Julien came to Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City to address chronic pain on his left side, which had developed after he was knocked down playing soccer over a year and a half ago. Due to the pain and dysfunction that resulted from the injury, Julien had stopped his normal sporting activities of soccer and running. Over time, this caused him to lose strength, which consequently reinforced his symptoms.
“After a nasty fall, I was left with diffuse discomfort/pain that extended from my neck/left shoulder area to my left leg,” Julien said. “The multiplicity and poor coherence of symptoms I manifested complicated any attempts at diagnosis and treatment of my condition for 18 months. I was starting to lose all hope of recovery when I was finally referred to Bridget Dungan, a physical therapist at Dynamic Sports PT. Bridget immediately revealed herself to be a true maestro, orchestrating all aspects of my recovery with precise methodology; first, she took the time to listen to the overwhelming number of symptoms I listed without discrediting any of them. She then carefully evaluated which articulations, muscles and joints needed release. Finally, she designed progressive and logical exercises for stabilization and core muscle reinforcement, covering both my lower and upper body.”
Julien’s evaluation revealed weakness at his hips, deep core and the muscles that stabilize and control the left shoulder blade. He also had some mild dysfunction related to the alignment of his ribs and left shoulder blade, with some aberrant movement patterns at his left shoulder with functional activities.
Julien’s treatment program from Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City
Bridget started each session with manual therapy consisting mostly of Active Release Technique to address Julien’s shortened or overactive muscles. In the beginning, she also worked on his intercostal muscles and diaphragm, incorporating breathing exercises in order to help with his thoracic alignment. Manual therapy was always followed by neuromuscular reeducation exercises to help teach and reinforce good movement patterns throughout his shoulders, thorax and hips. Bridget also discussed the role that stress can play with chronic pain, as Julien noticed that he was often more symptomatic on days that work was stressful.
Julien was very consistent with his home-exercise program and remained highly motivated throughout the course of his therapy. When he was ready, Bridget started him on running specific exercises, plus a running program consisting of intervals that gradually progressed to continuous running. Julien has now returned to running about three times per week, and completed a few races this past summer and fall, including a 15K. He looks forward more racing in 2018!
“Bridget ensured that I made steady progress by adjusting the nature and intensity of my exercises over the course of my six-month treatment program,” Julien said. “Equally important, she explained the purpose of each exercise she prescribed to me, made sure I would never feel pain, and empathized with my injury, truly taking my personal objectives for recovery to heart. For all this, I am immensely grateful to her and the superb staff at DS, especially the reception desk. I continue to do the exercises that she recommended at home, and I am running again and slowly getting back to my former pace, although not without plenty of sweat, :-).”
Experience similar outcomes for any pain or dysfunction you may be experiencing
Julien’s story shows that even after sustaining such a complex injury with a variety of symptoms, a full recovery is possible when a patient firmly commits to their treatment program. So if you are experiencing any pain, discomfort or dysfunction of your own, we strongly encourage you to stop in for an evaluation to figure out what’s going on. From there, our physical therapists can create a personalized program to bring you back to full strength that will be based on your abilities and goals. Contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment today, or click here to read our last blog on spinal alignment.