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pysical thereapy/ Torture ?

startersstarter Posts: 43
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
In 4 weeks my surgeon will stop prescribing me anything for pain and if i undertsand it righ i will start pysical thereapy.( illeffectively for pain be put back under my regulars doctors supervision)
This is when the collor will come off.
I wantto know after being in a collor for 6 weeks if its painful to use your neck and what excaly they do in Pysical therapy and does it hurt? What am i to expect?Im instruicted to keep my collor on all the time,,, even when i shower.

Does anyone know whey and whatthe collor does> 7 years ago i had a slipped disk ,,and i had no collor to deal with after suregery,,,,


  • Physical therapy before surgery was painful for me... I may have to do pt after surgery but I am not sure.

    If you still need pain meds after that period you will be referred to pain management or you could ask your GP for pain meds.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • ITs 4 weeks away.
    im worrried that it will hurt as they work with me. exspecially after having a brace on my kneck for 6 weeks, Im not sure what they are going to do or what to expect. Im hoping massages and whirlppol baths but thats probbably fanatsy.
  • You make me laugh when I read some of your comments/posts.

    Of course its going to hurt, at least some. All the muscles and stuff were cut and or distrubed so they need to heal and get back in shape. I really hope you didn't go into this surgery thinking it was going to be pain free because you are going to be sadly mistaken. We are each different and we each respond differently to whats been done.

    Most likely, in PT they will work on getting some movement and muscle strength back. That most likely will start with heat to the area and yes massages will most likely be part of it. You have not a chance to have a whirlpool treatment unless PT is done at a very specialized place. I have always saved up some of my pain meds to take extra for either during or after PT but that is just me and I'm not telling you to do so.

    Let us know how you make out.
  • well,,, i have saved some of my pain meds back,,,, in case i do have some serious pain and for some reason my doctor just doesent prescribe anything more.. Just to be on th safe side. I will tell himn though,,, when start Pt what i have and be open as i belive in honesty.Im holding a few back ... juist in caase i t turns out that Pt is going to be a strain and hurt alot.
    i have a conusltaion date set up with my regular doctor to talk about any pain management i might need wiele going through PT.By the time they release me to pt the surgeon is going to trnasfere pain management back top my doc.
    Its going to up to my doctor,,but he was sym,pathectic towards me when i was in pain and they didnt know what WAS WRONG WITH ME before. My husband says he think this probbably surprised them. How does one prove pain in the back? I DINT KNOW WHAT WAS WRONG. I T MAKES U LOOK LIKE A DRUG SEEKER because u cant prove ur neck is hurting like u can prove a broken bone,, or knife wound or a wound that is obvious to the naked eye.Its hidden in ones body and it takes MRI ,,cat scans and really good exrays to see it..
    He gave me tramdol and soma ,,to tie me over til the tests resilts came in. He is new to me as my old doc who was with me for 5 eyears and knew me moved away.
    I went and had the MRI, Right before i went to see the neurosurgeon i talked with my regular doctor who gave mne a refill of tramadol ( which did work alogn with the soma) but told me id probbbably need to got o a pain clinic.

    surprise surprise! Its not a mystery pain,,or my mind playing tricks on me or me over blowing a pulled muscle! I have degenertive disk disease and need to be in surgery ..like yesterday! MY surgeon who came in ( hadent seen hoim in 7 years) came in and didnt mince words,,, when u hear " its getting dangerous" u go into a brain fog. But he tried to comfort me telling me it was fixable. It was in the hospital two days later.I was so upset that my neurosurgeon who knew what meds i was on advised me to take one of my vlaiums. U dont want to hear "its getting dangerous" U wantto go the hospital like now,,but of course the red tape involved didnt alow that.

    Now.. im hoping that my regilar doctor will resume at least some liminted tramadol as i go through reabilation.. I dont think ill need the hydrocodi... but im not sure advil will do the job. Now that he knows that i really did have a real problem... when i complain about something he can feel sure whithin himself im not taking advantage of his trust.

