Patient Spotlight – Gina G

It is a privilege to work with individuals that put themselves in harm’s way to save and help the lives of others. Gina’s physical readiness is part of the job description.  She has to be ready for the unknown.  A fire or 911 call can’t be put on hold to warm-up or think about how to execute a task with perfect body mechanics.  The gym or a physical therapy session becomes a safe training space to practice the demands of the job. It is a place to brainstorm how to navigate situations that may worsen a current injury and develop a plan to return 100%.  I love how Gina could connect the dots between her physical therapy, gym routine, and work demands.  Individuals like Gina make our work fun!! 

Casey and Henry 

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About a year ago I started seeing Casey and Henry for help with my shoulder. I had been having pain for about 6 months and nothing I did made it better. I am a firefighter for the city of Burlington and the pain was severely affecting my job. Most people in this line of work know how taxing it can be on your back and shoulders especially. With my shoulder hurting doing certain movements I was unable to lift light tools without pain.

I had been doing CrossFit for about 3 years when this happened. I recently moved to VT and was a member of 802 CrossFit. The coaches there recommended I see Casey for PT since I had little improvement. During my first appointment with Casey, she got to know me, what I did for work, training, and my concerns with my injury. She was really interested and wanted to learn what I did every day at work and where I had potential for exacerbating the injury and how we could adjust certain tasks to favor my shoulder until it was better. I told her I noticed the pain the most when I would put the medical bag back in the compartment on the engine which is about shoulder height for me. It was also great knowing she is a CrossFit coach and understands the training I do. Being able to tell her when I did or did not have pain during certain movements at CrossFit was beneficial in keeping me in the gym regularly throughout my rehab.

We did some mobility tests to pinpoint the pain in my shoulder and then she had me do some stretches and different light strengthening movements. She and Henry developed a plan to help open and stretch the muscles around my shoulder as well as strengthen it with movements it wasn’t used to doing as well as practicing other more dynamic movements to mimic tasks at work. Part of this plan was to make sure I did not have to come back in a few months for the same problem. They also did not want me to think that I was going to be in pain or have shoulder issues for the rest of my life. They wanted to get me back to work and CrossFit pain free and able to do any movement without hesitation or fear my shoulder was going to hurt.

I went back every week for about a month and started seeing drastic improvement. I saw both Casey and Henry while I was going there. After every appointment I had been taught a new movement or two, to progress my rehab. They sent me home with a description, instructions and a schematic drawing of how it was supposed to look. They both will say that part of my quick recovery was because I religiously followed their instructions and that I did most of the work. I will tell anyone that it was all because they are both great at what they do. They pushed me to get better every time I went in. I continued to see them through to the end of December and by then I was going every other week. At my last appointment we decided that my shoulder had healed well enough I did not have to continue coming regularly but I would go back if needed. Since then, occasionally, when my shoulder is tight or I push it too hard in the gym, I revisit my exercises they gave me to do and within a day or two its back to feeling 100%. I have and will continue to recommend anyone to see Casey or Henry when they have pain or an injury. They are both very professional and good at what they do. If it wasn’t for them, I probably would still have some shoulder pain. Today, I am 100% pain free and can do all the movements I used to at CrossFit and I can do anything at work without worrying about pain. 

– Gina G.

 

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