The Story of Pain

The Story of Pain

“We have seen the pro athlete, and the weekend warrior.  And it often takes too long to recover from injury.  Making matters worse, many just press on without really healing.  We know it is not about us…you have pain…and we know how to fix it.”

-Dr. Matt Fontaine


If you are like many we see in clinic, you have chronic, unexplained pain and physical limitations.  It likely keeps you from living life on your terms.  Are you frustrated?  Feeling hopeless?  Ready to just accept the fact that you will have this pain forever?  Have you been to other doctors who have failed to give you a diagnosis and or explain your injury? Have they failed to give you a prognosis and/or offer effective solutions?  Here is a quick story that may resonate with you.  

While practicing in Florida a MLB pitcher coming off arm surgery reached out to me for Active Release treatments. His team had signed him to a high dollar two year contract that was in its second year and he had still not thrown one pitch at the Major League level during that time. He desperately needed to recover and get back to pitching to secure a contract extension, or be picked up by another team. Millions of dollars hung in the balance.

We quickly identified the reason his recovery was so slow.  His surgery had successfully repaired a torn ligament in his arm. But decades of repetitive overuse to his throwing arm had resulted in the formation of myofascial adhesions (glued down muscles, tendons, fascia) which were entrapping nerves, restricting range of motion, reducing strength and causing pain. These areas had to be released manually through specific Active Release treatments to allow for pain free movement during pitching. I explained that with all the hard work he had already put in during his rehabilitation he was headed in the right direction. We just needed to implement some specific manual therapy, Active Release Techniques in this case, to release the scar tissue in his arm.

We worked closely with him and his athletic trainers and coaches and was back to throwing within a month. As we began to release the layers of scar tissue, relieving pressure on the nerves around the elbow, he began to regain strength in his throwing arm. We also worked on his hips and lower back which are vital areas to any athlete, pitchers especially.

In September of that year, just 6 months after he came to see me, I was sitting behind home plate to watch him make his first Major League start in well over two years. That is the power of the right treatment and a collaborative approach and a motivated athlete to get better.

At Potomac Physical Medicine, Dr. Matt Fontaine and his staff understand the WHY behind your pain and injury.  Find out more at