    I did get mad at a recepionsist. I called to make the apaointment which will take place around the time the collor is to come off andf told her why... she made some remark like ' i had a operation on my back andf didnt need anything". it annoyed me;;like who asked u?
    This is about adressing any strain and tightness i might have after having a collor around my neck for 6 weeks and the pain i might have in PT.
    This really annoyed me. A nurse told me years ago that they are taught not to chide patients on how they deal with thier pain because its different for everyone.

    MY mom says it was unprofessional of her to make that remark. Im probabbly getting a REPUATUION AMONG THEM As a complainer and maybe a seeker,,but the thing is my complaints are real and legitamate,. Soryy i cant jump up and do the jig two days post op.Im sorry the advil and over the countr pain meds ddint kill the pain i was living with for two monthes before they figured out what was wrong.

    IM trying to think ahead and just be prepared for what pt might be like. I have some old trams from a old script i was taking before i had the operation. Ill tell my doctor i still have them,,,, keeping things open and honset. It will be up to him if he thinks the work they do with me in PT warrants any more tramadol and muscle relaxers.

    The place i chose to have pt is in my home town and i have been there once before for a s trained arm, They did good work and used a stimulator of some sorts. My doc then though had me on pain medication... different doctor though. This one i dont know if he will think just a bottle of ibprofon will be enough.

    IM hoping they alow back massages... and have a whirlpool bath. It probbably wouldo alotof good... but this is a small palce and im not sure they do massages or even have a whirlpool.

    Taking it one day ata time. Each day i get a little better. I have 4 more weeks to go...
  • In the case of haveing saved some of my pain meds back,,,,I hope that dosent sound crazy. ITs not much and only if i get into a situation where i have bad falerups... in that way i dont need to bother my doctor as i dont wasnt to be a hassel to him... The meds are already prescribed to me ... and are for neck and back pain.Ill be upfront and tell him i still have some tramadol and soma left over.... from before i was put into the hospital... ( i didnt throw them away...) just want to get through PT as easy as possible... Im guessing the most pain will be from having a neck collor around my neck for 6 weeks,,, and m y neck needing to learnt to not depend on it so much.The collor itself is almost addciting.... I find myself really liking it alot..exzcept when its hunid outside.

    Ill probbably wear the cvllor for a lonmg time to bed even afte ri officially come off it.
  • Maybe when you see your Dr. you could let him know that it's causing pain for you and see if he will give you pain meds. If your Surgeon won't give pain meds I hope your GP does or you may need a referral to pain management. But I hope you can get some relief. I'm sorry they didn't believe you were having pain until right after your MRI. No one should have to suffer like that.

    There are some specialty places where they do have whirlpool and a warm pool for therapy but you may have to look around for a Physiotherapist that does this treatment. I found a PT who does pool therapy at variety village a place for disabled children but they also treat adults also and I found it online. It may be hard though if you live in a small town. It's good you're getting better daily and hope you recover completely. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • IT would be nice to have pool therapy. Ill talk to my surgeon about the closest place to where i live that has this. I think massage and water therapy may be the best aproach for me.

    Actually i belive my regular doc did think something was wrong as he did give me pain meds,,though tramadol., He just ddint know what. He concluded on our last visit i may have to see go see a pain clinic. I was ok with that. He was nice and he did refill my meds,. The tramdol at that time worked,,, but i had to take it every day with Soma.

    Then the results came in from the MRI,. I think my doctor belived i was hurting but just didnt really think it was something that woldl rerquire surgery,( im guessing here though),, i think he thought it was just pain caused by unknown causes and the pain clinic would help me best., He was actually very patient with me. But one still feels awkward having to tell ur doctor over and over to refill medcinces,,, because of a back pain u cant prove. It gets embaressing.

    Butthe MRI showed it was serious, Its on the records now.

    Im comfortable now as im still under the surgons care and pain management. Butthat will stip in 4 weeks when he takes the brace off. Then he will like baby wrapped in a blanket is handed back to its mother... will hand me back to my regular doc,, for any pain management,.

