I answer the phone, “Hello?”
“Hi, can you help nerve damage?”
Interesting, I think. I haven’t had the chance to work with such a case before, but there is a very good chance that I can help. So I tell the man that I can. He is calling on behalf of his 20 year old son who had woken up one morning with a sudden loss of shoulder strength, unable to lift his right arm or use his hand. A neurologist has told them he has an impingement of the brachial plexus, a pinched nerve. They are waiting on the medical tests and imaging but had heard that maybe myofascial release could help and they wanted to get started right away.
Sudden Loss of Shoulder Strength, Nerve Impingement – What can be Done?
Okay, so I probably can’t affect actual damaged nerve, but I can get the pressure off of it. The weight of a human hair is enough to interfere with neural function, and fascial restrictions can cause much more pressure than that! Releasing those restrictions and freeing up the nerve where ever it’s getting bound should allow it to fire normally.
When I first evaluate Cole, I find a young man with hunched shoulders and sunken chest.
He looks like he’s holding his breath and when I ask him to breathe deeply, he has no rib movement and very little diaphragm expansion. Not good. I also notice his low back is stiff and his hips are imbalanced. He can barely lift his right arm and has no grip strength in his hand. When he tries to lift the arm, I even see him using his neck muscles in the attempt.
The first couple of sessions I focus mainly on his arm and shoulder, hoping to free the nerve locally enough to get decent function. His shoulder is restricted, but releases nicely. However, he notices only a little bit of change, perhaps he can lift it a bit better.
After working with Cole’s shoulder and neck, my attention is drawn inexorably to that sunken, stuck breastbone. I work quite a lot with his diaphragm and ribs, doing many long-held releases. He feels it affect his shoulder and neck, he gets a bit more strength and lift each time.
His grip strength comes back first, but then come the MRI scan results. Masses. The doctors suspect cancer. In his neck and under his arm. They schedule a biopsy, but before that happens Cole asks me to see what I can do. I feel the areas. Lumps underneath his shoulder blade in his armpit, his neck is too tight to feel anything in there. I help both areas release and we both feel that the lumps get smaller. Again, his arm feels and moves a bit better. The biopsy gets cancelled because he’s improving so well. Another MRI confirms it, all the suspicious masses are either reduced or gone!
Also, Cole’s chest is getting less sunken. He can actually take deeper breaths and his shoulders are getting less hunched. One day he comes in and raises his arm. He regained functionality and strength after the last treatment had settled in for a bit. I raise my hand for a high-five, and he’s able to meet it! Man that feels good!
Cole saw me two times a week for about 2 months. Actually, he’s still seeing me because he’s finding more things improving than he knew he needed. The loss of function was just the final straw. He was told by the neurologist to expect six months to a year for recovery. It still hasn’t been as long as that and he’s way better off than just moving his arm again.
Here it is in his words.
I started receiving myofascial release for a problem with my right arm, it lacked functionality. I had severe muscle weakness and slight numbness throughout the entire arm. I’d been inactive and overly stressed for some time, with back and shoulder pain. A friend in the medical industry recommended I try Myofascial Release. Upon receiving treatments I began to feel into my body again and quickly noticed an improvement in both my physical and mental health. I got more function out of my arm with each visit. A MRI revealed 2 masses inside the shoulder, tumors. Suspecting cancer the doctors wanted to biopsy until they saw the improvement in my arm. Another MRI was scheduled to be done a few weeks later. In the meantime I continued Michael’s treatment, ate healthy, and exercised. The new MRI results showed only inflammation in the shoulder, the tumors were gone. Now my arm is nearly recovered and my life back on track, thanks to Michael and his treatments.
Could you use some help yourself?
If you’re experiencing weakness, numbness, loss of function or mobility, you should find yourself a good Myofascial Release therapist. And the sooner the better! Whatever else you’re doing to address your situation, Myofascial Release will improve your results. If I can be of help, contact me, or you can get on my schedule now.
Video Interview with Cole
Over ten years ago, Michael happened upon myofascial release and was hooked instantly. Here, finally, was a practice that recognized the wholeness of a person, required the utmost integrity and courage to be a therapist, and led to profound healing for those who dared go deep!
In his pursuit of true therapeutic artistry, Michael has trained extensively with the creator of the Myofascial Release Approach®, John Barnes, PT (a therapist and teacher of the highest caliber) and has been an assistant instructor in his seminars.
When not helping people out of the pains that have frustrated and limited them for years, he is driven just a little bit crazy by three wonderful kids.
Latest posts by Michael Sudbury LMT (see all)
- Science is Catching Up! – They’ve Found a “New Organ” - April 2, 2018
- Myofascial Release helps Postpartum Issues - January 9, 2016
- Chronic Pain – Some Days You Deserve a Medal Just for Showing Up - October 27, 2015