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I dont know if rehab is doing anything?

FormerfireFFormerfire Posts: 148
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Exercise and Rehab
Hi again! I havent been here for a while. But I had a microdiscectomy L5S1 in May 08. My physio started me on Pilates but it made it worse. Now, my glute muscles and Quadratus Lumorum(?) are overcompensating and seizing up making me in agony (different to the initial injury). The only exercises i am doing is TA activation and stretches.

I am concerned that I am not really rehabing at all...I am stiff and sore most of the time. I still sleep on the floor.

Does anyone have any recommendations (other than find another physio). I would like to know how to get active again quickly without reinjuring myself.

Thanks for all your help :)


  • Formerfire,
    I think pacing is the key, many who return to activity do too much and this increases the pain to the extent that they when need or have to stop, you would and will experience increases pain and how tolerable that is is up to you.

    Any exercise is better than none and will help psychologically, what you want from this therapy. Some time it is about personalities and who we get on with but the main reason is that we are doing this for ourselves, have you said it increased the pain.

    You will have to give any new strategy a reasonable time to see if it will work in the longer term and we are always keen to get some improvement sooner than reality, which is good. Can you adapt the PT so that it does give you some benefit without unreasonable increase in pain, I cannot walk far now, so I have taken to cycling , no weight bearing and good for my cardio. Try not to give up as this will only make it harder in the longer term, many here understand the effort required to do exercise while in pain and every day is a new opportunity.

    Good luck John =D>
  • Thanks John!

    Actually, i think it is the opposite. The exercising doesnt cause pain, but my core muscles arent strong so my other muscles take up the slack and work really hard to keep me stable. Apparently these muscles then spasm and get real tight and that is what causes my pain.

    So they have backed off all PT apart from finding my TA. So I feel really slack (not to mention the weight that is continuing to rise).

    I guess they have me going slow for a reason, but I think I would like more than stretches and pelvic floor exercises he ehee
  • All I can say is, know your own body and you be in charge.

    I have had several therapists, of different areas and they all say something different. Sometimes they contradict eachother.

    Do what is comfortable and go easy on anything that flares your pain.

    I have stopped my PT for now, because it was aggrivating me.
    Walk. Core. Swim.

    I would urge you to tune into your body and slowly, genty keep mobile.
    Take care.
  • Foremerfire,
    I just started going to p.t., and the last appointment (yesterday) was the only one that didn't hurt me. My p.t. has me doing the weirdest core-strengthening exercises I've even done (and I've done a lot being that I used to bodybuild). They are actually done on my elbows and knees,rather than on my back. And they are really hard, but do not hurt my back (that's rare these days). I'm excited because I know they will help with my back - she explained how I'm reaching down to the deepest muscles in my lower stomach, which I've never done before.

    I, too, have trouble walking - something I thought I'd never say. But with walking comes more leg pain for some reason. I'm hoping these exercises will help me hold my spine the way it's meant to be held - who knows, but it's worth a try.

    Anyway, just trying to give you some hope. There are various exercises you CAN do besides stretches and pelvic tilts, that's for sure.

  • Thanks for that. I have another appointment on Monday so I might ask them to increase something for me!

    Will let you know how it goes
  • pain in this way can be a warning signal. Be sure not to push too hard. I did (but not in PT) and ended up with 3 surgeries in 12 months. You don't want that. Try not to be stubborn like I was!! After my 3rd surgery, I did exactly what my doc recommended - NO PT, as he says they push back patients too hard and cause further injury, and WALK WALK Walk, 2 miles a day. Walking is excellent for your back and will keep your muscles from spasming.

    Take care,

  • Cherish,
    What happened to you that you needed 3 surgeries in one year? Did you re-rupture over and over? Or something else? What exactly is permanent S1 nerve damage? Is it total numbness or permanent pain? (I'd rather be completely numb I think.)

    Have you ever heard of a doctor going in just to "see" what might be going on? I'm almost tempted to ask my neurosurgeon to just peek to see if something was missed. I'm so afraid the doctors are going to start thinking I'm "nuts." And once that starts, there's no hope for pain relief. I don't want them thinking I'm surgery crazy. But, I see no other hope as of right now. No matter what therapy I do or how I cut back on things, the pain either stays the same or increases.

    Am interested to hear about your 3 surgeries.


