Last June, when I began traditional physical therapy, I was told by the therapists that it generally took 2-3 years of physical therapy twice a week to fully rehabilitate a frozen shoulder. I was shocked at such words since I am a very physically active person (46-year old female), and this temporary disability was crippling to my lifestyle. If you do the math, you’ll see that it would have cost about $15,600.00 for just the first 2 years of traditional physical therapy treatments. That amount of money is staggering to me!
I was so shocked at the time frame proposed, that I sought out more alternative treatments within a month of starting physical therapy (and by the way, my degree of motion declined during the first month of traditional PT). There is [a local osteopath] doing very unconventional treatments for injury and pain, and though I was told his treatments were very painful, it was said he had a great success with frozen shoulder. So I began treatment with him, and continued for 2 months. I did progress, but only minimally, and the treatments were 2-3 times a week and VERY painful…and expensive. Since I was not progressing to my satisfaction, I once again sought out alternative treatments.
Over the last 10 years, I have gotten massage therapy to keep my aging athlete’s body pain-free and flexibility…but I only went for treatment about every other month, so the cost was quite manageable to me.
Last September, I again searched for a qualified bodyworker to work on my shoulder, and to my great luck and amazement the right person was in my own community. In late September, I began body work with Jeff Figgins. In just a handful of sessions with Jeff, I began to make a dramatic improvement. From Jeff’s records, I had about 18 hours of treatment over the 5 ½ months and now have about 90% of normal shoulder motion (I’d came to him with only 30% motion). My insurance company and I have paid only $675.00 for the massage treatments.
It doesn’t take a rocket science to see that $675.00 to attain 90% range of motion is a LOT less than $15,600; not to mention the savings in the time and personal suffering. I truly believe there should be a melding of western medicine with traditional, what we call ‘complementary’, medicine.
One thing massage does that both the other forms of treatment didn’t do was to address the body as a whole entity. Jeff not only worked my shoulder, but also on my whole body. I’d had pain and stiffness on the other side of my back and shoulder that was completely ignored by both other forms of therapy I tried. I’d love to see more doctors try massage / bodywork before more drastic, more expensive methods of treatment for many health problems. If the doctors and insurance companies worked together imagine how much money we all could save on healthcare. We all just have to open our eyes to All options.
I will continue with bodywork even after my condition is completely reversed, because I now see that it is worth the price. I’d recommend it for any again athlete who abused their body in their youth!