My shoulder is killing me Dr. G, but I really want to keep doing Pilates. Is that, ok?” Well….
That is where this story begins. But no need to worry. Without spoiling the ending, I will tell you it is more of a fairy tale than a horror story. Here we go!
Jenny is a 40-year-old that loves to do…you guessed it Pilates. She loves how it makes her back feel. Long and strong. But while her back loves Pilates, her shoulder has more of a love/hate relationship with it. She doesn’t blame Pilates for her shoulder pain. In fact, together we concluded that her forward head posture and rounded shoulders sitting at the computer 8-10 hours a day is the real villain in this story. Not to mention years of softball and basketball.
Jenny is an old friend that has little time to come into the office. I knew right when she called me, she was hoping for a one visit fix that would put her right back in her Saturday morning Pilates class. After all, she was racking up a bank of classes with her Class Pass.
After talking with her I suggested we get on a zoom call. I had a gut feeling I knew what was going on.
My gut (and 20 years of practice) told me she was dealing with shoulder impingement. So, I had her do 3 tests on her own to see if they would cause pain. Success! We had found the cause.
Here are the 3 tests I had Jenny perform.
Once we got that out of the way it was time to get started. She was less than pleased that the resolution may take up to 4-6 weeks. But she was happy to have a plan of attack. She was also excited to hear she could do most of the “FIX” on her own!
The treatment consisted of ice and ultrasound the first week to manage the inflammation. We also included some mobility exercises of the upper back to help improve her posture. After all this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. She was especially excited to hear that she could exercise as long as it was pain free. Which meant limited overhead movements.
Ultimately Jenny received the fairy tale ending she was looking for. Pain free Pilates!