  • 3 surgeries! ok I will be good! i think you are right, the walking is probably the best. I havent been doing enough. I just find it so so so boring, and unless i get up at the crack of dawn to do it i end up doing all the kids stuff instead. Hmmmm that is what is happening.

    oh......i need to get disciplined somehow
  • PT is doing something lol. He said today every time they loosen something up another part of my body goes into compensation mode and causes pain. I think all is loosened now, talk about a jigsaw puzzle. So if i can stay loose, and do some of these core exercises, he is going to increase it one at a time.

    Feels awfully slow, but I guess thats the way it goes at the moment.
  • Hmmmm.....one day after PT and completely seized up. Cant bend or anything. I have gone to GP to get some muscle relaxers. I dont see the point of all this PT if i cant stop the spasming which is causing all the problems.

    Is anyone else on the muscle relaxers post surgery, and have they worked for you?
  • I've been where you are but have had no surgery.
    Get yourself to a CHIROPRACTIC NEUROLOGIST, not a
    chiropractor. They have 3 more years of education
    and are awesome. It will take time but you will recover.
    Good luck
  • When I had Pt prior to the Micro-d, it just left me hurting more. I would have to cancel sessions just to recover from a flare it caused me. I had the same issues post op from both surgeries, and the last time I fared poorly. My core muscles are superweak and the hamstring muscles were always supertight. One wrong move would send me into spasms and it turned into a vicious cycle. My surgeon stopped the PT because it just wasn't helping me. I do find the stretches helpful when the nerve acts up. Using a tens unit and walking are good for you when you can't do the exercises.
  • hi! :H not enought is being said here about swimming or aqua therapy! <:P a heated, theraputic pool could work wonders on your muscle spasms and start working your core and get you to walking again.. there is alot to do in the pool so it never gets boring. =)) talk to your doctor or a rehabilitation center for one near your home. i use the pool down the street from me in the summer but use the theraputic pool nearby in the winter. really, try it!! :D Jenny :)
  • lulu what do you do in the pool?

    I got told i can walk or try kicking using a kickboard so I dont twist. But i think i would get bored pretty quickly!!!

    Mind you it was 43.5 degrees celcius here today, so it could be a preferred option
  • hi!!! :H i do lots of things in the pool but i have worked up gradually.. it may be you will only be able to walk and kickboard for awhile but i swim, do resistence exercises, workout in the deep end and even do an easy aerobics class. =D> on more painful days it is even nice to grab a noodle and just float! :D please remember to talk to your doctor before you start anything he hasn't talked to you about. :-C anyway, give it a chance and see what comes of it.. it can be alot of fun and what you can do is really endless!! <:P Jenny :)
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,878
    I totally agree with Jenny. Aqua Therapy is so beneficial for a wide range of patients. Also there is a difference between a therapeutic pool and a normal lap pool.
    The therapeutic pools generally are set between 92 and 95
    degrees. At that temperature, many states require 1 Therapist and 1 Technician to be at the pool all the time.
    I have been going to a therapeutic at the Rehab center I've gone for PT.
    The pool ranges form 3 feet to 4 1/2. Right now, I am on what they call an independent program. Basically that means I have already been using that pool while under the direct one on one care of a therapist.

    Exercises include:
    - Stretching
    - Walking
    - Resistance paddles
    - Noodles
    - Water Pony (use it like a byclce)
    - And more

    The first time I was in the pool, I thought it was a breeze.
    But believe me for a while work outs in the pool will really leave you tired and sore.

    The nicest part of the pool-program I am using, is because there is a therapist and technician on hand. They are they only to supervisor your workouts.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I will look into that. I think there is a rehab centre not far away!

    The 46 degree heat (celcius) will certainly get me there at the moment.
  • I totally agree with Lulu and Dilauro that a therapeutic pool workout is wonderful. I have been doing that for about 6 weeks. After the first couple of sessions I was really tired and a bit stiff and sore but find I can do more and more each time. Now when I leave I almost always feel so much better than when I got there.

    My workout lasts for 1 hour I walk with weights (water weights), use hand paddles for resistance work. bicycle on the noodle, do a variety of stretches, squats, etc. I tried doing some of the same stretches on land that I do in the pool and was amazed at how hard they are - they seem so easy in the pool.

    If you can find a place with a therapeutic pool give it a try!
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