Life Care Centers of America
Heidi Pino

Sharon Wyatt is a 68-year-young long-term resident at Life Care Center of Kansas City, Kansas.

Forty years ago, Sharon was involved in an unfortunate car accident, and due to a severe spinal cord injury, she lost both her legs to paraplegia. She is wheelchair bound, and her wheelchair is her primary means of transportation around the facility.

On Aug. 4, 2020, Sharon was referred to therapy by the facility’s nurse practitioner for right shoulder pain. During the evaluation, therapists also discovered left shoulder pain, decreased hand grip in her left hand, decreased pinch grip in her left hand and bicep curl test results that indicated decreased strength in both arms affecting her ability to perform self-care activities. Her shoulder pain and decreased strength led to diminished activity levels and affected her ability to get out of the room.

Therapists used manual therapy, exercises and short-wave diathermy to address these concerns. Initially, the goal was to bring Sharon’s pain down by stimulating healing and then then use exercises to strengthen her weak musculature. Last but not least, physical and occupational therapists worked to improve her functional ability to propel herself farther in her wheelchair.

“Sharon participated well in the program,” said Narendra Saraf, director of rehabilitation services.

Sharon’s grip strength and pinch strength have significantly improved, and she is able to do 22 repetitions of bicep curls where she was only able to do 12 when she started therapy. She can propel herself in her wheelchair 600-700 feet in one journey, and her shoulder pain has also resolved.

“Every morning, I was not able to use my hands and shoulders due to pain,” Sharon said. “Now my pain almost does not exist, and I can do more things and feel stronger!”

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