Like Father, Like Son

Manipulation therapy relieves debilitating shoulder pain.

It wasn’t all that long ago that popcorn ceilings were all the rage in homebuilding. They have fallen well out of favor over the course of the past 30 years, and Gary Cummings, 73, is among those who have good reason to despise them.

Gary and Gregg Cummings both found relief for their sore shoulders by visiting Dr. Minafri at Riverview Chiropractic Center.

Gary (right) and Gregg are
now pain free.

A do-it-yourselfer, Gary was remodeling two homes – his and his daughter’s – a couple years ago when his attempt to scrape away the popcorn ceilings in both homes resulted in Gary severely injuring his right shoulder.

“That’s all overhead work, and after about three weeks, my shoulder got so sore that I couldn’t even lift my arm up,” Gary explains. “I figured that all I needed to do was rest it for a week or so and I’d be fine, but rest didn’t do it much good.”

Gary eventually learned from his son, a contractor, that his injury was likely a tear of the tendons surrounding the shoulder, or rotator cuff. Such injuries usually require surgery to repair, but Gary was in no hurry to have surgery.

He opted instead to continue fighting through the pain, which often interrupted his sleep. Finally, last summer, he visited his chiropractor, Steven J. Minafri, DC, at Riverview Chiropractic Center, to see if he could provide any relief.

No Need for Surgery

“I’ve been treating Gary for neck and back problems for years, but I am also trained in extremity manipulation,” Dr. Minafri reports. “Some chiropractors are trained in that area, but most prefer to work only on the spine.

“I like to work on both the spine and the joints, and the MRI we ordered showed Gary did have a torn rotator cuff. Most people believe rotator cuff tears can only be repaired through surgery, but rotator cuffs can be treated with a form of manipulation.

“I refer to it as an intermediate step between doing nothing and having surgery, and what I do is reseat the structure of the joint so that there is less tearing and pulling on the rotator cuff. That allows the tissue to heal up.”

Dr. Minafri’s intermediate intervention had the intended positive effect on Gary. He avoided surgery and now has full range of pain-free motion throughout a fully functional right shoulder.

“I have to watch myself, but I can do everything I need to with that shoulder,” Gary says. “Dr. Minafri did a great job, and I was so impressed with him that I even had my son Gregg go see him after he injured his shoulder in a car accident last summer.”

“Gregg suffered the kind of injury we often see with people in car accidents, where the seatbelt holds the collarbone in place but permits the rest of the shoulder to move forward at the moment of impact,” Dr. Minafri explains.

“Without the additional movement of the shoulder blade and scapula, there is a shearing or tearing action that goes on that can cause the rotator cuff or labrum to tear, and often, there is a disarticulation or a misalignment of the shoulder itself.”

When Gregg first visited Dr. Minafri, he had no use of his arm. “It just hung there by his side,” Dr. Minafri describes. After a few manipulative treatments, Gregg regained full range of motion and full use of his arm.

“After the way he helped me, I knew Dr. Minafri could help Gregg,” Gary exudes. “He doesn’t just crack backs. He does more than that, and I’d recommend him to anyone because he’s as good as there is.”

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