As soon as he threw the football, Greg Stockdale knew something was wrong with his shoulder. For six months he dealt with the constant pain and numbness. It was affecting his daily life, as well as his ability to work out.
“I started changing my workouts because of the pain and inability to move my arm fully,” Greg said. “I’d wake up at night from the pain and my arm would go numb when I was running.”
After six months of increasing pain, Greg decided to have it checked out. He was referred to Kerri VanEe in WHC’s Orthopedic Clinic. After testing him, Kerri ordered an MRI so they could look at the structure of his shoulder. The MRI showed that Greg had a partial rotator cuff tear.
The rotator cuff is made up of four shoulder muscles and their tendons. Tendons are strong bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Tears can happen if a person falls on the shoulder or moves the shoulder too fast and with too much force.
Luckily, the tear was small enough that it was possible that physical therapy could fix the injury instead of surgery.
“I decided to try physical therapy, but I really didn’t expect it to help,” Greg commented. “I didn’t want to have surgery because it meant I wouldn’t be able to work out. I knew the surgery would slow me down and greatly affect my life.”
After the first couple of weeks of therapy, Greg noticed improvement. “I started out with three sessions a week and later moved down to two sessions. The consistency of going every time was very important. Some days it would have been easy to skip because I had other things to do, but I was committed to getting better.”
Jerod Gayer and Casey Doyle, physical therapists at Waverly Health Center, helped in Greg’s rehab. Jerod commented, “Greg’s program consisted of several exercises using sport cords and free weights designed to strengthen the rotator cuff and also work on shoulder blade stabilization. Our goal was to restore normal shoulder strength, range of motion and retrain proper movement patterns between the shoulder blade, shoulder and upper arm.”
“Throughout my sessions, I received great coaching and minor corrections in my form that made all of the difference,” Greg stated. “Jerod, Casey and Missy Lubben helped me learn the difference between the pain I had been feeling and the ‘good hurt’ I felt during therapy.”
Greg continued, “At one point in my recovery, Casey made me throw a ball – I was scared to do it because of my past experience. After I did it, I knew my shoulder was healed because I could throw without pain.”
“I’ve reached full recovery now and my shoulder feels better than ever. The therapy team at Waverly Health Center made me a believer in physical therapy and the benefits it can provide.”