Susanne Lanz had been suffering from neck pain for many years. No treatment brought permanent relief. She called our complementary medicine advice line – and finally experienced a turnaround.
Susanne Lanz tried all sorts of different therapies which she hoped would solve her neck problems: traditional massage, kinesiology, craniosacral therapy, Dorn-Breuss massage and acupressure. “Although it helped me in the short term, the pain kept returning,” explains Lanz. At the beginning of 2014, the health worker changed from nursing to administration. “Sitting at a PC for hours on end was detrimental to my neck,” adds Lanz. “Sometimes I could hardly move my head at all.” Then the headaches started. “I couldn’t have worked without painkillers.”
Helsana noticed the numerous alternative therapies which Susanne Lanz had tried out. “Such a long treatment period suggests that the therapy is ineffective,” says Heather Moser from Helsana’s complementary medicine advice centre. “We want to prevent long periods of suffering by proactively contacting customers.” Susanne Lanz therefore received a questionnaire for the attention of her therapist and an offer of a telephone consultation to clarify the medical situation. “Based on the complaints and the progression of the illness so far, we can check to see what method of treatment is sensible,” explains Moser. For instance, whether it would be advisable as a next step to have a thorough check-up at the family doctor or if another therapy or another therapist would be an option.
Avoiding a marathon of therapy
Susanne Lanz took advantage of the offer and phoned the complementary medicine advisory team. The expert asked her lots of questions and initially recommended osteopathy. “She thought I would feel much better after three to four sessions,” adds Lanz. “That surprised me. I would have tried out new therapies for another six months otherwise!” According to Moser, this is a mistake made by many patients: “However, if no lasting success is evident after several complementary medicine treatments, something must be wrong.”
What was causing the neck pain?
Susanne Lanz had no more complaints within a few weeks of the first treatment. “I have finally got rid of my neck pain!” The osteopath found what was triggering the persistent tension in her neck and shoulder region: her hip. “Everybody else focussed on my pain,” says Lanz. During the therapy sessions, she learns how to adopt the correct posture and how to stretch and strengthen her back. These exercises and swimming now have a fixed space in her diary. “I immediately notice if I fall back into old habits and can take corrective action before something gets out of place again and stiffens up.” She is very grateful to Ms Moser for her advice.
Fewer treatments thanks to good advice
Helsana is committed to quality and efficiency in complementary medicine, be it through the choice of the right form of therapy or suitably qualified complementary medicine therapists. The fact that Susanne Lanz is not an isolated case is clear from the benefits statements: anyone who chooses the right therapy from the very beginning will get rid of their complaints quicker and for longer periods. “Our aim is for patients to become healthy customers again as quickly as possible,” says Moser.
Text: Daniela Schori