Cortisone Shots, Painkillers, Oh My! Why I Turned To An Alternative Treatment Option


massageSome people go to a massage therapist for to relax. I go so that I can walk. About ten years ago, I experienced the first flare up of an injury.  After sitting crossed legged on the floor, I tried to stand up – but couldn’t. The pain was excruciating. I felt like my hip was trying to pop out of the socket.  After a few minutes, the pain subsided and by morning I was fine. Only I wasn’t.  I didn’t realize I had started down a path that would change my life.  The frequency of these episodes increased.  My husband would literally have to pick me up and carry me to the bathroom because I couldn’t walk due to the pain. I sought medical help.  Tests confirmed this wasn’t an auto-immune condition like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.  I turned to sports medicine – which meant X-Rays MRI’s, cortisone shots and physical therapy.  I developed bursitis in both hips as well as a noticeable limp.  And still, the episodes continued. Living with a condition that causes debilitating pain is depressing – especially when medical professionals couldn’t determine the cause.

And this is where my story changed. I was driving down the road and literally heard a voice in my head say call Cindy Johnson.  I’ve known Cindy for years – knew she was a massage therapist but never gave it much thought, until that moment anyway.  I listened and made the call.  Cindy, whose massage therapy schooling took one year, figured out what medical doctors had missed.  (She would later tell me that she didn’t know how I had walked into her office that day.) My pelvis had rocked back and twisted.  Ligaments that should have been short were long. Those that were supposed to be long were short.  And all those times I thought my hip was going to pop out of socket – that was when the iliopsoas knotted up.  She worked on my body, massaging knots from my legs, hip and lower back.  After that first session, she sent me to a chiropractor – said she’d done what she could but I needed more help than she was trained to give.  The two of them worked together – helping me repair and restore my body.  It’s taken years – but I’m better.  I still visit both, finding the benefits too great to forgo.

I share this because I’ve learned the value of looking for alternative treatments.  Cortisone shots and painkillers only masked the problem.  It is because of the massage therapist & chiropractor that I am able to walk.  No, I don’t wear high heels anymore but that’s a small price to pay. (And I’m always grateful for that little voice whispering in my head.)

Obviously, I’m not a medical professional and I realize that there are many competent doctors practicing medicine. But sometimes, they miss things and we shouldn’t be afraid to take control of our health.

And now – my next goal – to find a doctor of Chinese medicine practicing in Eastern North Carolina.  (If you know of one, please share his/her name in the comments below.)








11 Replies to “Cortisone Shots, Painkillers, Oh My! Why I Turned To An Alternative Treatment Option”

  1. Such good advice! I experienced something similar though not as intense as yours. Meds do just what you say-mask the problem. My chiropractor sent me to a deep tissue masseuse and it made all the difference.There is a doctor in Wilmington who does Chinese therapy, but I’ll have to check it out and let you know if they are still there.


  2. Thank you for sharing! We turned to alternative medicine to treat our son’s asthma and allergies. Best decision we ever made! He went from inhalers, nasal sprays, breathing treatments, and two bouts of pneumonia to running cross-country and competing on the swim team.


    1. Exactly! I’ve recently started taking a spoonful of local honey each day to help with allergies – Spring pollen is the worst! And a spoonful of honey sure beats being medicated all Spring season. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope your day is wonderful 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If you are open to Chinese medicine, have you considered trying acupuncture? I have been struggling with chronic lower back pain for years; conventional medicine just offers two options – drugs and surgery, neither of which appeal to me. So I tried various alternative modalities, and found them so helpful in managing pain levels and helping me to maintain mobility. If I don’t go for regular treatments, simple things like household chores, gardening, and exercise – and even sitting for long periods, can lead to a downward spiral of pain, lack of energy, reduced mobility, etc.

    I recently started going for acupuncture treatments; it is certainly not comfortable or pleasant at the time, but I’ve found it to be astonishingly powerful in shifting even longstanding issues. Craniosacral treatments (heavenly!) and osteopathy (next on my list to try!) are two other excellent modalities for spine or posture issues. Good luck!


    1. Sorry for the late response. I was on a social media hiatus. I haven’t tried Chinese medicine but I’m open to it as 8 months later, I’m still dealing with the side effects (Prednisone is helping but I can’t live on that stuff forever.) Appreciate the suggestion!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Best of luck! I hope that you will find some drug-free pain relief. I realise that for many people it may be too ‘alternative’, but you can also try modalities like Jin Shin Jyutsu (this is one of the main websites –, but there are also teachers available on YouTube) or energy medicine (such as the irrepressibly joyful Donna Eden –, as well as Prune Harris –

        All of these do not use drugs, medication, or even herbs or homeopathy; you just use your hands to place them on various energy points on your body, to activate your own natural healing energies and flows. These modalities are really good for treating and helping yourself, rather than having to rely on and pay a therapist. And following the routines and sequences is very meditative, bringing you into the present moment, so that’s an added benefit!

        Regardless of what you decide to explore – I wish you all the best and that you’ll feel better soon.


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