Every quarter I seem to re-injure my shoulder and it’s happened again. Normally, I go to the chiropractor and/or get a massage, but I’ve tried both recently and it still wasn’t working. Also, whenever I tried doing my back pose (I’m training for a figure competition) my right side kept locking up. So my trainer, Melissa Merritt Coker, recommended I go to Airrosti Rehab Centers.
Airrosti has an interesting concept; it combines manual therapy with stretching and physical therapy usually reserved for athletes. The walls in the treatment room are covered with flags from different college teams as well as the typical anatomy posters you might see in any doctor’s office.
The Sports Therapy and Rehab Director, Dr. Reass, assessed my condition to determine the root cause of the pain/injury. In my particular case my shoulder injury has more to do with my repetitive motions at the computer (i.e. – Blogging and office work is hurting me) and also my chronic TMJ disorder (which is fancy for “my jaw joint keeps locking up.”)
Now that that’s been figured out we move on to the manual therapy, which is kind of like a cross between an intense sports massage and a chiropractic visit. I was told to wear comfortable clothes, so I wore my gym shorts and ShesLosingIt.net tank top (’cause why not advertise, right?) The chair was one of those massage chairs with a hole in the top with a layer of tissue paper over it for you to rest your face, and I lay down on it.
He started pressing down on the knot in my shoulder. “Wow, you have a lot going on there,” he said, pressing his thumb deeper into my muscular ball of pain. I think I politely grunted, “Ouch.”
But the real pain came when he moved to my neck. Staci from my bodybuilding team, Mel’s Machines, warned me about this part. She said she almost passed out, and my other friend from the team, Tiffany, said it almost made her husband cry. When Dr. Reass pressed down on my neck I inhaled so hard I began to suck in that tissue paper under my face.
“Not everyone feels the shoulder area, but pretty much everyone feels something when I work the neck area,” said Dr. Reass.
“Umhum aww!” I responded politely. But then something crazy happened. My ear popped. It felt all wet and suddenly I could hear better. Whoa. “What just happened with my ear?”
“Your ear just drained fluid. Sometimes that happens, probably due to your TMJ. I never have to give my kids antibiotics for ear infections; I just work on their neck and it drains properly. Of course, I use much lighter pressure on my kids,” he laughs.
Then he worked on the other side to balance everything out and that ear popped too. When he was done I felt lighter and taller, and my ears felt strange, probably because they were working now. My left shoulder was now level with my right shoulder. Yay!
Time to move on to the Active Care Program. I met with Chad Leath, MS, and he reviewed what was done with Dr. Reass. He showed me several stretches and exercises to help speed my recovery and prevent future injuries, including self massage of my shoulder with a lacrosse ball and wall stretches. While I was stretching we were chit chatting about our kids and swapping nursery school recommendations. He also mentioned that he used to work at UT and was offered a job heading the sports recovery program at another college but found working at Airrosti more satisfying.
Then he put Kinesio tape (K-tape) on my back. He had a wide variety of colors, so I chose turquoise to be girlie. The tape is pretty interesting. It stabilizes your joints, decreases pressure around pain receptors in the skin, and lifts the skin to allow increased lymphatic absorption of excess fluid while reducing bruising. Plus, it’s way cool to tell people in the gym, “Yeah, just got some K-tape done.”
I was then given a list of things to do at home to speed up my recovery (ice the area, drink more water, do my prescribed stretches and keep exercising.) I have three more visits to go. Already I notice a difference in my ability to hold my back pose and my jaw feels better too.
They can help with multiple ailments beyond just sports injuries too, and most insurance companies cover their procedures. If you are in the Austin area and would like to check them out, you can go to:
- Airrosti Rehab Centers
- Great Oaks Family Practice
- 15930 Great Oaks Dr.
- Round Rock, TX 78681
- (800) 404-6050
Have you ever had a sports injury? How did you treat it?
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