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Elizabeth's Physical Therapy Story

"With Adam's help, I found relief."

After years of teaching, it is Elizabeth's turn to be the student. With chronic pain in both shoulders, Elizabeth has been intermittently learning from physical therapist, Adam Mooberry for nearly 10 years.

"I needed to avoid a total shoulder replacement."

"I am formally a teacher and carried a book bag that was horrendous on my shoulder," Elizabeth said. Years of carrying that backpack led to a complete tear in her rotator cuff in one shoulder. For Elizabeth, therapy is necessary for both pain and strength management as well as the ultimate goal of avoiding a total shoulder replacement. "I talked to an orthopedic surgeon but what they recommended would limit my flexibility," Elizabeth said. "I would lose too much so I've made the decision to not go that route."

"With Adam's help, I can now use my shoulder with nearly no restrictions."

Adam agrees that surgery was not the right option for Elizabeth, as the results would alter her daily life. "Her surgical option would be a full shoulder which means about a 30% range of motion restriction and with therapy she is about 10% from having full motion," Adam explained.

Adam credits Elizabeth's success in therapy to the effort she puts in both at ACMC and at home. "She has a binder at home of all the exercises I have ever given her," Adam said. "She is guilty of being a teacher so the follow through is perfect. We don't work in drug therapy and we don't work in injections. We work in exercise, that is what I give people and that is their dosage. If you take it as prescribed it typically does well and Elizabeth has done her exercises extremely well."

"Adam listens to me and understands what I am going through."

As a repeat visitor to ACMC's physical therapy department, Elizabeth has gained a knowledge of the routine and confidence in both Adam and his method of treatment. "There is understanding and listening," Elizabeth said. "I can tell him exactly what is going on and he knows what I am talking about. He is very professional but also compassionate. He listens to what I say and will respond appropriately whether something is feasible or not."

This familiarity with Elizabeth also helps Adam ensure success in the program he has developed for her. "She knows what is going to happen when she comes in here and she knows what to expect," Adam said. "She knows how we work and that is why she is such a fantastic patient."

"He is an excellent example for future physical therapists."

As a former special education teacher and coordinator, Elizabeth also respects Adam for his work with future physical therapists as they complete rotations at ACMC. "I like that when Adam has students working with me, I know everything is still coming through him," Elizabeth said. "He is an excellent model for his students."

As for Adam, he admits that the he relishes in the sense of accomplishment he receives from working with Elizabeth through her condition. "She always has favorable results and I would love to say it is because I am really good at this, but it is truthfully because she works hard," Adam said. "I don't think that anybody gets into the healthcare field without wanting to help people. When you can return someone to a form of what they want to be and they are thankful, there is no better feeling."

Whether as a teacher or as a therapist, both Elizabeth and Adam have learned what physical therapy is truly about.