360 Chiropractic in Lacey Helps Patient Hit the Pickleball Court After Stroke

Poly-therapy a key to success says Dr. George Olar


July 2022. 78-year-old Jon – a pseudonym to protect the patient’s privacy – suffered a stroke. It left him without strength in his left shoulder, arm, and hand, making daily living activities such as eating extremely difficult. He also had trouble walking, as his left leg wanted to swing out to the side, instead of up and out. A few months later, he and his partner moved to the Olympia area. Determined to recover, the couple set about exploring options. One of those options led them to 360 Chiropractic in Lacey, where Drs. George and Stefanie Olar developed a treatment plan that worked cohesively with Jon’s other rehabilitation efforts, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, massage therapy and acupuncture, to get Jon enjoying life again. Especially pickleball.

a close up of a man in khakis and a plaid shirt with just his hands showing, one hand is clasping the other
A patient of 360 Chiropractic in Lacey was suffering from the after-affects of a stroke. Poly-therapy helped him regain his lifestyle. Photo courtesy: 360 Chiropractic

Treating the Effects of a Stroke with Chiropractic and Laser

Two of the offerings at 360 Chiropractic – a holistic wellness practice – include chiropractic adjustment with an activator and cold laser treatments. Jon started going to 360 Chiropractic in March 2023. The first thing Drs. George and Stefanie focused on was getting him use of his shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers, so he could do daily tasks easier. “He wanted to be able to play pickleball, to move around, and to eat normally,” explains Dr. George. “I remember him saying, ‘I want to be able to hold a clam.’”

“When I started coming here, I had to hold my arm like this,” says Jon – putting his left arm against his chest with his elbow bent. “I couldn’t eat anything without dropping it. That was the goal, to not drop what I was eating.”

The doctors started him with chiropractic adjustments, and with that he was making good progress, but they knew that cold laser could help him reach that next step. “I let them know that I do cold laser work, helping release those floodgates of communication that build up from an injury due to inflammation,” explains Dr. George. “We started doing simple applications with the laser, that alone can help decrease pain and inflammation, and Jon’s pain significantly improved. Then we took him to the next step. About a month and a half ago, I started doing what’s called up-regulation with the laser. With this we are helping the nervous system communicate with the rotator cuff muscles, and the lower arm muscles to find dexterity. And again, he was making pretty good headway.”

close up of an elbow getting cold laser treatment
Cold laser treatment can help a variety of ailments. Talk to 360 Chiropractic today to see if it’s right for you! Photo courtesy: 360 Chiropractic

This type of treatment pairs the nerves with the muscles and makes sure that there is open communication taking place. “I will isolate and test finding the muscle weakness and then I will laser the specific nerve that innervates that muscle group,” explains Dr. George, “so that communication is at 100%. It’s almost like flipping the switch.”

It was then that Dr. George recommended something special to the couple – dinner at Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar. “Jon returned to the office for an appointment when he excitedly told me he was able to hold a clam in his hand with good dexterity and was even able to eat a whole bowl full,” Dr. George shares.

Prior to chiropractic and laser, Jon’s left hand was swollen. He was unable to make a fist to grab something and hold on to it. “He could only move from his shoulder,” his partner shares. “He could only move the whole arm or shoulder. He couldn’t move his elbow or his wrist.”

Poly-Therapy Gets 360 Chiropractic Patient Back on the Court

“I can’t take all the credit,” says Dr. George. “Chiropractic has been helping him, cold laser has been helping him. But we have a team of people. He has a wonderful physical therapist, as well as an occupational therapist, acupuncturist, and massage therapist. Jon has also done his own homework focusing on his nutrition. So again, there’s a team of us helping. Those wonderful people deserve credit too.”

“It’s been a journey, really,” shares Jon’s partner. “Because our physical therapist recommended chiropractic and we saw the potential that he offered. Then we went to acupuncture as well.”

While it’s been a long journey with lots of hard work, exercises, and many appointments that his partner helps juggle and drives him to, it’s been worth it, she says, to see him active again.

a man on a pickle ball court about to serve, his head is not visible.
Thanks in part to chiropractic adjustments and laser at 360 Chiropractic in Lacey, Jon was able to return to pickleball. Photo courtesy: 360 Chiropractic

In April, just a month after he had started treatment at 360 Chiropractic, Jon went to a pickleball drop-in session that was happening in the community where he lives. For the first time since his stroke, he was able to play the game he loves! Afterward, his physical therapist asked him if he played pickleball, because the aquatic director, who Jon does water therapy with, was also running the pickleball event and saw him play. “Somebody there who had been there when he played had said to her [the aquatic director], ‘Hey, we had this guy stop by and he wanted to play pickleball, but he had a stroke and he said he wouldn’t be very good. And then he came on the court, and he was really good.’’’ His partner shares. “So, then his physical therapist asks, ‘Was that you?’ and Jon replied, ‘Yeah, that was me.’ So there’s been some good stories.”

“I had to get a crown on a tooth at the dentist and the clinic is a bit of a walk for me,” shares Jon. “I told my partner I was going to walk there and back. And I did it, I Nordic walked there.” Nordic walking uses two poles, which means a lot of shoulder, elbow and grip strength is required in both arms. It was definitely a feat!

“He’s gaining so much ground in such a short period of time, we’ve been happy to see those improvements in Jon’s activities of daily living and hearing the stories of him being able to enjoy previous interests and hobbies.,” shares Dr. George. “We know that putting the combination of chiropractic, cold laser, physical therapy, and massage therapy together – the polytherapy – is synergistic, to his care. So, one horse can pull, let’s say 1,500 pounds. You put two horses together, you think it’d be 3,000 when it’s actually 5,500. So again, you build that synergy as you’re doing all of it.”

To learn more about the holistic approach of Drs. George and Stefanie Olar, visit the 360 Chiropractic website or call 360.923.0360.


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