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Joey Vera's year of agony

Armored Saint and Fates Warning bassist Joey Vera has revealed a shoulder problem caused him so much pain that he had to stop playing for three months.

The veteran performer – who spent a year-long stint with Anthrax last decade – suffered a frozen shoulder while snorkelling a year ago, although doctors first told him he’d sprained tendons in his rotator cuff.

And although he’s not looking for sympathy, he’s hoping fellow victims will offer him some words of hope.

Vera says: “I went through four weeks of physical therapy and then did two tours with Fates Warning. This past January, the pain came back in a big way. It led to two MRIs and, thankfully, they ruled out a tear.

“But after a gig in January, playing on a record in February then another tour in April, it was ruled I’d acquired a frozen shoulder. By May I’d lost most of my range of motion and Iwas in severe pain. I got two cortisone shots right in the joint – fun – but all it did was dissolve the muscles in the area.”

He’s been undergoing physical therapy twice a week since then, and he’s also following an exercise and icing programme, which he reports has given him back “about 90% motion.”

Vera adds: “The pain is tolerable for the most part. I haven’t been able to play bass for three months, but I picked it up this week and it felt good.

“I know this will take some time but has anyone had this problem? Show me some light, please. No sympathy – but share if you dare.”