On Thanksgiving of last year, Pittsburg resident Beth Gorman and a friend decided to go on a bike ride. Along the way, she has a run in with a dog and crashes her bike.
“I went down hard,” Beth recalls, adding that she had a broken clavicle - or collarbone, a large hematoma on her hip and also required stitches. “I’m lucky, it could have been a lot worse.”
After the accident, Beth called Ryan Niederklein at Ascension Via Christi Therapy Center in Pittsburg. Niederklein is an athletic trainer and has a doctorate in Physical Therapy.
Beth enjoys returning to Niederklein for her injuries and she appreciates having a reliable physical therapist who knows her injury history and physical limits. This allows them to have an adaptable, effective treatment plan.
“Ryan has helped me with other issues over the years including my knee, IT or iliotibial band,” says the active 67-year-old, adding that she has experienced several overuse injuries since 2015 and accidents due to exercise.
To treat Beth’s hematoma, which is a big pocket of fluid under the skin, Niederklein used massage, heat therapy and soft tissue mobilization. Hematomas often go away on their own, but if it doesn’t and left untreated, it can harden and become a problem, he explains.
“Beth’s hematoma was the size of a grapefruit,” says Niederklein, who’s served Ascension Via Christi for 11 years.
“It took about three and a half weeks before we could start therapy on Beth’s shoulder,” he says. “We had to wait until she was out of a sling.”
Niederklein worked on improving Beth’s range of motion and started with therapist-assisted exercises before allowing her to perform them independently. He also performed dry needling to the areas of concern.
“Ryan gave me exercises to do at home with resistance bands, then I moved to using light weights,” Beth explains, adding that once her range of motion improved enough, she began swimming. “Ryan really got me back to doing the things I love and got me back out there.”
While Beth credits her therapist with her recovery and improvement, Niederklein says that Beth is a great patient who followed through on her recommended exercises at home.
“I gave her the tools, but she followed through with her program,” he says.
To learn more about Ascension Via Christi Physical Therapy, click here.