Angela Rippon heads to a Portuguese spa for physio and fine food after a painful shoulder op

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There is something truly satisfying about hearing the ‘pop’ of a locked joint as it yields to the hands of a skilful osteopath. It’s a sound which confirms that, after months of immobility, something is moving at last.

In my case, the ‘joint’ is my new prosthetic right shoulder — a miracle of modern surgery that replaced my 75-year-old arthritis-ridden joint with a polyurethane and tungsten construction that has released me from three years of limited movement and constant pain. Bliss.

The downside is that shoulders are complicated joints, needing lots of physiotherapy and patience if you are to regain full articulation and strength.

Rest and recuperation: The Palacio Estoril Wellness Centre at the Palacio Hotel caters to all manner of needs from improving fitness and weight loss to rehabilitation after injury or surgery 

But eight months on, after loads of the first (physiotherapy), I’m running out of the second (patience).

Trouble is, my lovely new shoulder works just fine until I pick up something heavy or try to raise anything above my head. And then it stubbornly refuses to move. That put an end to playing tennis. The big muscles that control and support the shoulder are weak and locked solid.

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