    Thus i have the apointnment sceduled to be sure he knows everything that the surgeon said and did., Info is sent to his office but he is chalked with patients and who knows if hes had the time or even desire to go over the reports .Ill go over it all with im..but if i must have PT i dont wantto be in agony after a session. I really not sure what to expect or how im going to feel., untill the disks ully fuse.

    This doctor is a nice man and he has been understanding and tried to help me... but is conservative. in giving out painmeds. I have only been under his care a year and he only gave me a narcotic once when i fell on a hard cement floor and banged up my leg. Other situationsits been tramadol, Im ok with that because it works for me,,,, at least beforew thsi surgery. All bets are pff now what will work nwo as what kind of pain i may exsperince wil be different then what i had before suregery, When pain is intense and constant the over the counter meds rarely help much.

    IT will be up to him.

    This has been a long journey. I started to hurt in April but i have no idea how long the disks have been messed up, I just got a horribe head ache one day so bad asked y daughter to give me a neck massage. I had surgery there 7 yearsagi never let ayone touch it but that headache hurt so much i allowed it,. As in people with healthy spines neck massages are wonders.Iftel the eadach lift,,,but in its place was like some body slammned into my back, It neve left,,,i only could numb it with the medicine i was prescribed, When the tests came in it weas obvious why i hurt.

    i havent figured out though why the neck massage triggered it,,,or ws the hadach from the disks,,,? I had thought a argument with my mouthy25 year old had ticked me off and i was getting the headacv from that ( we wee planning her wedding) but it may have had nothing t do with that,,but was the disks starting to communicate to me there was a problem. I think my other daughter by accident may have touched one f the bone spurs i think i had and it pinched a nerve.

    Anyway,,, doing good here... and ill talk to my doctor about a good pt place with a pool therapy. I really think water massage would do me wonders in relaxing my muscles.
    thats if i can find such a place close by and if my insurance will cover it.

    I know peopel here understand and now what pain is like and the frustartion.The burden of prove of what we are feeeling seem to lay with us.

    I guess thats the way the cookie crumbles... otr disks if thats what a persons dealing with.

  • You have a documented need for pain pills, at least for a while. How long that while is going to be anyone knows. I don't remember what operation you had done but if it was a fusion taking Advil, or ibprofen is a NO, NO. I'm very surprised someone didn't tell you that. If you did have a fusion you most likely will need to be on pain meds until a fusion is complete and you can then take Advil. I wouldn't mention you have saved up meds unless you are asked how much you have left. You sound as though you are way over thinking this pain med thing. You have not been to a pain specialist or to you PCP so you have no clue what is or isn't going to happen. Let things play out and do what you surgeon tells you to do. Maybe tone it down a little with the I need meds and the docs may respond differently. Sorry I don't sugar coat stuff but I do hope you get things worked out to your satisfaction.
  • First don't be to concerned about physical therapy. When you return to your surgeon first he should be looking at x-rays and depending on how they look will consider physical therapy from there. Many surgeons don't do physical therapy post fusion. Myself I have had it both ways, but now being a 4 level fusion it really has no benefit as there isn't much to move. I have been in so much therapy through the years for this, it is not like I can't do those things on my own, which daily for the rest of my life I will be doing some of it.

    AS far as the pain meds go, I agree with bkins you are way over thinking the whole pain med, stuff. Actually your worry about them is the red flags they use to find the seekers. So you don't want to elicit that behavior with your doctor. If the doctor disgust the possibility of needing pain management you might in your free time now research one. That way if it is the way he wants to go then your prepared. However if he is going to prescribe meds, then you won't need it. But being prepared is always a good idea. Also you can ask the surgeon if he is discharging you to give you one more refil if your still having pain. But if he is ordering physical therapy I would think he will be seeing you another time to get the notes back from physical therapist. Also someone needs to follow that fusion till it is fused. Your appointments will be more spaced out if they are just doing films to check for fusion, but you are still in away under his care. But if he is discharging you i would be more concerned about whom is going to make sure you are fused. I doubt at 6 weeks you will be fused.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,878
    listen to what they are saying.

