Dynamic Duo

Combination of therapies alleviates severe shoulder, back pain.

When Lyn Quarantello retired from her job as a financial planner five years ago, she started devoting more time to her favorite hobbies. Those include cooking, gardening and volunteering as an usher at the local performing arts center.

Lyn’s photo courtesy of Lyn Quarantello.

Lyn Quarantello

Early last year, Lyn had to scale back on some of the gardening and even some of the cooking because of a debilitating left shoulder problem, the cause of which remains a mystery to Lyn even to this day.
“I have no idea what brought it on,’’ Lyn relates. “All I know is that one day I was fine, and the next thing I know, I’m waking up in the middle of the night in incredible pain, unable to move my left arm. I was crying, it hurt so bad.
“For a while, I tried to fight through it, but for the longest time, I couldn’t lift my arm up to put a bowl away on a shelf in the cupboard without feeling like my arm was going to give out on me. I couldn’t even reach behind me to fasten my bra.’’
The ceaseless pain in Lyn’s shoulder eventually forced her to visit her primary care physician, who gave her a shot of cortisone in the hopes it would relieve her pain. It didn’t. She then visited an orthopedic surgeon, who recommended a series of exercises.
“The exercises helped a little bit, but after a while I plateaued, so the exercises were no longer making me better,’’ Lyn reports. “It was after that that the orthopedist told me that if I couldn’t get past that plateau, I’d need to have surgery.”
Eager to avoid surgery, Lyn asked her orthopedist if she could instead visit a physical therapist she had read about in Florida Health Care News. The orthopedist said she could, so Lyn made an appointment to see the therapists at Regional Rehab in Spring Hill.

Laser Light Show

“Lyn came to us about a year after she first started to experience pain and discomfort in her left shoulder, and by then, she had what we refer to as a frozen shoulder,’’ says Paul Ernandes, PT, PhD, at Regional Rehab.
Frozen shoulder is what comes of a shoulder when the ligaments around the joint have become so tight that the shoulder cannot move normally. The lack of movement reduces the natural fluids in the shoulder that keep it lubricated and limits movement even more.
To correct the problem, Paul recommended a combination of manual therapy as well as treatments using both the Class IV deep tissue therapeutic laser and the HIVAMAT® 200 deep oscillation therapy device.

Staff photo by Jordan Pysz.


From left to right, they are: Brandi Girard, PTA; Leanna Ramirez, Rehab Tech; Gregory Vazquez, Practice Manager; Christine Donley, Administrator/Owner; Charles C. Donley, PT/ Owner; Paul A. Ernandes, PT, PhD.; Marieva Ernandes, Administrative Assistant; Phil Prouty, Finance Manager; Kyle Benders, PTA; Glenn Guterman, PTA and Jessica Ramos, PTA.

The Class IV laser uses specific wavelengths of red and near-infrared light to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal cells. It works by releasing nitric oxide, which removes congestion and swelling, promotes rapid healing and reduces discomfort while increasing blood circulation.
The HIVAMAT 200 creates gentle impulses that relax muscles and penetrate all tissue layers to remove all the inflammatory byproducts from the cells that cause pain but are not part of the cells’ natural makeup.
“The Class IV laser in particular is an impressive and versatile tool,” adds Charles Donley, PT, director of Regional Rehab. “We use it for burn and wound patients as well as for all the different musculoskeletal issues we typically treat, such as acute, chronic and postoperative pain.”

A Sound Suggestion

Shirley Dillon can attest to the versatility of the Class IV laser. An extremely active 72-year-old who walks two miles a day and not only participates in but often teaches aquatic aerobics classes, Shirley was recently sidelined by severe back pain.
“I was making the bed one day, and all I did was lean over a little bit to get the blankets off a foot stool that sits at the end of the bed, and this terrible pain shot through my back,’’ Shirley explains. “After that, I couldn’t get out of that hunched position.”
Shirley sought medical attention within a couple of days of suffering the injury and eventually learned from an orthopedist that she had suffered a severe lower back strain. That same orthopedist suggested she visit Regional Rehab for her recovery therapy.
Shirley’s first visit to Regional Rehab was with Charles, whose examination revealed several causes of her back pain, including tenderness in the sacroiliac joint, which connects the spine to the pelvis, extreme tightness in her quadriceps muscles and her flexed posture.
Just as Paul did with Lyn, Charles recommended a combination of manual therapy as well as therapy with the Class IV laser and HIVAMAT 200 for Shirley, who responded almost immediately to this trio of therapeutic remedies.
“We worked on loosening up the quadriceps so that she could stand a little taller, which decreased the stress on her lumbar spine,’’ Charles reports. “Once we got her posture a little straighter and reduced the inflammation, her treatment was complete after about six sessions.”
“I felt like I could have stopped the therapy after just three sessions because I had no more back pain. I felt like I could go back to doing the things I normally do every day,’’ Shirley reports.
“I went ahead and stuck it out for three more sessions just to be sure. It was after that sixth session that they told me there was really no reason for me to come back because I could bend over and do all the things I need to do without any pain.”
Lyn offers a similar report regarding her left shoulder. She says she set a goal of being able to put dishes away on shelves above her head without feeling as if her arm was going to give out on her, and she can do that now.
“I can also reach behind me to grab something or fasten my bra without pain,’’ she adds. “And my range of motion is even better now than it was before my shoulder started hurting. I’m at full functionality again, which is where I need to be.
“What they do is really amazing, and I say the same about Charles and Paul. They are both so caring, and they work very well with you. They do all the things you’d want people who do this for a living to do.”
Shirley agrees, saying, “If I had to go there again, I would without any hesitation. Charles and Paul are so friendly and helpful and so is everyone else. They took great care of me, and I recommend them to anyone.”

Print This Article
    • Regional Rehab

      Regional Rehab's ultimate goal is to enrich people’s lives by helping to enhance their physical and mental well being, creating an atmosphere of quality care and optimum healing with a loving touch.... Read More

    • Charles C. Donley, PT

      Charles C. Donley, PT, is director of Regional Rehab. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy, graduating cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh, PA. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and Fl... Read More

    • Paul Ernandes, PT, PhD

      Paul Ernandes, PT, PhD, joined the Regional Rehab team in April 2018. His arrival comes after he spent nearly a year serving as the director of physical therapy at Vitality Physicians and Rehab. Paul previously worked for ten years as the dire... Read More