In our last blog we explained how physical therapy can be combined with acupuncture to elicit even more successful outcomes for patients. Today we’d like to bring that point home as we share another success story with you from Molly, who recovered from a serious arm injury after being treated with both physical therapy and acupuncture.
After suffering from a fall with her arm outstretched, Molly fractured the head of her right upper arm bone (humerus) and tore the head of her biceps tendon. The injury made it very difficult for her to complete many daily activities and led her to seek out treatment from Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City.
Upon evaluation, we noticed that her shoulder’s range of motion was impaired and it was very painful to move it, and that her strength in that right arm was significantly decreased. She also displayed swelling, impaired posture, decreased range of motion in her neck and explained that she was unable to perform numerous tasks that required the use of her dominant right arm. Molly stated that her goals from treatment were to increase her range of motion and strength, reduce pain levels, return to the gym to work out, return to her job, and be able to wash her hair, do her makeup and complete other household chores with her right arm.
Based on this diagnosis, we created a personalized treatment plan with several components. We performed a number of manual techniques administered by the hands of our physical therapists, including massage and mobilization, we instructed Molly to complete exercises to strengthen and restore the movement patterns of her shoulder, and prescribed a home and gym exercise regimen with a trainer. We also applied electrical stimulation to initiate activation of her rotator cuff, offered postural education and retraining to help her arm movements, and educated Molly on joint protection, management of swelling and use of a sling, and how to position her body while sleeping.
During this time, Molly went to DSPT’s acupuncturist, whose goals were to decrease pain, reduce swelling, release tight muscles, increase range of motion, needle specific acupuncture points to speed up the healing of the fracture and needle calming points to decrease anxiety that comes during recovery. Throughout the course of treatment, Molly was dedicated and consistent with her appointments, home exercise program and all recommendations given to her.
After committing to six months of treatment, Molly is currently returning to the gym with a trainer twice a week. Her range of motion and strength have both improved significantly, and she has much less pain when rotating her shoulder. Her posture while standing and sitting at a desk has also improved, and perhaps most important of all, she is now much more capable of using her right arm to perform daily chores and self-care tasks.
According to Molly, “The combination of physical therapy with acupuncture helped to accelerate my recovery and really expedite my strengthening,” she said.
At Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City, we’re extremely pleased with the progress that Molly made and we are happy to see that acupuncture was able to offer such an added benefit. If you’re recently experienced an injury or are dealing with ongoing pain, contact us at 212-317-8303 to find out how we can help you.