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Physical therapy began

jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Chronic Pain
I started physical therapy and have had 2 visits. The physical therapy is for lower back and I am in recovery for cervical surgery. Hers is the problem. The PT seems to be helping my back but it is making my neck a mess!!! The neck pain has now become constant and I cannot turn my head to the right. Should I continue with therapy or stop? Should I call surgeon and let him know what is going on? Or is this normal? It doesnt make sence to me because it is just light stretching and he did do traction(which I think was the culprit ). The traction is was seemed to help my back. I felt instant relief while this was being done. I was leary of PT because I know my limitations and the only exercise I have been able to do w/o causing alot of pain is walking. I know PT can be at times unpleasant so do I just continue?


  • I suggest you call your doctor. Unfortunately a lot of PTs have a "one size fits all" approach and can end up causing as much harm as help. I have found that often the patient's instincts are the best. If you suspect something is hurting you, it often is.

    Everything in the back is interconnected. Often when there is pain in one area, other parts of the back compensate for the pain, which can lead to structural problems in different areas.

    I know some spinal surgeons who no longer routinely prescribe PT because they have seen it do more harm than good too many times. If you think it is making thins worse, it probably is.

  • I agree with Gwennie. Definitely give your surgeon a call. I would also talk it over with the physical therapist and just see what he or she says about it...

    Are you seeing a PT who specializes in spines? I have found that there is a big difference between PT's that treat everything from knees to spines, and those that treat only spines. If you are anywhere near a physical therapy practice that only does spines I would think you may have better luck with that. It was shocking to me what a difference it made when I switched to a spines only PT place.

    Also, what my PT told me about pain is that PT should cause soreness type pain that should last no more than 72 hours. If it goes more than 72 hours, that indicates something is not right. PT should not cause acute pain (ie, pain that is not just from fatigue/soreness), especially acute pain that goes for more than a day. I know this is a really general rule, but I use that as my guideline to determine if the PT is too aggressive. It sounds like in your case you are having some definite neck pain that is not just part of the PT grind, so I would be cautious.
  • Susan I highly suggest you call your surgeon. I was hesitant to do so and I ended up slowing down my recovery and could have been hurt very badly if I continued to do the treatment that was being used on me.

    I posted about it. I finally went to my surgeon and had to get a cat scan and all kinds of heck occurred. I sent in a formal complaint and there was an investigation. I did not have to pay for most of the treatment due to how I was treated by this PT.

    If your neck is hurting thats a clear sign that things are not going well. Please cal your doctor! Don't do what I did!

    I've been told I can never have traction now that I'm fused. My PT was stretching my neck and hurt me.

    I hope you feel better!

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