Physical Therapy or Surgery?

Ever been doing something you love with your kids, like shooting hoops or playing catch, and injury or pain strikes? You’re not alone! Repetitive motion over and over again can take its toll on joints and muscles, especially as we age. Muscle and joint damage that was a minor problem in our younger days can resurface as a major issue.

Most people want get back to “normal” life as quickly as possible and some perceive surgery as the quickest or only route to recovery, but it has its associated risks and is expensive. Is there an alternative to surgery? A way to eliminate pain and return to a full active lifestyle? Yes! Physical Therapy.

CoachAmyPT patient, Kirk E., a former pitcher, wanted to avoid surgery on his shoulder, "The pain in my shoulder began as a gradual soreness, but over a period of a few months the pain became more intense...and the lack of mobility kept me from playing golf and catch with my boys. It eventually got so bad that I had a difficult time sleeping and getting dressed.

An orthopedic doctor diagnosed my issue as Adhesive Capsulitis or Frozen Shoulder and recommended two options: Physical Therapy or arthroscopic surgery to clean it out. I decided to go the PT route first as I wanted to avoid surgery at all costs.

The first phase of my treatment with Amy was [mobilizations]. These sessions were painful, but my mobility improved after almost each session. After I regained some of my mobility we moved onto Active Release Therapy and a lot of...exercises that I did at her office and at home in between appointments.”

After a series of physical therapy treatments with Coach Amy including ART (Active Release Therapy), Kirk was able to regain “pain-free” mobility in his shoulder completely eliminating the need for surgery. "The pain and mobility issues have not come back. I still periodically do some of the...exercises she taught me to prevent any reoccurring issues.”

Kirk returning to doing what he loves with his kids.

Kirk returning to doing what he loves with his kids.

A thorough evaluation is necessary to determine whether physical therapy can help prevent surgery. Each patient is unique and therefore treatment plans and effectiveness can vary. Considering PT treatments as an alternative to surgery?