A Trip to the Physical Therapist in Mexico

Source: istockphoto

Since many of our readers are interested in articles about the quality and cost of healthcare in Mexico, I decided to do a quick post about Linda’s recent visit to a physical therapist in Tulum, Mexico.

Just to give you some background, Linda has had a long history of back problems. She has scoliosis and in 2004 she fractured her back when she fell out of our attic during a hurricane.

You’re probably wondering what she was doing in an attic in the middle of a hurricane. Well, it’s a long story, but the here’s the Reader’s Digest version.

A Bad Hurricane Season

In 2004, we had three major hurricanes pass over our house in the course of only two months. The first hurricane (Charley) did extensive damage to our house. When the second one (Frances) rolled through two weeks later, the house wasn’t as watertight as it used to be, and water started pouring in through damaged sections of the roof.

I went into the attic through the garage access to survey the damage. I asked Linda to hand me a large bucket and she climbed the folding wooden ladder to bring it to me. The ladder buckled and she fell about 10 feet, fracturing her back. The injury was serious enough to require surgery a few weeks later.

While she was home recovering from surgery, the third major hurricane (Jeanne) rolled through. It didn’t do any additional damage to our house, but it did knock out the electricity for a week. Poor Linda had to sit in the dark in dead of Summer with stitches in her back.

Some Much Needed Relief

The majority of the time, Linda’s back doesn’t give her any trouble but that old pain can return quickly and without notice. Whenever that happens, the first thing that she does is contact her physical therapist in Tulum via Whatsapp to make an appointment.

It’s amazing what a difference a one-hour session can make. Before the appointment, she can barely get in and out of the car, but immediately afterwards, she’s almost pain free and walking normally.

The session consists of stretching, massage, ultrasound therapy, heat therapy, and the use of a TENS unit.

The cost (without insurance) per session is $350 pesos, or about $18.91 USD.

It works so well, that one session is normally all it takes to fix the problem.

Let’s Wrap This Up

I didn’t bother to do the research to see how much this type of treatment would cost without insurance in the U.S., but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it probably costs more than $20 USD.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

29 Comments on "A Trip to the Physical Therapist in Mexico"

  1. Sorry to hear about Linda’s back! Not pleasant I’m sure. I use Dr Ho personal tens machine. Its amazing and relatively inexpensive. Can purchase online.

  2. Charles Benfante | February 15, 2018 at 10:43 am |

    I go once a week and my therapist charges 180 pesos for 45 mins – when I told a friend of mine in the states who is a therapist he couldn’t believe it

  3. RONALD P DOBRANSKY | February 15, 2018 at 10:46 am |

    I recently broke a toe when we were up at Todos Santos. I went to St. Jude’s Medical Center in TS. Total cost for the Doctor’s Consult, 2 x-rays and 2 perscriptions was $61.00 (US) Not bad when you consider something like that back in the US would probably be around $400.00- 500.00.

  4. Sorry about Linda’s back. Sounds like she has found a skilled physiotherapist. Would you be able to share the contact info for this person? Many thanks.

  5. How do you find the reputable therapists and such?

    • We always find them through word of mouth. You just have to ask some of the more seasoned expats in the area.

  6. I have had a physical therapist for three long sessions (seven months or more) on three occasions. These were when I had long periods of time in bed for various reasons. He uses electric stimulus to keep my muscles from atrophying and after hip surgery taught me to walk again. He comes to my house and charges 350 pesos per visit. I am waiting for him right now. Not sure I would get this kind of treatment in the US. Certainly not for this price.

  7. Linda Southwick | February 15, 2018 at 11:04 am |

    Can you send me the infromation on the physical therapist to my email. I like Linda have had major back surgery and other orthopedic sugeries and need a good PT. FYI it is not unusual for one session like you describe with all the modalities you describe to be billed separately and could easily be around $250-350 per session. Insurance and medicare will pay standard price for each modality and may not cover some at all. On medicare I have to carry a supplemental policy to cover outpatient service copays which is 20% of the approved service. Part B cost me $225 per month going up to $243 per month. I also have $343 taken out of my Social Security check for the 80% Medicare will pay. So I am paying close to $600 per month. I did not stop my Part B until I knew I could receive the level of care I need. However, I had a surgery at Hospiten and the total cost was $4200 including text, physicians, operating room, recovery, hospital room, and medications. I was a nurse practioner in the states where I had many surgeries. The care and expetise of the entire staff was excellant. I now go there for most of my annual care. I see dropping part B in my near future.

    • Thanks for sharing those price comparisons.

      Send us a request via the contact form and Linda will send you the contact information for the physical therapist.

      • Richard Wolterman | March 1, 2018 at 9:55 am |

        dry needling in us by pt is something that is leading edge and has proven helpful to me when other things did not work. Are there pt there who do tiis for fascial and muscle injuries

  8. We get a certain number of visits and when they are done, additional is out of pocket. Well over $100 USD. We go without

  9. Richard Brenick | February 15, 2018 at 11:15 am |

    I have all of my dental work done in Cancun and have saved thousands versus what was being charged here in Florida.

  10. Cheryl McReynolds | February 15, 2018 at 12:49 pm |

    I read and I drool. I want to move to Mexico so bad! But I know it will never happen. I’m not a world traveler and don’t have the money to find out how I would be able to move to a beautiful beach town.

    • You should visit the area. Maybe you’ll find a solution while you’re here.

    • Ana Higginbotom | February 15, 2018 at 5:06 pm |

      I would recommend Puerto Morelos. It’s beautiful and it’s not expensive. Search in Facebook: friends of Puerto Morelos. We are an expat community.

  11. Debbie Aguirre | February 15, 2018 at 1:01 pm |

    Glad the PT visit helped so much. quick question. Was the low price connected to having Health Insurance? or was this a walk in visit with no insurance.

  12. Janice Michaelson de Valdez | February 15, 2018 at 1:02 pm |

    Just a quick comment that PT when I lived in Texas cost me $40 copay with insurance!

  13. Hélène Tellier | February 15, 2018 at 1:11 pm |

    Hi Linda and Paul, I would love to have the reference for your physiotherapist ! Thank you

  14. Hola my name is Elisa and i live in Cancun. I’m interested in this therapist. Thank you

  15. This is wonderful information! Health care has been a big consideration for me. I also have back and sometimes neck problems. Being a senior I’ve been concerned about the cost. The cost of private health insurance is high [not as bad as the US, but on limited income high for me]. I’ve been planning on “self-insuring” with a chunk of money in savings and building on it. In a few years, the money would be more than enough to cover hospitalization for the first two years, money ahead after that. But, OP services are something I don’t have much info on. So, this is immensely valuable info.

  16. I would go every week. I use to have a good massage therapist it was magic like what you described he passed away. now I suffer If I can sell my rentals I will be heading that way!

  17. I’m a Massage Therapist in the US. To see me for an hour of deep tissue, trigger point, hot stones, and stretching, the cost is $70. That’s pretty average in this area.

  18. Asheley E Biesemeyer | February 16, 2018 at 3:02 pm |

    I am amazed, my husband and I have both have been in and out of physical therapy recently and just the co-pay is $50! That’s with insurance…thanks for the good info

  19. Craig Stewart | February 16, 2018 at 5:48 pm |

    Hola, would you please share the contact information on your physical therapy person. My wife could use some help with her back. Thanks, Craig

Comments are closed.