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Pain Relief

signavyssignavy Posts: 63
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Spiney Friends,

I've been away from the forum for awhile and after catching up on all the threads I thought I might share my thoughts - really my surgeon and PTs thoughts that I have completely bought into.

First - my history: Sep 08 severly herniated L5 and discovered grade 1 spondy of L5 over S1. Started PT and tons of meds: Mobic, Tramadol, Neurontin and Valium. I struggled with just about everything - could not even enjoy sitting at the dinner table with family. Had surgury (TLIF Fusion) scheduled twice and cancelled both times.

Today: Off all meds except Neurontin - will eventually stop that one soon. Only take occasional motrin and when I really overdue it a tramadol, but I am especially mindful of my limitations. What has helped tremendously was an aggressive core stengthing program as well as stretching. Like many of you my levels above L5 became stiff and very painful and I could not figure out what caused this. My PT and Surgeon told me that Muscles are major generators of pain and when they are stiff look out - especailly the spinal muscles. So I incorporated stretches I never thought I would ever be able to do - and over time muscles loosened up and pain eased up as well. I recently purchased a Homedics Shiatsu Message Pillow (best 39 bucks I've ever spent) that I use twice a day on my neck, shoulders and entire back - this has loosened things up even more and eliminated even more pain. I know this might be hard to buy into - it was for me as I had truly thought I was doing every exercise and stretch that would help and I truly thought I was in great shape - I was wrong. I encourage everyone to google core stengthing exercises - slowly incorporate them into your routine and that Homedics Pillow will help a ton. Good Luck to everyone. All the best, Mike.



  • I'm so glad this worked for you. Many of us have been through a lot of PT and believe me, I have every device known to man in the PT department of my house. A HomeMedics Shiatsu Massage Pillow, a Pilates table, an exercise ball, a styrofoam roller, an Empi TENS unit, and I go to PT once a week, as I have all year. Works for some, not for others. Count your blessings and I pray you continue to be pain free.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Are those pillows any good? I looked at their site and all the reviews are excellent. I'm thinking about this for my husband, he has neck and shoulderblade problems.

  • I absolutely LOVE that pillow. The one I have has heat added to it. You push the button once for just massage, twice if you want heat added. There are times, even though my surgery was on my lumbar spine, when holding myself up and trying to maintain proper posture really stresses out my neck and shoulders. I just use that pillow and it really helps to loosen things up. You can actually put it in the back of your chair and use it on the lumbar area too. It's great -- especially for all of about $30-40. I got mine at Costco and I think I only paid $29 for it.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
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