Rebecca came to see us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City after sustaining what she thought was a left shoulder injury while reaching to pick up grocery bags. After the injury, she experienced lots of sensitivity, tingling, aching, intermittent numbness and significant weakness throughout her left arm. However, she could not localize her symptoms or name triggers, and she was also overwhelmed and anxious when she tried to describe these symptoms.
Upon examining and testing Rebecca, her therapist noticed that she had a significant amount of guarding and pain that was limiting her neck, shoulder, elbow and hand movements in all directions. Rebecca’s therapist also saw that she had weakness when lifting her left arm and sustaining muscle contractions as well as her own weight through her arms. Instability was found in her shoulder joint, as she had reported two instances of the same shoulder dislocating in the past. Rebecca also reported tension headaches and decreased sleep quality due to neck tightness and pain, as well as poor head, neck and upper back posture from slouching forward.
Based on this examination, Rebecca’s physical therapist diagnosed her with a brachial plexus strain injury. Rebecca explained that she was only in New York City for a few months on a college internship and that she wanted to get stronger and have her symptoms either completely alleviated or at least under control before leaving to study abroad in London.
How Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City helped Rebecca improve
With this in mind, Rebecca’s therapist crafted a treatment program that was individualized specifically to her abilities and goals. Rebecca was first educated on the pathology and anatomy leading to her symptoms so she could better understand and explain what she was experiencing moving forward. Manual work/Active release therapy, nerve gliding, postural taping, desensitization techniques and electrical stimulation were initially used to address her pain, promote healing and encourage upper body functioning and use.
Next, Rebecca’s therapist performed an ergonomic assessment and modified of her computer workstation to limit flare-ups. This was followed by postural education and correction so Rebecca could self-manage her condition and reduce the strain on her nerves. Throughout treatment, progressive shoulder strengthening and stabilization exercises were also used to help Rebecca regain her upper body function and decrease the likelihood for future shoulder dislocations and nerve damage or irritation.
After two months of 2-3 physical therapy sessions per week, Rebecca became symptom-free and was able to not only lift her coffee mug, but could even do push-ups! Being on a computer or sleeping was also not an issue anymore. After being discharged from therapy, Rebecca was given a final strengthening routine to help her maintain these gains while studying abroad.
Upon completing treatment, Rebecca had this to say about her experience: “I am so grateful for the care you gave in helping me to heal! I’m amazed at my progress in this short time and will be able to go to London without worrying. Thank you so much.”
Rebecca’s success serves as yet another example of what’s possible in just two months with complete commitment to a treatment program. Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City wishes Rebecca all the best during her study abroad program, and we are confident that she’ll maintain her improvements if she stays dedicated to her exercises. If you’re dealing with any aches of pains of your own, we’re here to help. Contact us at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here to read our last blog for more information on brachial plexus injuries.