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does PT really help

mikeavmmikeav Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
hiya...had acdf back in 11/07..oddly,the docs never suggested physical therapy..the only reason i can think of is that i was an avid weightlifter and in good shape so maybe they thought i didnt need it.
anyway,14 months later,after another mri revealed stenosis,they sent me..i only went to one session(others are pending cuz my insurance is giving me trouble over it)...they did the traction thing but it didnt seem to offer much relief or anything.
so im thinking..do you think its worth it to continue going?i mean,i know my body is wrecked for life and my weightlifting is pretty much out the door...and they say ill probably need one or more surgeries in the future...so why bother?


  • Hi Mikeav.

    I'd say that you try anything you can to keep from being cut open again if there is even the slightest chance it will work. The key word here is "probably" - there is no definite that you'll need surgery again, so perhaps PT can delay or negate the chance for surgery in the future.

    You sound pretty depressed about what has happened to you which is totally understandable, but you have to keep working on staying off that operating table. I hope you get to feeling better. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk.

    Take care of yourself.
  • takes a few weeks to assess you corrctely and see what response you will have.
    I also think it is important to find an ergonomic trained and back specialist PT - they all have their own areas of expertise and although all tarined in basics, basics are not good enough for us.

    Find a good one and try again. You have to break the cycle of pain, lack of oxygen to muscle, increased infalmmation, damage. etc.
    Not always do-able thro PT but gotta be worth a try!
    Good Luck.

  • I have to agree, it is a good thing to try and you definately want someone who specializes in cervical. While I have made the decision to have surgery after one year of PT, it will be my first surgery.

    Traction was the devil for me. Make sure you keep records of your symptoms as it helps guide your therapist on what needs the most work.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    is probably up there in the top 5 posted items. Search on PT and you will spend the rest of the evening reading different posts and approaches about Physical Therapy.

    PT has its good points and it has its weak points. So much is up to the individual who is going through PT and the therapist performing it.

    The fact that you were in good shape prior to surgery, should have had no bearing on PT or not afterwards. What that could have done is make your recovery quicker.

    PT done correctly can tune you up so as to avoid any future problems. But that is only one of many things spinal patients have to do in order to avoid future surgeries
    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
  • Pt is an important component of healing. It helps with range of motion, strength, and pain relieve. I do believe in the exerecises, and the posturing strategies. It is extremely important to have a PT that fits your personality and will work and support you. Also one that has a lot of experience in neurological sciences or orthopedic.
    I wish you all the best. I am kinda in the same situation and setting up a new pt as we speak...take care
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    Take a look at FAQ
    Common Questions and Answers
    and then look at Post #3
    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 be having surgery on C4,5 & 6 on February 24th.

    When any of your doctors recommend P T, how often did you have to go?

  • Joyce, I'm starting PT this Wednesday. I'll be going every Wed and Fri for 4 weeks. Doc said 6 weeks, but the therapist will reassess after week 4 to see if we need to continue.

  • PT is a good thing in my opinion. Most of us spineys have posture issues, and PT exercises definitely help with that. They also teach you exercises that can improve your strength. In my case, I had some nerve damage (surgery in 8/08, so still too early to tell if it's permanent)and the exercises can build strength by building nerve pathways to adjancent muscles. Good luck!!!
  • How often you go to PT depends on you and your relationship with the physiotherapist. The physiotherapist is trained to recognize compliant vs. non-compliant patients. If you do the exercises as instructed and both you and the physiotherapist can recognize changes, then he will only request visits as needed. As you progress you will be given new exercises. However, if you don't exercise as instructed (and yes, the physiotherapist will know) then he'll have you come to his office more often and he may even ask you to do the exercises in his office so he can ensure you're doing them correctly.

    In my opinion, PT is critically important to healing after surgery and/or injury and essential to improrving our future health.

    Take care!

  • In the 6 years I have been dealing with my degenerative/bulging discs, I had 3 different goes at PT. It never helped one bit, well, it may have helped with the pain just a little. But it was not the answer to my issues.
  • Hi Steve!

    PT didn't help me prior to surgery either. For some people it does, but for some of us it doesn't. However, for me it was absolutely necessary after surgery. By the time I got in for surgery, I couldn't even turn my head anymore...to the side, up or down. But now you wouldn't know there had been anything wrong with me. It was also important to help regain strength in my neck muscles after surgery. I sure don't want to go through all of this again, so I'm doing everything I can to ensure my muscles do most of the work, not my bones, disks, tendons and ligaments.

    Take care and keep searching for solutions that work for you.
  • It gets me out of the house and gets me motivated to stretch,treadmill, and good low impact excercise .... So for me it works ! I had 9 sessions to start and got approved for another 12 sessions ! I had two level cervical 5/6,6/7 spinal fusion. My only really concern is I still smoke , which I am sure wipes out all the good of PT ! Talk about guilt.... I had my surgery Oct. 10th 08. When I had a meeting with my pm doctor he was livid that Neuro didnt discuss probs with smoking. I knew by reading postl on SH. I still have not went back to work. Looking to go back end of Feb. I do some manual labor as well as desk work. I am amazed when I here folks go back to work after a month or sometimes sooner ! For me its been a long road to recovery ! I am 44 yrs olk and consider myself in fairly good condition, Not overweight, I eat good and on,on, on I am still on pretty heavy amounts of meds 2 40oxys, 2 oxycodone 15mg, valium. My pm has slowly reduced my meds over the last few months, for example no Norco, no Soma, no Neurotion. This is my longest post just felt like writing to let you all know where I am at. I have followed site for aprox. 7 months. I hope everyone well and look forward to any feedback. Thank- You
  • the only thing pt did for me was just take my money.
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