There are few things more dreadful than having surgery. Not only is it nerve-wracking; it can also be difficult to recover from. Given the choice to have surgery or resolve a health issue via other means, most people would choose the latter.
Can Physiotherapy Prevent Surgery?
There is a plethora of “remedies” that promise to quell pain, heal illnesses, and promote great health. Most of these treatments have not been studied or proven to be useful or safe. However, one type of treatment that has been proven to be effective at reducing pain and preventing surgery is physiotherapy.
No physiotherapist can promise that his or her services will definitely keep a patient out of the operating room. However, most physiotherapists are happy to educate individuals about how physiotherapy gives patients a fighting chance to avoid certain types of surgery.
Physiotherapy Helped This Woman Avoid Shoulder Surgery
Physiotherapy can be especially helpful at reducing the need for shoulder surgery. Kelly, a 37-year-old Canadian mom, experienced this firsthand.
Kelly is and has always been active. An obstacle course runner and co-founder of a large team of female obstacle course runners, she practices gymnastics, aerial skills, and flying trapeze movement. Months ago, Kelly began having shoulder pain. When she couldn’t raise her right arm above 20 degrees, she went to her sports doctor for help, and it was discovered that she had a torn supraspinatus. Kelly was instructed to rest from all of her activities for a year. “I was inconsolable,” she said.
After it sank in that Kelly was seriously injured, she went to work with her physiotherapist, Gen. She told Gen that she was determined to avoid surgery, and the therapist was on the same page as her. Kelly said, “We started very small with stabilizing exercises like lateral raises and walking while holding a weight overhead. Week after week, my range of motion and strength improved. Gen continued to add new and more challenging exercises like overhead presses, scapular pullups, and chin-ups. I continued to do the work when I could and to rest when I needed.”
After just 6 weeks, Kelly visited her sports doctor. He was shocked by her rapid progress, and called her “the poster child for non-surgical rehabilitation.” He told Kelly to continue working with her physiotherapist, and gave her the green light to slowly return to her beloved activities. Kelly wrote, “Eight weeks after my injury on June 27th, I returned to trapeze without any pain.” This is incredible when you consider that her sports doctor initially prescribed her a YEAR of rest. In Kelly’s words, “Physiotherapy helped me reduce a 52-week prognosis to 8 weeks. I call that a win!!!!!!!” We agree!
Contact a Physiotherapist to Discuss Your Health Concerns
Every case of shoulder pain is different. Some patients will require surgery, but others, like Kelly, can bypass surgical intervention with physiotherapy. Contact a physiotherapist today to get answers to your questions.