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Case Study: Shoulder & Biceps Pain



What was going to be a simple procedure to rectify calcium deposits in her shoulder turned into a nightmare for Shannon F. Four days after the needle aspiration, Shannon developed a major tear in both shoulder tendons for which she underwent surgery.


Despite diligent efforts by her physical therapist to resolve Shannon’s pain, Shannon still couldn’t raise her shoulder above her elbow and ended up with a terrible pain in her bicep. She was eight months into therapy following her shoulder surgery when she realized she needed something more.


Shannon’s loss of any real use of her right arm made daily life challenging.

“Pretty much Everything in my life was impacted,” Shannon says. “ Writing was hard. Lifting was hard.”


Shannon had a tough time with self-care. So much so...she even had to change her hairstyle.

“I couldn’t get my arm into position to fix my hair or hold a blow dryer,” Shannon says. “I actually changed my hairstyle because it was too hard to do it the way that I had before.”


Shannon felt like she needed to do something more than mere physical therapy to get on top of the pain.


“I felt like I had kind of hit a wall where I wasn’t progressing,” Shannon says. “I couldn’t lift my shoulder above my elbow which was really limiting. I wanted to go and see Andrea and see if it would make a difference.”

While Shannon did have previous experience with acupuncture and acknowledges it was good for her kids, she still felt like it was a luxury for her—she went anyway.


Shannon felt confident in pursuing care with Andrea and placed value on Andrea’s background as a physical therapist.


“She was already trained in orthopedic acupuncture,” Shannon says. “And had advanced training in acupuncture, I was optimistic that it might be helpful.”


Shannon’s most immediate goal was rid herself of pain and increase her mobility.

After just one session with Andrea, Shannon says that the most profound result was taking away the pain in her bicep—something she says her physical therapist had tried everything to fix.


“Andrea put a needle in my inner leg,” she says. “The pain went away and it’s never come back and I had it more than eight months prior to that and nothing worked.”


Within a few appointments, Shannon said she was raising a bent arm over her head.

“I literally got 90 degrees mobility back that was huge,” Shannon says. “The pain in the bicep was gone. That still just blows me away. I still can’t believe it. It felt like my bicep had torn, but they checked and it didn't.”


Shannon says her physical therapist was impressed enough that she actually started seeing Andrea too.


“Because of my experience with Andrea, acupuncture became a necessity not a luxury,” Shannon says.

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