In this article, we take a look at the process of one of our sports rehabilitation therapists, Nicole Liquori, DPT. From the initial evaluation to the treatment plan to the patient’s progress throughout, we will get to see and understand the physical therapist’s perspective. On the flip side, we’ll also get to see the patient’s point of view.
Conrad arrived at our facility with complaints of pain and loss of range of motion in his right shoulder. In early 2017, Conrad had been in a swimming accident which left him with transient paralysis. He regained full function of his arms and legs within a few weeks of the accident but was left with the residual weakness of both upper and lower extremities.
Upon evaluation, Conrad demonstrated signs and symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of shoulder impingement syndrome. Conrad presented with rounded shoulders and weakness of his postural and rotator cuff musculature which can strongly affect the mechanical relationship of all joints associated with shoulder mobility.
Conrad’s symptoms included pain and restricted motion when lifting his arm above head and reaching behind his back.
Our treatment initially focused on restoring his normal shoulder and scapular range of motion (as compared to his left shoulder) using mobilization, soft tissue work and passive/active assistive range of motion. Once we were able to establish the normal glenohumeral rhythm – the coordinated motion of the scapula and humerus experienced during shoulder movement – we moved into scapular and rotator cuff strengthening and stabilization activities.
We focused on functional movements that would translate into his activities of daily living (i.e., reaching for a cup in a high cabinet), as well as recreational activities (i.e., throwing a ball, swimming, etc.).
Conrad’s treatment was cut short secondary to surgery on his spine, but prior to discharge, Conrad had returned to performing most everyday tasks, as well as throwing a ball overhand without pain.
In Conrad’s Own Words
I highly recommend Nicole Liquori at Park Sports PT. After a serious accident, I was unable to raise my arm over my head. I couldn’t throw a ball or swim with an overhand stroke. Nicole changed that in the space of two months. A combination of deep massage, passive movement and guided exercises brought back pain-free use of my shoulder. Her knowledge is apparent in her explanations of the functional basis for the exercises. Her skill is demonstrated in her wonderful touch. She confidently employs just the right amount of force in the right places. On top of that, Nicole is sympathetic and encouraging. She has all the qualities of a first-rate therapist and she helped me immensely.