Case Studies: Shoulders and Hips

Shoulder Pain

A 29 year old male, an oil field worker, entered the clinic seeking the aid of a Sports Medicine Specialist to provide alternative therapy recommendations for his shoulder. He complained of impeded range of motion in his left shoulder and indicated the problem had been prevalent for many years. He had been going to a sports medicine doctor who recommended steroid injections every year for the past several years. His goal was to get an accurate assessment and treatment recommendations directed at the root of the problem so that he could discontinue injections which had provided some relief but not a “cure”.

Initial examination revealed impeded motion of the right shoulder due to over-development and poor elasticity in the associated muscles groups. Oil field work requires repetitious motion often moving extremely heavy equipment.

Various techniques were applied to directly and indirectly associated muscle groups of both shoulders and upper spine with the goal of improving elasticity and functional symmetry amongst muscle groups.

During the course of a single session full range of motion was restored to the affected shoulder.  Seven day follow-up indicated that the client maintained full range of motion and is eager to continue therapy to address back problems induced by the labors of his profession.

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Case study

A 50 year old man employed as a professional mechanic suffered constant pain in his left shoulder several days after attempting to keep an engine block from falling off an engine stand. The pain prevented him from raising his arm and caused great difficulty sleeping. The incident was not immediately reported to the employer and, as such, was not covered by Worker’s Compensation. He was assessed by medical doctors (at his discretion and expense) and the extent of any explanation was described as a “torn rotator cuff” injury that required surgery to repair.  His decision was not to opt for surgery given the expense and time off work required. He was referred to my clinic by another client where the extent of his injury was assessed fully without the need for MRIs, etc.  I diagnosed a minor tear near the insertion of the teres minor muscle and conveyed that his particular injury may require two to four therapy sessions in order to alleviate his pain entirely and restore 100% mobility to his arm.

After a single 60 minute therapy session where topical herbs and manual therapy were applied to the affected area the client reported an immediate 80 to 90 percent reduction in pain and restoration of 90 percent range of motion. No additional exercises were recommended other than the motions required by his occupation and no herbal therapy was suggested.

Having followed the course of his recovery for several weeks the client reported consistently that there was no pain and 100% mobility had been restored. During the recovery period he did not see fit to take any over-the-counter medications. He sought no further treatment and continues to perform all his normal duties as an automotive mechanic.

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