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When do you stop Chiro and PT?

I have heard that you can help a bulging disc or herniated disc with pt or chiro. But at what point would you give up? I mean there must be a "give up" point...for lack of a better term. How long does a Dr let it go before they decide "OK, enough is enough, this is obviously not going to fix itself".

Anyone experience this or have or are currently going through this? I have been going to chiro 3-5 times a week for 8 1/2 months and not a bit better, some days worse actually, and I would notice more nerve pain and burning after too! I did pt at the beginning but stopped because it did nothing and I felt I was wasting my money!

Any advice?
Mother of three amazing boys who wants her life back, suffering from chronic neck/shoulder pain for 9 months.


  • Peter BPPeter B Posts: 511
    edited 04/13/2013 - 2:35 PM
    I'd say that you are having far too many treatments. There should be a healing gap between them otherwise you are just constantly aggravating the neck.
    I'd suggest cutting it back to weekly at most, perhaps monthly, and see how it goes.
    You must also look at what you do to make the neck sore. Computer work is the worst. Your daily habits in this regard may well be maintaining the problem.
    Physio is totally different, but you still need to allow a healing time. Physio will work on the soft tissue, not just the spine, and may be of more use.
    I use both, as well as massage, all on a regular basis.
    Chiro 3 monthly, physio and massage monthly. If I'm in a bad way, the latter 2 are more frequent temporarily.
  • Cali4niaCCali4nia Posts: 45
    edited 04/14/2013 - 8:03 AM
    That makes a lot of sense...the healing time. Interesting how no one has ever mentioned that b4! Physio, I'm just too sore for, I can't relax enough for them to do anything worth while, everything they do to me other than heat and ultrasound just plain hurts to the point of me telling them to stop. My neuro-massage therapist has said she doesn't feel comfortable "touching" me anymore :(
    Mother of three amazing boys who wants her life back, suffering from chronic neck/shoulder pain for 9 months.
  • You are probably very stressed as well, understandably, and just can't take any more 'interference.'
    Your body is saying, enough is enough.
    Have you tried meditation, relaxing baths, your own quiet time-that sort of thing to let you unwind a bit?
  • ...and I agree with Peter - stress is the absolute WORST - keeping everything inflamed. Maybe it is time to switch gears.

    8 1/2 months 3-5 times a week and no progress! The chiro should be smacked upside his or her head. And, I have nothing against chiropractors - but s/he should have said something about 3-4 months ago.

    Perhaps it's time to see an orthopedist to help you determine the next steps. Maybe it is physical therapy?
    But, perhaps it's time to step away from the chiro for a while.

    I understand that when you are not sure what to do, it's easy to keep doing the same thing when you don't have something better to replace it with.

    Seeing an orthopedist does not necessarily mean surgery - but it is something who can give some other recommendations since what you are doing is not working.

    And yes - find some way to distress.

    I know I have said this in many posts - but one thing I found immensely helpful before my cervical surgery was listening to "guided imagery" audio recordings. There are so many out there to help with stress or pre and post surgery or whatever the issue is the person has. They have shown that using guided imagery helps healing and reducing pain, so perhaps it is worth a shot.

    I downloaded one from Amazon for about $9 and I found it very helpful, even though I wasn't particularly convinced about it to start. But, I listened twice daily and all I can say is that I had absolutely no pain post surgery - and I needed no meds at all when home recovering. Was it the guided imagery? I will never know for sure. But, it amazed me!

    It's worth a shot and a small investment of money and time to help distress a bit.

    Good luck to you!
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
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