My name is Dr. Jordan Floyd, and I am a physical therapist and founder of Limitless Therapy and Wellness. I recently suffered an injury that required me to enlist the help of one of my colleagues, and I wanted to share that experience to help you, the reader, avoid some of the mistakes I made along the way and understand what I could have done better to recover faster and avoid setbacks. Below is an account of my experience as a patient of Limitless Therapy and Wellness.
It all started with a tough workout. I was exhausted, but I was on my last set, and I was doing a movement that I had done hundreds of times before a barbell rollout. But this time was different. I began experiencing intense pain halfway between my shoulder and my elbow, and every time I rolled the barbell forward, it felt like my arm might break. Like many men, I was stubborn and pushed through because I was too prideful to let my friends see me quit. Within hours, I began experiencing worsening shoulder pain, but I also started to feel intense chest and mid-back pain. Sneezing, coughing, or straining made the pain in my chest and mid-back much worse. Something was wrong, but I had never felt anything like this before, so I couldn’t self-diagnose very easily.
Even though I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy who is Board Certified in Orthopedics, this cluster of symptoms was perplexing. I did what most men would do – I decided to wait a few days to see if things would get better on their own. After 3 days with no improvement, I decided to reach out to one of the physical therapists on my team at Limitless Therapy and Wellness.
Dr. Elliot Cleveland was able to see me the following morning, and he correctly diagnosed the source of my pain within minutes. The medical term is “cervical radiculopathy” or pain radiating from the neck, often resulting in pain and numbness/tingling into the arms and hands as well as weakness in the muscles of the shoulder, elbow, and hand. I was disappointed that I hadn’t
figured out that this was coming from my neck. When I first started experiencing pain while working out, all I felt was shoulder pain. But that’s exactly how cervical radiculopathy often presents – no neck pain, but severe pain in the shoulder, shoulder blade, mid-back, and even down the arm. The peace of mind of having a proper diagnosis was already relieving, but I
knew that this was not going to be something that I was going to be able to manage on my own.
My physical therapist, Dr. Elliot Cleveland, performed a variety of hands-on techniques to relieve tension and pressure in my neck and shoulders, including joint mobilization and manipulation techniques and trigger point dry needling. I experienced IMMEDIATE relief which lasted for several hours, and I was given very specific movements and exercises to
repeat on my own every few hours to continue to alleviate the pressure and inflammation on the nerves in my neck.
Like many of my patients, I was thrilled at the relief I had achieved and figured I was out of the woods, so I let the exercises I was given fall by the wayside. I felt much better overall, and I was back in the gym working out 5 days per week with very few limitations or restrictions. However, my decision to neglect those exercises came back to bite me when I decided to join
my two 5th graders on their class trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The combination of a long bus ride and sleeping in a hotel bed left me feeling like I was back to square one. I tried to resume the corrective movements and exercises I had been given, but my symptoms were too intense to get through them this time. As soon as I got back into town, Dr. Cleveland saw me
again and performed several of the same “reset” techniques he had done before, but strongly emphasized how important it would be for me to be proactive and take ownership of my situation this time around. I heeded his advice, and within 7-10 days, my symptoms had completely resolved and I was back to my normal workout routine
I am no longer fearful of my symptoms returning because I have addressed the root cause (a lack of mobility through my thoracic spine and weakness of the muscles that help support and stabilize my neck) and I have taken ownership of addressing these limitations so that I won’t be at risk for further injury. Now I can confidently resume my workout routine with
several lessons learned, which I hope you, the reader, can remember as well:
1. Listen to your body. If something feels out of the ordinary (not just normal muscle soreness), make sure you get in touch with a physical therapist or a healthcare provider, you trust to make sure you’re not missing something.
2. Listen to your provider. They don’t give you advice just to fill time or make themselves feel good. They are genuinely advising you based on what they know to be true for your unique situation.
3. Take ownership of your health. With the passage of time, our bodies become less resilient (despite our best efforts). You cannot take your health for granted and you must be proactive in maintaining it. The longer you wait to take some positive steps toward better health, the longer and harder that journey will be.
I hope my experience will help readers who have similar symptoms act decisively and get the long-term relief they crave!
If you or anyone you know has experienced similar symptoms to the ones I listed above, fill out a contact form or call (864) 251-5410 to see if Limitless Therapy and Wellness is the right fit to get you back to moving and feeling your best.