Skip to main content

Roberto using strengthing equipment during physical therapy

Two years ago, 49-year-old Roberto was on his way back from the US Open in New York with his father. While on the subway platform, he slipped and fell, fracturing his right shoulder. 

Roberto was already suffering from spinal stenosis in his back at the time of his injury.

Taking anti-inflammatories to treat pain were not an option for him due to an existing diverticular disease. When he had taken them previously, they made him so sick that he ended up in the emergency room.

"The side effects of the anti-inflammatories were worse than my back pain," he said.

To help manage his intense back pain and rigidity that developed in his right shoulder, his physician recommended that he see a pain management specialist, who found that Roberto had disc herniations in his upper spine, as well. 

Roberto's pain specialist referred him to a physical therapist, which Roberto embraced.

"I was motivated by not wanting to take medication and avoiding surgery," Roberto said. "From the moment I started, [my physical therapist] was amazing."

Roberto's physical therapist, Aleksandr Dekhtyarev, PT, DPT, treated the rigidity in Roberto's shoulder and performed pain management exercises for his upper and lower spine.

Roberto attends physical therapy sessions twice a week, once for his shoulder, and the other for back pain. His treatments include exercise, manual therapy, stretches, electrical stimulation, and therapeutic massage.

"I did not want to be operated on," Roberto said. "I knew with the physical therapy exercises I would improve.

"Now that I am in physical therapy, the pain in my upper and lower back has radically improved, and I have much less rigidity in my shoulder.

"My physical therapist, who really listens and cares, has enabled me to avoid back surgery and stop using the anti-inflammatories. Instead of using medications, I have my mobility!"

Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To locate a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.

Find a PT Near You!


Is this content helpful?

Thanks for the feedback!

Thank you. Your feedback has been sent.

You Might Also Like...

Health Tips

Six Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Pain

Mar 26, 2024

Research shows that both strengthening and stretching exercise programs can greatly reduce pain and improve walking in people with plantar fasciitis. These

Did You Know?

Choosing Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain Outperforms Usual Primary Care

Sep 19, 2023

Patients and referring providers have another reason to choose or recommend physical therapy to treat low back pain according to a report by the American

Health Tips

Fear Not: A Physical Therapist Can Help You Overcome the Fear of Movement

Aug 23, 2022

Do you avoid moving because you fear it will hurt? Does the fear of reinjury limit your activity? If so, you may be experiencing kinesiophobia. And you're