Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shoulder extremity pain

The McKenzie method or “mechanical diagnosis and therapy” which is currently being used has expanded beyond neck and back pain. It now includes all the extremity joints. Some of the findings in treating extremities have been quite dramatic. In most cases it is important to rule out the cervical or lumbar spine as a source of referred pain which is easily done with history taking and a quick screen of the spinal motions. I had a recent patient with constant upper arm pain which persisted for 6 months and was not improving. She was unable to lie on this shoulder or lift her arm secondary to pain and did not respond to over the counter medications or rest. She had an x-ray which was negative and her cervical spine was cleared out of the source of her symptoms. She also presented weakness in the shoulder.

After only 4 visits, almost all of her arm pain was gone and a significant increase in motion was noted. Within 7 visits, her range of motion was within normal limits and now she is being seen periodically for strength training to improve strength and prevent any reoccurrence of these symptoms. The most interesting observation is that all of this was performed with simple “mechanical diagnosis and therapy” testing and treatment without the need for a MRI study, surgery or even injections. The patient was quite amazed how rapidly her symptoms could change and only wished she could’ve started her treatment much sooner. The extremity joints particularly the shoulder do present some difficult variables as there are so many ranges of motion in this joint and we essentially use our shoulders everyday for most of our functional activities.

We will continue to keep your updated with various spine and extremity stories that have responded successfully to mechanical diagnosis and therapy.

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