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my physical therapy seems pointless

jade10025jjade10025 Posts: 42
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Recovering from Surgery
so i stretch and do a seated elliptical machine. i could do that at a gym for much cheaper. the only thing there not at home is the tense unit thingy.

is my place not any good? did anyone else with lumbar fusion do different things? plus, my insurance is almost up. i think i have 4 visits left. well see.

I am frustrated i seem to be reverting verses improving. work seems to help my back more than therapy, and that's sad.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    Before you give up,
    please read: Physical Therapy 101
    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 check the link out. I just dont know if i should go somewhere else or what. and i cant afford any after my insurance is up. I only had coverage for 8 visits anyway, plus 6 on my pathetic secondary insurance i pay a fortune for, and that will only pay a portion of the visit.
  • Hi Jade,

    Everyone experiences physical therapy differently. For me it made my pain and symptoms worse so my doctor cancelled it. I think I am the exception however. Most people get better and stronger with therapy. I think I was being pushed too fast. Also I was deconditioned for 4 years prior to surgery so that prob. also has something to do with it.

    As far as the TENS unit...ask your therapist to get an order from your doctor for one. Then you can have your own unit at home to use. Mine is wonderful when the pain gets bad.

    So you can have the TENS even if you are not in therapy.

  • i really do want the therapy. my tens unit is being processed by my insurance, so i should be getting that soon. I just dont see any results. I do not feel better or worse most days. and I dont understand why i need to do back arches. that one gets me a bit, but i do it. there doesn't seem to be any strengthening. just very mild stretching, which i do at home anyway. so i dont know if it is worth the time and cost or if i should go start over at a new place, or what. Just confused.
  • From what you have described I would be looking for a new place. I've been to 4 different PT places over the years and they have all done pretty much the same exercises and strenghtening stuff. I've never been asked to do back bends or been put on a eliptical machine. Walking on a treadmill, yes. Rubberband exercises, yes. Stretching on a bed, or table, yup. Been put on a leg machine, yup. Ball exercises, yup.

    You are early in your recovery. Really good PT places are hard to come by, especially ones that have a bunch of experience with backs.

    It has also been my experience that insurance companies will pay for more visits then their contract state. Your Dr. may need to write a letter of medical need and your, or another PT place, needs to keep the insurance company informed on your progress.

    Good luck in whichever way you chose to go.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    discuss this treatment both with your therapist and your doctor.

    The treatment you receive at Physical Therapy is based on a script that your doctor wrote. Much like a prescription for medication, it can not be modified without approval.

    There may be some sound reason for the back arching that they are having you do. Only they can provide you with the correct rationalization.

    What David said was also true regarding insurance coverage. Many companies allow "X" amount of sessions. However, if your therapist and doctor feel you are not at the correct physical level, they can write the insurance carrier for more sessions.

    If you have any doubts, talk this over with your doctor and therapist.
    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
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