Photo of Bryan Kress hammering a nail into a pole on a job site.

Bryan Kress - Harrison, MI

"I am so appreciative of MyMichigan's Rehabilitation Services team in Harrison and how they helped me get back to normal."

Physical Therapy Helps Contractor Build His Strength and Return to Work

Local contractor Bryan Kress loves his work, but would be the first to admit he’s a little stubborn when it comes to asking for help. Earlier this year when he ruptured a bicep tendon in his right arm while on the job, an MRI revealed there were more issues with his arm than just the tendon. Kress applied his strong will to the situation and completed a physical therapy regimen that helped him avoid surgery and allowed him to keep working.

Bryan’s MRI revealed several issues needing attention. Because of the repetitive motions required for his job such as swinging hammers, moving heavy equipment and other duties, his right arm was showing some real wear and tear. In addition to the bicep rupture, the X-ray showed a rotator cuff tear and a possible labral tear. Orthopedic Surgeon Mark Goethe, M.D., recommended surgery along with a strong note of caution about returning to work.

“I have to say, I was caught off guard,” said Bryan. “The tendon was certainly painful and I know the arm gets a lot of activity, but I love what I do and am not ready to give it up. If there was a chance I could avoid a surgery that might keep me from going back to work, I was going to take it.”

After some follow-up conversations, Dr. Goethe agreed to let Bryan try a round of physical therapy and he referred him to Rehabilitation Services at MyMichigan Health Park Harrison, near his home. Even though there was doubt that it would be enough to keep him from undergoing surgery, Bryan was determined to give it his all.

“Mr. Kress came in with weakness, decreased range of motion, significant pain and difficulty performing his work duties,” said Physical Therapist Derick Roland, D.P.T. “His MRI showed significant damage to the shoulder and arm. He made the most of the time he had with us, though. He did all the work we asked of him, even including some homework. His commitment to the program has him well enough to continue working in his field with improved strength and function in his arm.”

“Everyone who knows me know about the MyMichigan's Rehabilitation in Harrison,” said Bryan. “I have the upmost respect for Derick and the team. They put a lot of work into designing a program specific to the patient, and I was determined to do my part by taking it seriously. They pushed me just the right amount which did a lot for me mentally. They were also extremely positive throughout my treatment. Their positivity was contagious.”

Bryan has not needed surgical repairs to his arm since completing rehab. He is happy to be back on the job after what he called “an eye-opening experience.” This time he is careful to stop when tired. He also continues to regularly do the exercises he learned at rehab. “I would recommend the MyMichigan’s Rehabilitation Services in Harrison to anyone, and have,” he said. “I am so appreciative of how they helped me get back to normal. I would also tell people to believe in the process and to commit to doing the work – all of it. Have a goal, and work with the professionals to meet it.”

Those interested in more information about the MyMichigan’s comprehensive rehabilitation services may visit www.mymichigan.org/rehab. Those who would like to contact Rehabilitation Services at MyMichigan Health Park Harrison may call (989) 539-8701.

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