Serving Up Results for a Volleyball & Softball Player

Being an athlete could almost be considered a family trait for Lisa Carman. Not only does she play softball and volleyball in multiple leagues, but her daughter plays soccer as well! She had always loved to play sports or throw around a ball with her kids but was benched when she sustained a shoulder injury.

Why She Entered PT

Lisa hurt her bicep tendons 2 years ago, and when she got the results back from her MRI, she discovered that she also had a tear in her rotator cuff! Surgery was scheduled for her bicep tendon, but by that point, her rotator cuff had completely torn.

After her surgery, she was both delighted and nervous because she felt no pain. Without a second thought, Lisa grabbed a snow brush to clean off the snow on her van and felt something move in her shoulder. Since she wasn’t able to see a doctor right away, she was worried that she had done something to undo all the work in her shoulder. Luckily, she found out that it was only scar tissue and she hadn’t done any further damage.

When she entered PT, she couldn’t do simple things like getting dressed easily, showering, or cooking dinner – everyday tasks that aren’t thought to be hard or impossible. This caused her to struggle with feeling like she was useless. Since she had already worked with Performance on a torn ACL injury before, she knew that she could trust Dr. Kara Chace and Kevin Silvia with her post-surgical recovery.

Her Telehealth Journey

Initially, she was skeptical about telehealth because she was used to an in-clinic experience where she would normally experience manual therapy. Her concern was that she wouldn’t get what she needed out of it to be able to live normally again. However, she soon learned that telehealth was completely different than what she expected! She recalls that “telehealth was great. Kara was great. She would show me the exercises and would correct and adjust me as needed. She was able to change things up as I progressed.”

Her motivation to continue when physical therapy was difficult was being able to play softball, volleyball, and catch with her kids. So naturally, the moment when she realized that she was making progress was when she didn’t feel pain as she threw a softball to her kids. That made her realize she was stronger than she had thought, so she tried throwing a heavier softball, and finally, she tried to serve a volleyball. She was so excited to see this progress that she sent a video of herself serving a volleyball to Kara and Kevin!

Once the clinics opened up again, she was happy to be back “to let the physical therapists do their thing.”

Lisa’s Advice for Patients

When she realized she’d have to go to physical therapy after her surgery, Lisa specifically asked to work with Kara and Kevin again because “as much as physical therapy is work to get you back to pre-injury health, they don’t make it seem like work. They made it kind of fun and I actually looked forward to and enjoyed working with both Kara and Kevin. They definitely know their stuff.”

Lisa advises patients to “keep up with your exercises and do what they tell you…because it really works!”

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