listening.. I'm staying positive, I will not let my stroke define me and I will be full time again in January..  My wife still calls me Dory from Nemo due to my short term memory issues and I still like to face each day with humour and a smile...  Good luck with your own personal recoveries   be kind to yourselves and keep smiling...   Darren 

 

 

 

 

Dear Darren

Its always nice to hear how well some of us are recovering.

My recovery is good, but I have found that my lower right leg and ankle and toe joints are becoming very uncomfortable indeed. I cant walk many hundreds of meters whereas three years ago I was walking a mile.

I have a right sided infarct so its my left side which is weak. My theories include (1) the left side being "lazy" and overwhelming the right side. (2) The nerve endings being damaged, giving strange pains.

GP advised that I needed orthotics and this has helped a lot, but the pains are now back again and I also dont know what to do.

Many others have suffered "dropped shoulder" which I understand is very painful.

I have started gentle yoga and this is sorting out a lot of my joints. Also it explains a lot of medical stuff for me to work on. My core is so far out of true that I am amazed I dont fall over. 

In the early months I got muscle pain and I  stopped taking statins (of course in agreement with my GP). The muscle pain stopped.

However I think we need proper physio by a stroke specialist. If and when we might find that ! 

We put so much effort into such a lot of our problems that it seems unfair that these new problems come back to bite us. 

Colin

Hi Darren. You are not alone in shoulder problems and pain is quite common after stroke. I have not been in pain, but have something akin to a frozen shoulder. The cause is weak shoulder muscles so I am back having physio to try to improve this. Also, when I stretch in the morning I tend to get muscle cramp. My left hand still lacks sensitivity so I am working on this too. All this four years on.

I remember you first posts and you have come such a long way. Just keep working at. Do be careful when you go back to work though. Recovery is much slower than one hopes for.

Hi Darren - You have come so far in the two years post stroke and have shown such strength and determination to carry on your recovery. 

The pain could be a couple of things.. could be your driving position may need slightly altering so your core is in line. My stroke was the opposite side to yours - left arm and leg. I find when I drive or when I am sat, my body leans to the left slightly without me knowing it and find my self correcting it now and then.  I didn't realise this until I had physio. She sat put me into a position where my core should be and I was a good few inches out.  She recommended correction insoles which helped a lot and I find if I forget to pop them in when I change shoes, my back aches again because I'm out of line. Mine were from Scholl and cost about £20. They take a bit to get used to but do help. They are gel ones and they also stop the heel aching when you wear trainers or Converse.   You can also get gel car seats which do similar thing by putting your core in line. Might be an idea if you're going back to driving full time next year.

The other thing is it could be tightness in the muscles caused by the stroke. You can get tablets for this from the GP but not sure if you would be able to take them if you are driving everyday. Physio may be your best plan.  Are you on statins? This too can cause muscle and joint pain so might be worth trying a different brand.  

Great to hear you're progressing well. Take care x

 

Hi  so lovely to hear from you.  Hope you are keeping well...      I'm pretty sure it's tightness in my muscles from the stroke.  It just seems to be getting steadily more painful as time passes by.   I was doing so well in my recovery that my consultant discharged me at my last appointment in August.. I mentioned it then and he said it's what I'm left with   But since then the muscles in my forearm and elbow, shoulder and chest have got steadily worse   As I say I only now have to squeeze my thumb and fingers together and a pain shoots up my arm.   I think I will go back to the GP..       I'm pleased with my progress  it like us all I have days where I could laugh and days when I could cry. . It does get exhausting in itself being positive...   but we carry on for the best possible recovery....   Hope you are doing well too.. Take care  Darren xxx

Thank you for your kind response and  support ...  It's a tough road we are all on..    This  muscle pain and painful joints , elbow , shoulder etc.... have crept up on me and have got steadily worse over the last few months.  It's the right arm which at the time of the stroke I can remember feeling distinctly not like my own...  We battle on with a smile ..  Hope you are doing well too

Hi Colin, thank you for taking time out to respond...  I hope you are keeping well too.   It is so frustrating that over time muscles on the stroje affected side can stiffen up and become painful as do the joints on the stroke affected side...  seems so unfair...  that something else comes to challenge us during our recoveries..  hope your doing well Colin Take care Darren

Fascinating reading about your core problems. Now that I'm mostly the passenger in the car my wife often laughs at me because I've worked my way over to the right edge of the seat. My stroke affected my right hand side, so your theory seems to hold water!

Deigh