Learn more about sports medicine and injury recovery at UPMC

Mike has been a competitive weightlifter for the majority of his life. Growing up in Pittsburgh, he won several major competitions, including a junior national championship in 2011.

After college Mike competed professionally in Colorado Springs, Colorado when he injured his shoulder. After seeking local medical attention, Mike received a cortisone shot and continued training. While this treatment allowed him go on, his injury did not heal and continued to bother him.

After moving back home to Pittsburgh to continue training, Mike sought treatment from Albert Lin, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at UPMC Sports Medicine. Dr. Lin evaluated Mike and diagnosed him with a rotator cuff injury and recommended surgery. Before surgery, Dr. Lin included Heather Christian, PT, DPT, a physical therapist at UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, in the evaluation. That way, Mike could start his rehabilitation as soon as he was ready.

After a successful surgery, Mike started attending physical therapy with Heather at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. During his first visit, he and Heather went through the movements needed to return to weightlifting, tailoring his rehabilitation to focus on those areas.

Never Miss a Beat!

Get Healthy Tips Sent to Your Phone!

Message and data rates may apply. Text the word STOP to opt out and HELP for help. Click here to view the privacy and terms.

“Mike’s excellent outcome and return as an Olympic [style] weightlifter was truly a team effort. In addition to a successful surgery, Mike’s dedication to the rehabilitation, his overall positive attitude, and Heather’s careful tailoring of a personal regimen that would be compliant with our postoperative restrictions were equally important in bringing him back to elite form from a potentially devastating injury,” Dr. Lin said.

“It was a privilege seeing him all the way through to his complete comeback.”

With the sport’s aggressive overhead lifts, weightlifting requires a greater range of motion compared to other sports

“Mobility and stability are also important to a weightlifter’s performance, so Heather customized my exercises to help me focus on those areas,” Mike said.

After approximately four months, Mike was feeling good and was cleared to return to training. He is now pain-free and back to competitive weightlifting.

About Sports Medicine

An athletic lifestyle carries the potential for injury. Whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, UPMC Sports Medicine can help. If you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury, our multidisciplinary team of experts can help you get back into the game. If you are seeking to improve your athletic performance, we can work with you to meet your goals. We serve athletes and active people of all ages and experience levels. Our goal is to help you keep doing what you love. Visit our website to find a specialist near you.