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Therapy bringing back nerve and back pain

pepper09ppepper09 Posts: 138
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 6 1/2 weeks post op (PLIF L5, S1) and started therapy last Tuesday. My nerve pain was almost gone and I didn't really have any back pain. After 2 sessions of physical therapy, I am having pain in my lower right buttock and having right leg nerve pain again. I know that therapy is necessary or else I would be left with a stiff back and have no motion, but is the pain just caused by inflammation brought on by movement in the last week?


  • Pepper,

    I am a big proponent of physical therapy after going through it on and off for close to a year. At no time did PT make me worse. Sore maybe, tired maybe but never any pain. Something is wrong here and you need to talk to your doctor before continuing with PT. Did you mention this to your therapist and if so, what was their response.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • Thanks for your response. My next physical therapy appointment is on Monday. I'm not going to do my at home exercises and tell her about my pain then. UGH :(
  • I could not have started PT as early as you are doing. But each surgeon is so different. Some do not believe in it at all, having seen too many cases where it caused more harm than good. I would take it easy until you talk with your surgeon.

    Hopefully it is just the nerve getting ticked off from the trauma of surgery...perhaps, some inflammation. But you should definitely back off of the exercises until you find out. You might want to use ice on your lower back to try to stem the inflammation.
  • Hi Pepper

    I'm thinking that perhaps you started PT too early?? I've read on this forum that some members started PT at 12 weeks.

    I haven't had a fusion yet, but 12 months ago when I had a laminectomy/discectomy/lateral decompression, my neuro started me on PT at 3 weeks. This was way too early and I was in excruciating pain, which has never gone away, and I'm now considering fusion. Up until the 3 weeks post-op, I was making a good recovery. At the pool, I was speaking with a guy who'd had the same op as me, and his neuro didn't start him on PT until 8 weeks post op.

    I very much believe in PT, but not too early.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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