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PT or no PT

dbullwinkelddbullwinkel Posts: 224
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had C5-6 ACDF July 31st. I started pt about 8 weeks (I think) after...but doctor didn't want it for my neck; only core strength. Said that is all he recommends. my job is very physical. During those core exercises I ended up injuring my right shoulder (it was probably there..just showed up since I was out of shape..I stoped PT for my neck and stared for my shoulder. now I am having arthroscopic surgery this coming thursday the 29th. i attempted a return to work January 7th...but couldn't physically manage due to pain. I am sure my shoulder was mostly the reason, but can't be sure how much pain was due to the surgery since my shoulder pain radiates to my neck. I will have long rehab for my shoulder. My goal is to get back to living a normal life (like all of us!!). I really need to be sure that my neck is strong enough (as well as my shoulder). Opinions: should I ask neck doctor about PT for my neck again or just stick with the PT for my shoulder? I know there may not be an answer to this question; but thought I would put it out there anyway :) Thanks. Donna


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    action to take right now is to discuss this with your doctor.
    They would be in the best position to determine if you need both areas to be worked on.

    Almost every part of us is connected in one way or another. Shoulder problems could create cervical problems just as cervical problems could cause some shoulder problems.

    Most of the time, those are muscular related. That is why the therapist is looking at core strength for your neck. The purpose there was to build up other muscles in order to provide a stable environment for your neck

    I dont know how your neck doctor is looking at this condition, but I would have to believe the Physical Therapists would see that both areas need work. When I have been in PT for one area and another area started to give me problems, the Therapist contacted my doctor to explain the situation. That resulted in additional areas to be worked on.

    Your case might just be similar.
    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 have recently starte at the gym and a lot of the exercises I have to do are core strenght one. What is interesting is one in particular is lying on my back pulling in all the core muscles and USING THEM ONLY to lift and hold my head off the ground. I was really suprised at how much of our body is supported by the core muscles.
    (Dont try it by the way unless it has been given to you by a PT).
    So regardless, keep up the core exercises that you ahve already been given.
    Oh and all the best for the shoulder op.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • and add that if it were me, I would focus on primary problem area then once that is better, rehab the next area.

    Also, only do as much as you can without stirring up too much pain.

    Have a chat with your doctor and good luck.
  • everyone for your responses! different doc is doing the shoulder, but they are in the same practice, so coordinating the two shouldn't be difficult. I just want to take care of everything once and for all. I do agree: concentrate on the shoulder now since that is the presenting issue. thanks again
  • Donna,
    I think you are on the right course taking care of the shoulder then the neck. In my case the PT was working on my shoulders/neck to increase the strength of the muscles to hold my big old head up due to the 3 level laminectomy. Most of the PT dealt with rotator cuff exercises, arm bike, and some light weight lifting that progressed into more core exercise. Perhaps working on your shoulders, it will help with your neck problems, it did in my case. Good luck and hope all goes well.

  • Hi Donna, when I went to PT for my lumbar and my upper back/neck was bothering me, they worked on this too. I am thinking a lot of the shoulder exercises will also benefit your neck. Best wishes for your shoulder surgery. So much of our spines and skeletal system are inter-related. It seems fairly common seeing neck and shoulder problems together. Hope you are on the mend soon, take care, Cali-Sue
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