Paula is receiving physical therapy for her shoulder at DOAR Central. She is well-acquainted with therapy and with DOAR, having been a physical therapy patient with neck problems, a pulled hamstring, and most recently, a torn rotator cuff. She has also been an occupational therapy patient with wrist problems. Currently, Paula’s primary physical therapist is Kate Albright, PT. Over the years, she has also worked with Beth Neal, OTR/L; James Turner, DPT; Cindi Mathena, LPTA; Jeff Durand, ATC; and Rachel Bricker. Here’s Paula’s story, in her own words:
I started having pain in the front of my shoulder and bicep last May. I went to the doctor, and we tried steroids and cortizone shots before he suggested physical therapy. We were trying to avoid surgery, but I wasn’t getting better. Kate suggested I talk to my doctor again. We went ahead with the surgery in November. During surgery, they found out that my rotator cuff was torn, which hadn’t shown up on my MRI.
Since the surgery, I’ve come a long way! After the surgery, I couldn’t do anything, I could barely move my arm. Basically, Kate was moving my arm for me, using passive range of motion. She guided me to know what to do and what not to do at home. Around the eighth or ninth week, I was able to do more. I went back to my doctor, and he said I didn’t have any more limitations. My motion is a whole lot better, but I’ve still got a long way to go, so that’s what I’m working on now.
I’m a full believer in physical therapy! I’ve had physical therapy before for neck problems and a pulled hamstring. I also had occupational therapy years ago with Beth after my wrist surgery; I went from not being able to move my wrist to having full range of motion.
I would definitely recommend therapy to anyone who needs it. I don’t know what people do who don’t come to therapy after surgery. I wouldn’t know what I could do with out someone guiding me. I wouldn’t have my range of motion.
Nobody wants to have surgery, but since I did, I really enjoy coming here. Everyone is very nice, and seems to be very knowledgeable. What gets me is the patience they have! When Kate shares her knowledge of the anatomy and how everything is supposed to work, I know I can trust her, which gives me the confidence I need to get better. I will miss everyone when I’m done!
Thank you, Paula, for sharing your experiences with physical and occupational therapy. Good luck as your continue your journey toward full range of motion!