Diana Herrera, DOM, L.Ac., C.SMA

Fernando Escobar, a sports acupuncturist in Los Angeles & C.SMA of the Month (Nov 2021) | SPORTSMEDICINEACUPUNCTURE.COMDr. Diana Hererra completed the SMAC program in October 2015, and is now a practicing sports acupuncturist in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

She has 28 years of experience as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, received her C.SMA in October of 2015, and maintains professional relationships with New Mexico’s leading doctors and orthopedic surgeons. Dr. Hererra currently works at Spine Solutions in Santa Fe, New Mexico, providing one-on-one care to patients using safe and effective modalities, including SMAC and, most recently, became Level III certified in Neuro-acupuncture from the Neuro-Acupuncture Institute in Santa Fe.

Dr. Hererra’s Case Study

59 y/o female patient sustained a left shoulder injury on 6/2020 lifting a 60 lb. bag of birdseed. In New Mexico, nonessential orthopedic procedures were postponed due to Covid-19 and the patient had to wait 9 months for surgery with a diagnosis of a full thickness tear of her left supra spin at us.

The patient received PT for 4-5 months from before being referred to me by her surgeon for acupuncture. Her initial chief complaint was decreased upper extremity strength and function, difficulty lifting various objects such as dishes into a cupboard, general weakness and poor endurance in the glenohumeral muscles. The patient stated soreness, popping and catching while reaching overhead and with movements out to the side. She also has had difficulty with sleeping on her left side.

The patient’s goal was to get her strength back for activities of daily living and to return to work full time which requires lifting 50 lb bags. In addition, she loves playing bass guitar and this injury has been making it painful to do so.

Sports Medicine Assessment

The patient complained of pain with raising her left arm above the shoulder and out to the side (abduction). Pain on the anterior and lateral area of the deltoid in the region of LI 15 and extra points naoshang and jianneiling. Patient demonstrated decreased strength differences with MMT between L and R. The left side was found to be:

+ Infraspinatus MMT- weak
+ Levator scapula MMT– painful in the shoulder
+ Subscapularis MMT- weak
+ Supraspinatus (light pressure) – painful and weak

Postural assessment

L Scapular protraction and elevation and upper crossed syndrome.

Acupuncture Treatment
  • Qi and Blood deficiency in the Channels and Collaterals with Blood Stagnation:
  • LI 16, LI 15, St 36, UB17, UB20, SP6, SI 10, SP6, Lv8
  • Hua Tuo Arc: Huatuojiaji points C4-C6
  • Agonist muscle: Supraspinatus.
  • Antagonist Muscles: Subscapularis
Additional supportive motor points
  • Upper trapezius, pectoralis major (clavicular portion), serratus anterior, rhomboids and anterior and middle deltoid.
Additional supportive motor points
  • Analgesic topical with hydrocollator pack at beginning of treatment
  • TDP lamp throughout treatment over the back shu points
  • Myofascial work 10 minutes
Prognosis

After 12 acupuncture treatments, myofascial therapy and PT, patient demonstrates improved left shoulder flexion and external rotation. Due to the full thickness tear of the supraspinatus, the patient continues to lack full strength of the supraspinatus and has occasional catching/popping with reaching overhead and out to the side, which has reduced substantially from the initial office visit. She is now able to lift and carry 30 lb. bags at work. She basically can do just about everything that she could do before her injury, and states that “Dr. Diana Herrera is a very knowledgeable acupuncturist,” and I wholeheartedly believe that it is due to going through the SMAC program. She is currently waiting for authorization for more acupuncture. I look forward to continuing our work together to support the qi and blood deficiency, align her posture and balance strength differences between opposing muscles.

To connect with Dr Diana Herrera, visit her C.SMA Directory Listing.