About 2 years ago, 3DPT’s June Patient of the month, Gianna Simone, was having a lot of pain in her shoulder area and was struggling with her overhand throw in softball. She was sent to PT from her doctor, and when she came to 3DPT Tabernacle and completed some testing, her PT, Dr. Carlie Strazzullo realized there were also some nerve issues and her grip strength was very weak.
Gianna went through a year and half of PT with many ups and downs. She finally thought she was better and ready to finish PT when the pain came back with a vengeance. Not only could she not even open a jar, she could barely write in school; and when she would pitch in softball, her arm would go numb. The most frustrating part was not having any answers.
Carlie referred Gianna to a different sports medicine doctor who told her that she had Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. After testing and a few appointments with different surgeons, it was a confirmed diagnosis. Gianna had surgery in January and she is finally on the true road to recovery.
Take a look at this video to see Gianna making up for lost time on the softball field! Striking out batters, hitting home runs and best of all, enjoying her time on the diamond pain free!
3DPT: What brought you to physical therapy and how has it affected your life?
Gianna: About 2 years ago I started having a lot of pain in my shoulder area and my overhand throw in softball got extremely weak. After a couple wrong diagnoses I thought we had the answer.My scapula was completely locked up. After testing at PT it seemed there were also some nerve issues. My grip strength was very weak. Carlie had my right diagnosis from day one (thoracic outlet syndrome). If only the doctors would have listened. I went through a year and half of PT and many ups and downs. We finally thought I was better and ready to finish PT when my pain came back with a vengeance. Not only could I not open a jar I could barely write in school. When I would pitch in softball my arm would go numb. It was extremely frustrating not having any answers. Carlie referred us to a different sports medicine doctor who told us what I have screams thoracic outlet syndrome. Exactly what Carlie said from day one. After testing and a few appointments with different surgeons it was confirmed that’s what I had. I had my surgery in January and I am finally truly on the road to recovery.
3DPT: Tell us a little about your recovery process. What has been the hardest part of your therapy?
Gianna: Recovery after surgery has been a little tough. The pain was high at first and we had to take things slow. I was extremely anxious to get back to softball without restrictions. Carlie gave me a return to play regimen and although I wanted to jump right back in this was the best thing for my recovery.
3DPT: What advice would you give to other people who suffered similar injuries or going through the same situation?
Gianna: My advice to anyone going through what I have is to be your own advocate. If you don’t agree with the doctor or feel he/she is not fully listening to you, change doctors quickly. It took me 2 years to get the proper diagnosis. When it could’ve only taken a couple weeks had they listened to me, my mom, and Carlie. I was 13 when my symptoms started and I was told no way could I have thoracic outlet syndrome by a well known doctor. He said in 30 years he has only seen one case. Well I’m that one case he missed.
3DPT: Why would you recommend 3 Dimensional Physical Therapy?
Gianna: 3 Dimensional Physical Therapy is amazing. Not only are they knowledgeable but they truly care about each individual person. Carlie has been there for me every step of the way and I truly don’t know if I would be where I’m at today without her.
3DPT: What are you able to do now that you may not have been able to do with your injury?
Gianna: I am so extremely happy to be fully back playing softball. I can pitch, field and bat. My arm no longer goes numb. I have my strength back and I couldn’t be more grateful. I was told I could never play basketball or volleyball and I basically had to live with some of this pain. Not any more. Thank God for Carlie and us getting my proper diagnosis. I had the surgery and I now have no restrictions. Thank you Carlie and everyone at 3DPT for taking such great care of me.
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