Barb is a homemaker, who loves spending time with her children, going to concerts, reading and volunteering at her children’s school. Debilitating shoulder pain reduced her quality of life, preventing her from exercising or managing her daily routine with her family. Now thanks to her determined efforts and our treatment program, she is pain-free and enjoying life again. Best of all, our program has helped her change her habits so she can enjoy her lifestyle without risking similar injuries in the future.
This is Barb’s story
I was always fairly active and energetic, with no previous health issues. My daily routine was fairly simple, but essential to keep everyone else organized. On a typical day, I would start by making breakfast for everybody and helping the kids get ready for school. Then once the kids were at school, I’d straighten up and clean the house.
My household work involved a lot of repetitive activities and the over-use started causing damage to my joints, particularly in my shoulder. Whenever I lifted heavy things, I would lift with my arms rather than with my legs, which was also bad for my joints.
After the morning activities were finished, I’d take the kids to the pool and any other sporting activities. Then it would be time to go home, make dinner and help the kids get ready for bed.
The wake-up call
My shoulder was often painful, but eventually, the pain became constant and aggressive. And because it was my shoulder, I was really limited in what I could achieve during the day. Even little household tasks such as folding laundry were suddenly beyond me.
I had to stop exercising, and I also had to ask someone else to do the household chores that I couldn’t manage, such as folding laundry, due to the pain in my shoulder. The first time I tried physical therapy it was not beneficial – just too painful and there didn’t seem to be any improvement. After I had given up on physical therapy, my doctor suggested surgery. The surgery fixed the structural deficit that prevented the physical therapy from being beneficial.
First steps to recovery
Immediately after my surgery, I started physical therapy again and almost straight away, I could feel the difference. Within six weeks, there was a significant improvement. My first goals were to be able to resume my daily activities without being afraid of injuring my arm again.
Travis from Robbin’s Rehabilitation created an exercise plan to help me improve my movement, and he made me work through the exercises even when I didn’t want to do it, because it hurt! I laughed and cried throughout the therapy – cried more in the beginning when it really hurt, and then laughed when I could really sense the improvement. He also showed me how to change my habits so I wouldn’t risk hurting myself again through poor lifting or repetitive movements. I wish I’d known all these things years ago!
Travis was very reassuring and encouraging, so he motivated me to push through with exercises that hurt me more even though they helped me improve. I can track my improvement by feeling the amazing difference when I do certain activities now in comparison to when I had the aggressive pain.
Physical therapy was so different this time because the surgery fixed the underlying problem, and then the right exercise program helped me recover fully.
Barb’s advice to anyone about to start physical therapy at Robbins Rehab?
DO IT! Don’t get discouraged if it is difficult at first. You may feel worse before you get better but improvements will come.
The people here really care about your well-being. You are more than a number; you are a family member, and they will look after you.
I am back to my old self again – I feel GREAT, and can live my life to the fullest, doing everything I need to do. Best of all, I know how to prevent a similar injury in the future.