I broke my shoulder back in 2017 and had corrective surgery to fix it.
Post-surgery, I was referred to physiotherapy to help me recover my full range of motion and strength. However, after six months of visiting, I still did not return to my full pre-surgery strength. Eventually, my insurance coverage ran out and I decided to stop seeing the physiotherapist.
I didn’t give up on my shoulder despite the limited results from my then physiotherapist. I restarted my gym membership and decided I will rehabilitate my own shoulder.
Try as I might, I could never seem to get back the strength I felt. It would seem that I would have made the matter worse as I started experiencing sharp pain and peculiar aches. While these symptoms were initially confined to my own gym workouts, they eventually started to haunt me in my daily life too.
As my condition worse, simple tasks like reaching for the showerhead and opening a jar felt almost impossible.
Square One Active Recovery: The exercise approach to combating pain
I did so many Google searches on what I could do to overcome my pains. I read multiple recovery stories and watched a ton of recovery videos. Even self-help videos.
I tried my best to follow the steps as closely as I can. Even so, none of these methods delivered any results.
My symptoms continued to worsen and at some point I became afraid of going to the gym or lifting any weight because I didn’t want to make my injury worse. The last thing I wanted was to go for another surgery!
I stumbled upon Square One Active Recovery via a Facebook post that was shared by a friend of mine who had bad knee pains. She claimed that the place was great and helped her recover when no other options worked.
Seeing how similar my situation was, I decided to book an appointment and head down for a visit.
Visiting Jesse was unlike any other physiotherapist or chiropractor I had been to. He was understanding and patient — never patronising — with a laser-sharp focus on working towards getting results.
Despite my complex case history, he was able to dissect my initial problem, as well as my self-inflicted ones, in a systematic order. While his relentless questioning may seem unbearable, what resulted was a mutually clear understanding of my shoulder pain.
Jesse’s assessment methods are unique.
He asked me to try going into various positions and even exercises that are usually painful. This struck me as unique because he is the only therapist I worked with that does not shy away from pain.
His astute understanding of human body allowed us to explore my shoulder the way nobody has done before.
Jesse helps me help myself
At the end of the session, Jesse prescribed a list of three exercises for me to bring home. Some of the exercises are to be done on a daily basis. Others? Hourly.
Performing the exercises daily as scheduled was no easy feat. It took discipline and effort to complete the exercises as prescribed. Some of the exercises even caused discomfort or pain.
It was an uneasy experience because I thought recovery was meant to be pain-free!
Jesse was there every step of the recovery journey. He assured me that pain doesn’t necessarily damage and that patients with more pain at the start of their recovery do not experience worse outcomes.
This sounded like bullsh!t to me. However, Jesse was able to provide research articles to support his explanations.
Keeping in mind that my friend did fully recovery from her pain, and that there is some measure of science behind it, I decided to press on.
None of my treatments included any form of chiropractic adjustments or massage therapy. It was all about what actions I can take for myself to facilitate the recover I so desire. In that sense, Jesse doesn’t just hand you the fish. He teaches you how to fish for your own pain-relief.
Recovering from my shoulder pain
After two weeks (that felt more like two months), I started noticing that I could do more of his experiences with less pain. This was the turning point in my recovery to suggest that I was indeed getting better.
While the exercises prescribed are not too different from what I found on YouTube or tried myself, the results are dramatically different!
As Jesse would say, trust the process.
And he was right.
During our time together, there are definitely good moments and not so good moments. As you can already imagine, Jesse would have an answer for this.
“Recovery is non-linear.”
At some point, the shoulder pain did increase significantly. I was rather concerned about this as I was worried that it’s a relapse. So, I sent Jesse a message to update him on my progress.
I remembered his episode clearly because Jesse was composed and very understanding. He took the time to understand what exactly was going on with my exercises and made adjustments to my exercise practice so that I could complete them with less pain.
Before I knew it, the pain went away again.
In just 7 visits across 3 months, I was almost back to my full pre-surgery strength. None of the previous intervention attempts had ever gotten me this far!
Even better, activities that used to cause pain no longer did!
In all honesty, I cannot say that my treatments with Jesse were enjoyable. It comes with its frustration and it took a lot of hard work. At my lowest point, I did feel as if things would never get better.
What I can honestly say, however, is that Jesse gave me back the quality of life that I lost since the surgery. Had I known earlier that such a treatment option was available, I would have signed up in a heartbeat.
If you have been living with chronic shoulder issues and you are simply getting nowhere with your current recovery, give Jesse a try.
He is worth the shot.