Selena has been told she needs shoulder surgery on her left shoulder after 6 months of pain, failed rehab and lots of frustration. What started as a simple niggle and mild discomfort when washing her hair has now progressed to 8/10 daily pain. Even sleep is painful. Feeling quite depressed about not being able to exercise and the resulting weight gain, Selena asked could we solve this without surgery or cortisone injections?
As we dug deeper into the story, it became apparent Selena had had neck problems her whole adult life. Typically on the same side as the shoulder, her neck pain started after a mild shunt in a car as a 25-year-old. A thorough assessment revealed poor posture in thoracic spine and neck, almost no control of shoulder blade movement, 10% of expected shoulder range of motion and faulty breathing mechanics.
An MRI scan reported tendon damage to the rotator cuff, biceps and bony changes under her AC joint. Crucially her labrum (the ligament capsule) was intact.
We felt there was a huge opportunity to help Selena. Breathing was reset from upper chest to the diaphragm. Mobility was introduced to the thoracic spine, shoulder blade movement started again and passive shoulder motion with the infamous prohab broomstick. Progressions were built, and Selena grew her confidence in the process.
Full pain-free shoulder range was achieved in 3 weeks. Pain-free sleep by the fourth week. Back exercising and running 2 months into care.