For this week’s client success story, I introduce you to “Louise”. She’s a married busy mom of two middle-schoolers, owns her own small business, and loves to release her energy by running cross country. When I met Louise in 2012, she was experiencing numbness and tingling in her left arm and neck pain. The discomfort was so uncomfortable that she was not running as often as she preferred … and when Louise doesn’t run, she feels ungrounded and dysfunctional.
Louise was consistently receiving proper chiropractic care, however, after several months of the same adjustments to her neck and shoulders, her numbness and tingling had not resolved. During the initial client intake, she shared with me her history of gymnastics as a child which included multiple neck injuries; however, she couldn’t recall any current injuries that might have affected the left shoulder. During this first orthopedic massage therapy session, we discovered most of the discomfort coming from the rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus, and teres muscles) of the left shoulder and the occipital and scalene muscles of the left neck. We discussed sleeping positions and proper body mechanics when lifting heavy objects. After several weekly sessions, the numbness and tingling resolved in the shoulder. However, we continued to work toward bringing balance to the neck. Louise was impressed with how her body began to heal naturally.
Louise then shared with me that she frequently sprains her ankles when running cross country in the woods on uneven trails full of rocks and tree roots. Since her left shoulder had drastically improved, we shifted our focus onto her hips, lower legs and feet. I noticed that while lying on the massage table, her ankles naturally rolled inward. This tells me that her flexor digitorum longus and tibialis posterior were short and tight while her peroneals and tibialis anterior were weak and inhibited. We worked to loosen the short and tight muscles, and I showed her ways to strengthen the weak and inhibited muscles. Once again, within a few weeks of consistent orthopedic massage therapy sessions and Louise focusing on the strengthening, her ankles began to hold their proper balanced position. Low and behold, after all of these years, Louise has experienced zero sprained ankles.
As far as Louise’s pain in the neck, over the years, her symptoms have continued and periodically have increased in intensity. She has worked with multiple specialists who have diagnosed her with Chiari Malformation, which affects the spinal column. We have found that by consistently (sessions every 2-3 weeks) relieving muscle tension and increasing range of motion within the neck muscles and joints, she has been able to manage symptoms, which for her can range from numbness in the head and face to dizzy spells. Louise understands the importance of these consistent orthopedic massage therapy sessions as she strives to maintain a focused, grounded, and balanced lifestyle.
If you can relate to Louise’s story, then call or text me at 412-760-1776 to set up a free phone consultation to see if we are a good fit for working together.
Denise Fahrion is a passionate orthopedic massage therapist in the McCandless suburbs of Pittsburgh. She personally works toward and shares with her clients ways to become “Focused. Grounded. Balanced.” by taking a holistic approach to healing the body naturally.