I'll start with a rant, but end with something nice. My health insurance premiums are going up 23% next year. I don't think it's because I'm going to get 23% more value. Just a reminder here to my libertarian friends that the people who reach deepest into our pockets, without our permission, exactly, aren't/isn't always government. Rant over.
That said, after going through the costly and pointless referral process (two doctor visits just to point me to a physical therapist): wow. First visit, Eric (the physical therapist) quickly and thoroughly diagnosed the specific muscle and connective tissues that were causing me so much shoulder pain. Then he explained the problem clearly and succinctly. Then he gave me an excruciating painful and pointed massage, and showed me how to do two exercises that would directly address both pain and my range of motion restrictions. I left, after an hour, with less pain and more motion than I'd had in weeks. I'm doing my exercises, and can feel the improvement.
This is how I think it's supposed to work. Direct examination by a knowledgeable expert, application of that expertise, responsibility on the part of the patient to do what's been advised. And voila - improvement without surgery.
Here's hoping the continued indignities of aging continue to prove tractable.