When Ariana came to Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City after sustaining a SLAP tear in her right shoulder (for more information on SLAP tears, see our last blog), her goal was straightforward: she wanted to return to participating in CrossFit activities without experiencing pain. The SLAP tear had caused Ariana significant pain when attempting to perform any overhead movements and prevented her from being able to complete many important CrossFit exercises, and she sought out our services to help her get her back to her pre-injury status.
After evaluating Ariana’s condition, we noticed that her shoulder flexion (the ability to rotate her shoulder and raise her arm above her head) was lower than normal. This caused her to compensate with other joints and muscles when performing overhead movements and lifts, which can lead to additional problems. Ariana also showed a similar compensation with overextension of her spine, which led to bad stability of core muscles, and had poor stability around her shoulder blade (scapula).
Based on this evaluation, we created a treatment program to help build back Ariana’s shoulder strength and increase her flexibility. Her program included the following:
- Manual therapy, which was administered directly by the hands of a physical therapist, to increase the range of motion of her shoulder
- An overhead lat stretch
- Corrective kettlebell work to strengthen the shoulder
- Closed chain stabilization exercises, which are performed with the hand in a fixed position
- Analysis of her overhead movement patterns, which were then corrected
- Shoulder-core exercises
After committing this treatment program with 1-2 sessions for six weeks, Ariana was able to achieve her primary goal: she recently returned to CrossFit pain-free. Ariana told us that she was even able to complete a workout of the day, which consisted of handstand pushups, an overhead press and kipping pull-ups, all of which involve the shoulder, without any pain.
We’re proud to see that Ariana has made this type of progress, and wish her continued success in CrossFit and other athletic endeavors. If you’ve been experiencing any pain of your own that’s getting in the way of your performance, Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City can help you, too. Call us at 212-317-8303 for more information or to schedule an appointment.