Bruce was actively involved in surfing until he began experiencing some pain in his ribs during the summer of 2014. Additionally, Bruce was an avid baseball player (right-handed pitcher) during his earlier years and longed to return to the game, having built up some muscle and arm strength in 2012. Shoulder pain and rotator cuff rigidity prevented him from returning to the game he used to love playing, and he decided to come in and see us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City.
Upon his first visit, Bruce complained of discomfort and tightness around his right and left ribcages that extended into his serratus anterior (bilaterally). He informed his therapist that his pain was especially acting up when he was surfing, and he would have a longer recovery time than usual.
Upon evaluating Bruce, his therapist noticed multiple trigger points and myofascial restrictions in several muscles and muscle groups in his upper body, including his chest, back, abs and hips. Bruce’s therapist determined that these issues were most likely the result of overuse, meaning he had overworked these muscles without taken enough time off to rest and recover. He was also found to have weakness in his shoulder, abs and upper and lower back muscles, and his ability to rotate his right hip and shoulder was limited. Based on this evaluation, Bruce was diagnosed with a condition called costochondritis, which is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects the rib to the breastbone (sternum).
Bruce stated that his goals were to return to playing baseball without significant shoulder pain, and to be able to surf for at least two hours without experiencing any pain or tightness while doing so. He also wanted to restore the full range of motion of his right shoulder and hip, and address the sensation of feeling weak in his shoulder when paddling against resistance and throwing at higher velocities.
A variety of techniques implemented from Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City
Based on his diagnosis and condition, Bruce was placed on a personalized treatment program to help him accomplish his goals. This consisted of a variety of therapies, including the Graston Technique, cupping and mobilizations performed by the therapist to his shoulder, collarbone, sternum, and muscles in his right hip, inner thighs and back. He also performed a series of strengthening exercises for muscles in his shoulder, upper and lower back and abs, and was instructed on how to improve his posture in a way that would be less straining to his body. Finally, the therapist introduced programs that were designed specifically to help Bruce return to pitching and surfing through a variety of exercises based on many of the movements involved in those sports.
After completing treatment, Bruce reports that he has been playing lots of baseball lately. He partakes in about six innings of pitching a week, and said he’s been having a very good season as both a pitcher and batter so far. Bruce has also been keeping up with his physical therapy home exercise program and is doing some self-Graston pre- and post-techniques to keep his shoulder ready for baseball games, extensive piano practice, and surfing.
According to Bruce, “I ended my time in NYC with a win as a starting pitcher in a league called Twitter Baseball, throwing 4 hitless (and scoreless) innings in a competitive 7-inning game and batting 1 for 2,” he said. “I throw roughly 70 mph, and have been satisfied with my throwing recently. Here is the scorecard from my last game in New York City:
“Also, I placed first in a surfing contest recently. My increased range of motion, which is largely attributable to my exercises from Dynamic Sports PT, enabled me to paddle with ease that day, pain-free!” Here is the link to the 2016 standings:
“I’ve been feeling pretty good overall with no rib problems, and I attribute much of that to the work we did last year,” Bruce said. “So thank you!”
Contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today for any painful issues you may be experiencing.