A Norweigan approach to healing an injured shoulder has become the preferred treatment at a hospital in the American southwest.
Alphonse had shoulder pain:
“I couldn’t hardly move the left arm at all. I could hardly brush my teeth, and my side movement…I had none whatsoever.”
Alphonse is moving a lot better than he did two years ago when he tore a shoulder muscle. He says he was pleasantly surprised when his doctor ordered exercise instead of surgery to mend the damage. Alphonse recovered in six weeks.
“I think my motivation is to get back to playing golf again, and so three times a week for six weeks was nothing to go through.”
Seth, Physical Therapist:
“Older patients or patients who don’t have a very high demand on their shoulder, I will recommend the conservative route in rehabilitation.”
A study of 125 patients with shoulder damage shows physical therapy is as effective as surgery — researchers found pain and movement improved about the same.
“The therapy is a conservative approach. If you try it for a couple months you haven’t lost anything at all. There’s no reason not to try it.”
Seth says patients with multiple tears or who are extremely active may not improve from physical therapy alone. For patients like Alphonse, physical therapy was all he needed to get back into the swing of things. Physical therapy is also a plus because it costs 85 percent less than surgery, and there is little risk of complications.