This ten year old girl presented with right shoulder pain, especially whilst writing at school. She had suffered a complicated fracture to her elbow 18 months prior to attending our clinic. The fracture had set incorrectly and had to be surgically broken and re-set, with plates and pins inserted, which were later removed. Whilst healing occurred she received intensive physiotherapy over one year and hydrotherapy for four months. No further treatment was advised at her 18 month check-up and she was left with very limited movement in her elbow, as can be seen in the photographs taken on 14.9.13. This case is shown in the hospitals for doctors who are undertaking training, as the worst case of this type of fracture that the consultant had seen. Continue reading to see how she was treated at Balance-Rite Osteopathy Clinic.By using our whole-body mechanical diagnostic approach, it was clear to see that the muscles of the shoulder were being strained by the incorrect positioning of this patients arm and that compensatory adaptation of the shoulder girdle, spine and pelvis were evident.
By using our whole body approach to treatment, the pain in her shoulder resolved after the first session. Treatment has been continued since to correct the mechanical compensations in her pelvis, spine and shoulder girdle, which affected the positioning of her arms, wrists, legs and feet. Regular treatment has also been focused on increasing the quality of the movement in her injured elbow and wrist, giving her a more natural position and pain free arm and hand movement.
You can see the difference in the before and after treatment photographs.
In the right photograph above, showing the back view:
- The right shoulder blade is no longer protruding.
- The shoulders are now level, so strain of the muscles when used is reduced
- The pelvis is now centralised and level and able to support the spine correctly
- Both feet now face more forward, showing better positioning of the hip & leg in the pelvis
- The spine is now straight allowing the muscles each side to be balanced and function correctly
- The shoulder and right arm hang in a more natural position
- The angle of the elbow is now much straighter & part of her right hand can now be seen.
Treatment has taken several months to get to this stage, as all the soft tissues had healed into the very restricted position of the elbow, within the healing period of 18 months post-fracture, and were very rigid and non-elastic. Work continues to improve the quality of the elbow movement, taking advantage of the fact that the child is still growing. The outcome would possibly have been better had this approach been used in the earlier months of healing.
For the latest update on the development of this patient visit this link: http://www.balance-rite.co.uk/?p=697