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Opinions On PT Wanted Please

MsHumptyDumptyMMsHumptyDumpty Posts: 1,567
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Exercise and Rehab
I would very much like to know the opinions of others about PT. I fully understand that each person has their opinion - which is what I am looking for ;)

Why? Well I am on the fence about the benefits of PT for myself and am now curious if others feel the way I do or if I am alone.

Sometimes one just needs to look at something from a different view point to understand it better - which is what I am looking to do.

I did not have insurance for the first 5 yrs of my injury so no PT for me.
Now that I have insurance I was going to PT faithfully 3 times a week.

I recently had surgery ( non back injury related ) and have not yet been released to do PT again.
In the 2 weeks I have not gone to PT I feel MUCH less sore and have a LOT less sciatic pains.

At PT I swam ( which I am all for and do have a YMCA membership for such even before PT started ) and then they did these pressure point things on me. 2 guys one on each side of me would push their fingers and/or elbows into different points of my body - which sent my pain levels SKY HIGH and would then hold that pressure until the pain started to go away - which it did. After about 2 times of this therapy my sciatic flared up BIG time. When I mentioned it to them they said it was due to them "opening back up the blood flow and nerves were becoming active again". :??
The pain of them doing this for about 6 weeks never decreased. The sciatic got more and more painful and for longer times.

I asked about other PT methods and exercises and was told "no". That nothing else was safe for me due to my injuries/conditions. OK I get that as even riding a bike for me is physically impossible as my one hip goes out of place ( SUPER OUCH! ) when we tried it.

BUT finally getting to my point - if this is all I am going to get done I am now questioning if there will ever be true progress. I have not noticed any and am only in more pain with my sciatic when I go.

Not having gone for 2 weeks now and I have little to no sciatic pain nor none of the major muscle pains from the pressure point treatments. The treatments hurt so bad I always was making hubby check me for black & blue marks lol There never were any but it felt like there should be ;)

OK so...... thoughts...... opinions please?
L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.


  • You are answering your own questions! As you note - your body is the laboratory, you are learning that somethings help and some don't.

    From my experience - I have had the pressure point stuff too, PT trained here in North America seem to have some aversion to the lastest work outside of NA.

    Look for a PT that is trained in Mckenzie - or a Brit trained.

    I have had both - for me the best one was a Brit - he told me to never do some exercises - because as I pointed out, I kept having issues with my Sciatic, so once you learn this - don't keep playing with it. He was of the attitude that it was my body - I was to report back what worked and what did not.

    On the pressure point issue - He did about 3 sessions on my spine - moving the Facets. And I did have a substantial decrease in pain. To the point where I have had days of a pain level of 2 or so. I still used my ER meds - but did not need any IR for breakthrough as there was none.

    Go slow - but keep moving - is my attitude! Cheers - C45
  • If you cannot find anyone else to go to, I don't think I would return either! Pressure points work for some things, but in your case it seems as though the therapy is just keeping things inflamed.

    You are probably better off just going to the pool and walking in the warm water pool. My rearranger guy suggested I get one of those vest/belt things that holds your upper body up and I just move my arms and legs, like cycling or running, etc. It keeps the pressure of my discs but allows me to get some aerobic type activity. Or you can just walk in the more shallow water, but it does get boring!

    McKenzie method is great for most spinal issues, but if there is instability or any spondylolisthesis, it is not recommended -- anything where the spine is extended, (bending backward) is NOT recommended.
  • I have gone to 3 different PTs since I first started having back issues 2 1/2 years ago. It's interesting how each place is different from one another. The one I am seeing now is by far the best. I am going to cut and paste something I posted yesterday. I really think learning how to properly strengthen core muscles is going to hopefully prevent me from injurying myself again.

    "They have me doing core strengthening exercises exclusively. I have been taught core stuff b4 but they have me engaging 3 muscle groups which is new to me. I can see how this is going to help stabilize me and hopefully avoid reinjury in the future. They are teaching me to always have my core muscles engaged just that most of the time they will be at a 2 but when I do something strenous I might ramp up to a 5 or an 8 etc..

    The 3 muscle groups they have me working on are the following:

    1) Deep Ab muscles. If you have tried Pilates this is the primary muscle I remember them focusing on

    2) Pelvic Floor. This is the muscle you use to do a Kegal exercise

    3)Multifidi muscles in the lower back. This one was totally new to me. If you try to pinch your upper glut (butt muscles) and move the contraction up to your lower back area this is that muscle. It's easy to feel it if you lay on the floor on your back with your legs bent and gently push your heels up so you feel a contraction in your lower back.

    If this interests you I can share some of the exercises they have me doing. For starters I am contracting all 3 muscles at the same time 1000 times a day. The goal of course is to naturally have them all lightly engaged all day. "
  • Time for a new PT. I am a PT and although there are times when we may flare up symptoms when trying a new technique they should never continue a treatment that is making you worse. Especially the sciatica. That you are getting better without it says a lot. That being said I agree with the above post. You need to get on a stabilization program. Every PT has different training so you need to do your research. Interview them. Ask them about their training and years of experience. Some of the best training is through McKenzie Institute-although not for stabilization exercises, IAOMT, NAIOM, and ask if they are familiar with Stuart McGill's work-that is who I would chose. Good luck!
  • Is that prior to surgery PT did absolutely no good whatsoever. I didn't really expect it to as I had 2 severely herniated disc, which I knew weren't going to "heal" themselves, not with PT or anything I could do myself.

    Though my surgeon didn't bother with formal PT after surgery because of how well I was doing, in a way I had been doing PT from my first day home...and still do it today.

    I took the rehab exercises on this very site, and made myself a routine based on the guidelines given on the site and what I had discussed with m doctor. And I feel it has helped me be very successful in my recovery. Mostly because I was not trying to relieve pain, but was reconditioning my muscles after a long period of pain and inactivity, as well as such a traumatic surgery.
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