    And as Tam and Bkins stated:

    Dont worry about Physical Therapy, you Collar, etc.
    Dont worry about the medications

    Physical Therapy after cervical surgeries can vary quite a bit depending on the actual surgery, the surgeon and if there was a collar or not. From my own experiences, PT was a bit longer since I was in a Philadelphia collar each time for about 7 weeks. PT was centered on building up my neck so that I had more strength. Once that happened, then the work began on range of motion actions.

    Most surgeons set up a pre-determined time regarding the use of narcotic pain medications after surgery.
    For some its 2 months, for others shorter times.

    Its impossible to identify what is the correct or incorrect timeframe. You need not worry about that , as you progress post surgery, in PT and having check ups with your doctor, the medication requirements can be tweaked.
    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 was told by my surgeons office that he will no longer prescribe anything for pain at 12 weeks pos op. I was told PT will be advised . I wont see him except here and there to check the neck . At this point havent seen him sence i brifely spoke to him post surgery in my hopital room.

    He may give me one more refill of pain medication before he discharges me to the care of my doctor, I dont know,. If he does that may be enough to pull through any pysical theraapy he has in mind, I do know that they said he wont give put anything ter 12 weeks. He will check on my progress though intermittenet for a year. After a year he wont see me any more.

    ITs possible physical therapy may even be a option,. In that case if its something i can choose and not anything he really thinks .If he elaes Pt up to me and lets me decide,,, ill have to wait and see if im able to use my neck on my own without difficult and wanting to go back the collor.

    IM doing everythinghe has told me to do,,, except i took one shower without the collor on and thats because the dry pads were put in a place i wasen t sure were and if i showered m,y collor woudl have gotten wet. I needed a shower so i carefully took one holding my neck very still not moving it. I wasent hurt t but that just a one case situation where i dverted from his orders.

    AS for pain medication.... im not one to swallow pain and pretend i dont hurt so i dont annoy a doctor,.If im hurting and need medication i havwe forced myself to try to talk to the or about it. I know how they can be so touchy about it but doctors are here to treat ppeople and pain that lays people up in bed or causes them not to be able to function ptoperly because a real problem,,,is somthoing i think they would wanto know about.

    as of now im fine.... aalot can happen in 4 weeks...

    As for full fusion ... i have no idea how long that will take time. I have reconciled myself to the situation thati will have to take it easy for a year or two, No lifting tv sets and moving furniture around ,,, no hard runs or doing strenous yard work,. I want this to fulkly heal and the fusion to complete without me tearing it apart by diving to fast back into my old habbits. AS i said before ill probbably wear this collor sometimes at night even afte rhe tells me i can take it off.. But ill aask him if its ok, The collor itself can become a crutch of sorts,

    but i wont see him for 4 more weeks.

    Bikins i had a ACDF surgery,,removing two disks from my back and putting new bone in its place. I dont take advil or anything l,ike that as i was using that as a exsample of what is out there to take over the counter in contrat to letting a doctor prescribe for me.Im only taking what the surgeon has orderd for me at this time.Thease doctors have been quite nice about wanting me to be free of pain... and imnot having any trouble with them. My regular doo knew something was wrong but diodnt knwo what... he did what he could. It took the MRI and the surgeon to figuire out what was wrong.
    But we know not all doctorts in this world are like this, I have had bad exsperinc es with doctots and dentists and i have good ones,,so far this has been good.
  • AS a treat im off to the mall.. what better medicine then for a woman to shop!

    I want to ask here as this has become a busy thread. When my pain meds wear off,, i h ave a ITCHY, SCRATCHY feel inside my neck and in the bone right below the neck. Its a odd sensation. Is this normal? I have heard that itchiness in regardas to things healing is common or is that a urban legend?
    Anyhwo thank u for all ur kindness and thoughts. Ill pop in from time to time as i heal.Anything changes ill update. I have heard of people having to go back into surgery because somethign seems to go wrong,,, or a new problem arises,,, but i dont think thats going to happen.

    MY surgeon has a extray in his office that seems more high tech then the hospitals so he will keep a eye on me.
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