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Start of my third try at PT this morning...

It was an eye opener. Did an eval with the therapist first then worked to find some exercises I could do at home. There's definitely a lot of problems coming from my shoulder muscles, I have some ugly trigger points there. I did know this already, since I take muscle relaxers for it, and get trigger point injections for it. Never really realized before how much the neck and shoulder are tied together though, and how it might be impossible to deal with the muscle situation until the neck situation is resolved. We tried several easy exercises that would have helped to strengthen my shoulder, but I couldn't do them as they set off the radicular pain down into my fingers terribly.

I'm hoping that the neurosurgeon will listen when I go back. I'm not in pain because my muscles are deconditioned. My muscles are deconditioned because I'm in pain. Before this happened I used to go to the gym a couple times each week, but now I've been inactive for over half a year. Not to say that the muscles aren't a part of the pain now, I'm sure they are...but seriously...this problem in my neck is not going to be resolved by PT, or it would have been a long time ago.
Microlaminectomy and discectomy at C7-T1 on April 26th.


  • I've had a lot of trouble as well with my neck & shoulders and as those get worse, down the arms get worse. Sometimes the neck shots helped. Sometimes pain pills helped. Sometimes an anti-anxiety medicine helped. PT has never helped my neck, except some with massage, heat or ice. Do you go to pain management?
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Yeah I do pain management, I've pretty much been through everything and am trying to find a surgeon that will listen and do surgery at this point. I'm on narcotics and more for meds, and I get trigger point injections and I'm getting my last of the three shots in my neck next week. Nothing has been more than very temporary for relief. I'm pretty much just doing the therapy to appease the neurosurgeon and show him that it's *not* just my muscles in the hopes that after he sees that he may consider surgery, since he hasn't completely written off my neurological symptoms and has also ordered a new EMG.
    Microlaminectomy and discectomy at C7-T1 on April 26th.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    edited 03/15/2013 - 5:41 PM
    It was a given that I had 3 cervical surgeries and that I have 4 herniated thoracic discs. Physical Therapy could not improve my thoracic situation and surgery with my spine was really an option (plus I had no desire for Thoracic surgery)
    Finally, my thoracic condition was made manageable by weekly deep tissue massage.
    But still at physical therapy, they saw that I was having some type of problem with my neck and upper back. Wasnt until a couple years after that, when I had both of my shoulders totally replaced.

    Now, that made the difference. Instead of walking with my shoulders hike up a bit, my shoulders were relaxed. As they relaxed, so did many of my cervical pain decrease. Finally, my thoracic area was feeling good after a long 5 years.

    The culprit (at this go around) was in fact my shoulders. Because of the advanced arthritis, I had little range of motion or strength in my shoulders. Thats all taken care of now

    So, without a doubt neck and shoulders are tied together. It would bw worthwhile to see which one is creating the problem, and the only one just following along to cause discomfort.
    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
  • StormSStorm Posts: 26
    edited 03/21/2013 - 10:53 AM
    I think that I have the same problem eaduby, first visit with my doc he said, your shoulder problems can come from your neck, but your neck problems can come from your shoulder. I also think what dilauro said is true, when you start to relax because one source of pain has gone other pains start to disapear too. I believe that my shoulder pain created so much tension in my neck that a "minor" problem (degenerated disc) resulted in a pinced nerve....I don't know if thats possible but that's what I think.
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