Case Study: Frozen Shoulder

Male aged 34, Occupation - Leisure Centre Manager

He played squash until 2-3 months prior to seeing me. Whilst he was opening up a store to obtain some equipment, he gave a cry of pain as he reached upwards, he told me that the pain was from a shoulder injury sustained during a squash game, and the physiotherapy treatment he was trying was not working.

I advised him to continue and give it a chance, but contact me should he still be suffering.

Two weeks later I received a call, and upon examination, I suspected a possible frozen shoulder or some form of rotator cuff injury, but certainly a limited range of movement with his left arm from the shoulder.

After having noted the full case history, and background to the injury, I recommended 3 Bowen treatments together with the exercises necessary to rehabilitate. I explained in detail the type of treatment, to which he was extremely sceptical, but being an even bigger sceptic of medical intervention and drug treatments (particularly the corticosteroid injection alternative) he agreed to give it a go, as long as it didn't take more than 3 weeks, because he wanted to go skiing in 4 weeks!

After the first treatment, he felt some difference, wasn't quite sure what, but definitely was not keen on the arm exercises, though he agreed to try!

Two days later he rang me to say that he was in worse pain than ever, and "What have you done to me?"  was the accusing question. My response was to "Keep calm - take pain killers if you feel they will help, but please stick with it and give it a chance."

Second treatment - he arrived and seemed to show some improvement in movement and reported (the now usual response) a feeling of looseness everywhere, but was fed up with the many trips to the loo (the water I had advised that he drink). He then rang me three days after this treatment to say "I don't think this is working - I'm still in discomfort - I don't think I'll come again!"

I responded by saying that I would be sorry if he didn't continue, but "the decision is yours". He came along for the last treatment feeling a little better with a bit more movement again. Then I said "Right, continue the exercises and I'd like to see you in about 3-4 weeks to see how you have progressed"

Not a word or phone call, until about 4 weeks later, when he greeted me with a big wave (of his bad arm), and shook my hand vigorously, saying that he'd had a wonderful skiing holiday with no pain and no trouble since. "How does it work?" he asked. All I could say is what I still say now - "It just does!"

Therapist - Tony Crimes