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How one problem can create another

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
I am into about the 4 1/2 month physical therapy program after my complete shoulder replacement. I have made excellent progress really in the past 3 weeks. For the first time in over three years, I can put my hand behind my back and actually put my belt on!

However, being around PT, Surgery, Flareups for so many years, I know that when something goes right, there is also a chance for something to go wrong. That has been my story.

My shoulder has been getting so much stronger, BUT, for the past week, I have been in muscle spasms all over my back. We think its really because of the shoulder exercises have been setting off some of my thoracic problems.

What started to happen was from T4 to my upper rib, they were all evaluated, basically all popping out a bit. The first rib was the worst, it was so noticeable when I laid down

Yesterday at PT, we talked this over and my therapist said "The book says how to handle this", but she said, I am throwing away the book and treating you how I know your body. She started to work on 'pushing' my ribs back down and we did just a heat treatment. Today and probably for the rest of the week, I will do more heat treatments and keep those lidoderm patches on my upper ribs.

I just think its always ironic, that when one part of your ailing body is getting body, another part starts to get jealous and wants to get attention.

Many years ago, this would have created more attention to me, now, its just another hurdle to climb over, no big thing.

As I have always quoted: "All things must pass" (George Harrison)
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


  • Ron,

    Your story reminds me of how I think now, Just another day. Like you I don't get to alarmed any longer when something goes hay wire. But, at the same time you need to always keep in mind your body is trying to signal you something isn't right and we never want to ignore those signals. Ignoring a problem only makes it worse. But you are lucky in that your therapist didn't ignore the issue but examined it and started to work on it.

    The shoulder progress is wonderful. Hopefully as time goes by you will see continued progress with the shoulder and be happy for the trade in pain? But just don't ignore those subtle warning signs are body is sending us.
  • So true, Ron. When I broke my foot, my friend called it right away that it was going to cause problems up through my hip and back from the way I was walking.

    And sure enough my hips have been furious for the last few days.

    I need your PT.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    This was something my Deep Tissue expert keeps on telling me.

    Basically, when there is a problem in one area, you can be almost 100% positive that it will impact another area.

    Its so true, HappyHBMom, like you said, your trouble with your foot, impacted another area.
    If a person starts to walk with a limp because of a leg problem, you can be sure it will effect another area.

    And as Tam says, we just have to be aware. Years ago when something like this happened, we might call the doctor right away, go to the ER, etc...
    Now, we take it in stride. We dont ignore it, we just realize this is part of our lives now.

    That doesn't mean its a negative or downer....
    It just means we are smarter now, we know how to enjoy life to its fullest, do everything that we can, but always within the confines of what we know we can tolerate.

    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've gotten to the opinion that when part of us hurts, we totally readjust how we move, walk, stand etc., and as such, the load is changed somewhere in our bodies, and bingo, now a new area hurts, or an injury there is now known.

    Years ago my sister broke her leg. About 3 weeks into using crutches her right wrist started hurting like crazy. She went into the doctor with these complaints, and vavoom, they discovered she had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! The doctor told her she probably had a minor case, and that the position of her wrists on the crutches accelerated it to severe! Like she needed that right?

    I didn't think much about her wrist until I started rolling down the spiney hill! What's that phrase, "For each action there is an equal and opposite reaction?" Argh! :) Glad to see you're coming along well Ron!! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.

  • Since my fusion surgery in March, I am getting increasing pain in my thoracic spine, and now my neck is screaming at me.

    My physio just this morning said that now my lumbar spine is feeling so much better, I am noticing the problems with the other areas of my spine. I think this is probably true too.

    He said that some heart attack patients with severe back pain, seem to lose their back pain when in hospital with a heart attack. It is just that their body is focussing on the most serious problem, and once that gets sorted, their back pain returns.

    He said that my neck is now screaming for some attention.
    It sounds like a jealous kid.
    'OK, just tell me what you want, and you can have it! Just stop hurting me!'

    About 2 years ago I was told by a doctor, that even if I had fusion surgery, I would still have trouble with my back for the rest of my life. I am beginning to think that she was right!

  • All we can, the best we can, as long as we possibly can.

    If we can't get over it I guess we just have to go through it.

    Yeah, back in the day I would have been concerned when all these little aches and pains or side effects showed up.

    Now...Like I said, I just do all I can, the best I can, as long as I possibly can.

    It is nice to read a thread like this and know your not alone.
  • Same here on everyone's comments. As you know, first it was my cervical spine, then my lumbar (and like jelly said, my lumbar pain was overshadowing my cervical pain). Then came the wrist and hand pain that's now moved up into my elbow and it terrified me that it was coming from more cervical problems.

    Well, yes, I have more cervical problems, but my PT said that she thinks my hand problem is carpal tunel and my doc said that he thinks that has moved up to my elbow because where I'm having problems in my cervical, doesn't cause the kind of pain I'm having in my arm.

    I just now to the point of saying what shall be shall be and do what I can to make it feel better - ice, meds, heat, whatever.

    It takes a while when you start along the path with the Beast to not be so terrified of it and just roll with the punches.

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