How Ilme included osteopathy to help her snow ski in Japan

Meet Ilme. Our friendly receptionist who has a passion to snow ski. Skiing in Japan is a normal part of Ilme’s life. She travels there yearly to speed down the slopes and navigate the runs. Unfortunately, Ilme is a magnet for skiing injuries…..



March 2015, Ilme was enjoying the last run of the day. She was in the moment, skiing very fast down the slopes. She can not recall what actually happened but she took a big hit. She fell hard. She recalls hearing a crack……… She IMG_0488had broken the humeral head of her left shoulder… but she did not know this at the time. Ilme sought professional advice from a local physio in Japan. Her shoulder was taped and she started taking pain medication. She was advised not to ski, “but anyone that knows me would understand this is not possible”. Ilme returned to the slopes in excruciating pain and completed her ski trip.


Ilme returned home. She was in a lot of pain. She immediately sought medical advice but thought she may get better soon. Ilme returned to work at Total Balance. Bec took one look at her and sent her straight to get her x-ray and imaging done. Confirmed. Broken shoulder and torn rotator cuff.

What next? The rehabilitation and treatment began. Ilme had booked her next trip to Japan for 12 months time! She had to be right to ski again! Ilme incorporated a variety of modalities. Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Physiotherapy and her Orthopaedic Surgeon, of whom she has gotten to know well. This injury was compounded by her 2014 injury to the same shoulder- she was collected by a wayward snowboarder which sent her flying and leaving her with a torn rotator cuff. This poor shoulder just could not get a break.

How did osteopathy help Ilme?

Regular osteopathy treatment was one facet of Ilme’s rehabilitation. Once the fracture had healed, gentle mobilisation of the upper back, loosening of the tightness in all of the muscles and strengthening of the shoulder and upper back helped Ilme recover. Shockwave was used on her shoulder when tendinitis started to seep in, stopping it in its track.

Ilme did not stop. She continued to work, complete her home duties and look after her grandson weekly. This was one of our treatment goals- keep Ilme going. Dry needling was really beneficial for Ilme and gave her great relief.

Ilme is booked toIMG_0503 return to Japan on Feb 5th, 2017 for 10 days of skiing. Will she change anything? The short answer is no! Ilme quotes her neurosurgeon, who completed a neck spinal fusion on her some years ago: “ski in a way you have always done and not to change that.”  She is not complacent. Ilme is grateful to all the people that helped her recovery and fully understands her injuries and the serious nature of them. “The Osteos here at TBHC are exceptional and professional and have always been there for me. I am also grateful that I have recovered, and everyone understands my cycle of training and recovery.” Ilme loves to ski. That is her living life. Why would we tell her to stop doing that?


Here at Total Balance, we have an understanding. Our osteopaths understand that Ilme loves to ski…. And sometimes she does a major injury that takes her a good part of the year to rehabilitate back to good function before she heads back to Japan. That is the cycle. But she LOVES to ski in Japan. We would never advise her to stop this. That would be the same as taking the sunshine away from her. We hope she does not hurt herself… but if she does, we are here. We know what to do and how to get her back to the slopes. Because more than likely, she has already booked her next trip!

“ Never give up. Life is to be lived, so enjoy the journey.”IMG_0545

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