The Secret to Graduating from Physical Therapy

Jeff is a highly motivated individual. The possibility of being out of work, not being active with his family and not being able to use his shoulder drove him to seek out his options. He had torn his rotator cuff while on the job lifting a lid as a lineman. Dr. Schaefer, an Orthopedic Surgeon out of Sacramento, California was Jeff’s second opinion surgeon. When Jeff got a glimpse of hope from Dr. Schaefer, he envisioned himself well again, and that hope is what sparked his recovery process.

His motivation was returning to his previous quality of life

Over the summer of 2017, he and his family were on a vacation where typical activities included kayaking, fishing or mountain biking. On this trip, everyone decided to go ziplining. It was there, at that moment where he felt one of the most painful feelings he had experienced during his injury because he just couldn’t do it. “That was hard because they’re used to me doing everything,” Jeff recalled.

The road to recovery

Flash forward to early 2018: Jeff has graduated from physical therapy and back to work as a lineman! As you likely know, work as a lineman is a very physically demanding job! When asked what the secret to the recovery process was, he quickly answered,

“ You have to do your home exercise program or you’re just kidding yourself.”

He accomplished his homework by taking his bands with him to work. One tip he used was to keep them in his lunch pail so that he would never leave them. While on vacation, he brought his bands with him. Even while on the road,  he followed his home exercise program religiously. What motivated him? Jeff was determined to get back to his quality of life. His physical therapist, Shannon Zalewski, PT, DPT said,

“Jeff deserves a lot of credit. We mobilized his shoulder and found his limitations, then taught him what to do and how to recover, and he did the hard work every day. His recovery came largely from his motivation.”

One of his rehab team members at Performance Physical Therapy would watch him closely, adjust his form and he would give her a hard time about how critical she was over him. However, when he would do those same exercises from home or work, he would pretend to have his team there with him, and push himself to do his exercises with impeccable form.

Patients like Jeff are to be celebrated! Self-motivated, driven, and having a patient engaged through their plan of care is our mission every time a person walks through our doors. Jeff enjoyed the professional yet personable staff at Performance Physical Therapy. He said, “I knew I was in good hands when they tolerated my sense of humor! I wanted to heal, and they were happy to help.”

Congratulations to Jeff for getting back to work, enjoying more thrilling adventures with his family and giving 120% to his rehabilitation! Motivation goes a very long way in the recovery process.

Performance Physical Therapy has four locations in the Sacramento region: Roseville, Rancho Cordova, Folsom and East Sacramento. To find out more about our services, staff and the culture at Performance Physical Therapy visit

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