A lifelong athlete and competitive swimmer, Brad Wells has been suffering with shoulder pain for years. At one point, he was diagnosed with multi-directional instability in both shoulders. He is no stranger to pushing through some discomfort, but after ramping up his swim workouts in preparation for the 2017 US Masters Swimming National Championships in Minneapolis over the summer, his left shoulder was really aggravated. “Not only was my swim stroke significantly affected,” says Brad, “but it was also limiting my ability to do anything that required any sort of lifting motion with my arm.”
Brad and Drew Dischinger have been friends for years, getting to know each other well through shared swim groups, reminiscing about their respective college days spent swimming for KU. One day when they were both at the pool for a workout this summer, Brad mentioned to Drew the problems he was experiencing with his shoulder. Brad was fearing that his performance at the upcoming National Championships would be inhibited by the pain and dysfunction in his shoulder. Drew encouraged him to schedule an appointment at Sport + Spine right away, particularly since time was of the essence: Nationals were only a couple of weeks away! Brad had also heard great things about the clinic from Liz Weidling, one of our top-notch massage therapists who spends a fair amount of time at the pool as a triathlete herself and a certified triathlon coach. Confident he would be in good hands, “I scheduled an appointment for the very next day,” says Brad.
On July 21st, Brad met Ethan McCoy and Samantha Cooper Cauthon for physical therapy and Dry Needling. While not all patients experience immediate relief, Brad noticed a change for the better right away. “I noticed significant relief and improved range of motion. I knew right away that I wanted to have another session of PT with Ethan and Dry Needling with Sam before leaving for Nationals.” The week after his second appointment, Brad headed for Minneapolis, feeling great and ready to give it his all…and wow, did he ever! In addition to turning out gold medal performances in three backstroke events (50m, 100m and 200m), he also finished 4th and 5th in the 100m and 200m butterfly. It was an amazing feat given the pain and functional limitations he had been experiencing in his shoulder just a few weeks before.
When asked if he feels that the care and treatment he received at Sport + Spine improved his condition and boosted his performance, Brad emphatically says “Yes! Absolutely. I was extremely pleased with my results at Nationals and I have no doubt the treatment I received played a huge role, especially the Dry Needling. I have recommended you guys to several people. In fact, I just told another one of my good buddies about you the other day. He should be calling soon!”
Brad’s successes are his own, requiring a great amount of hard work and dedication on his part. We are happy that we could extend a hand (or two and some trigger-point-hunting needles) when he ran into a bump in the road on his championship journey. We are even happier to report that the positive impact from the treatment Brad received continues. When asked if the pain has returned, Brad enthusiastically shares “No, I feel great! I am training harder and more consistently than ever.” There is no stopping this guy who eats challenges for breakfast and we wish him a future of continued success. Just keep swimming, Brad. Just keep swimming.