Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Physical Therapy-hurting or helping??!?

Hey guys, so I am now exactly 4 months (to the day) post microdiscectomy. Ive had my many ups and downs (and still do). Ive had a post MRI which apparently according to my dr looks really good and sugggested I try PT for 6 weeks. Well my PT, like my recovery, has bee slow going. I knew it would because even before this injury my body has always been alot slower to heal than other "normal" people. Ive always had a very sensitive body to everything. If i take a pain pill, i always have to take half because i get SO messed up from them. If i get sick, i take forever to get better...ive always been this way. The reason i say all this is because ive told my PT this MANY times in hopes they would take it a bit slower than regular. Well they were and i was gradually increasing, but my problem is this. My PT is a place my surgeon recommended, they actually meet with him monthly to discuss his patients-which i found comforting. I had been to another PT place BEFORE surgery, which did not help, however in their defense, PT was not going to help my problem then, my disc was too far gone - and they didnt even know a disc was the problem then. The thing I liked about the first place i went (before surgery) is i only saw one person. She never passed me around like the new place im going (The place my dr recommended).
The new place im going, i have "my pt" who ive only seen 3 out of the 14 times ive been. All the rest have been different pts, So, everytime i go i feel im having to re-explain my situation to someone new - its getting old. My appointment last week my PT agreed i am progressing, albeit slower than "normal" but its happening, which is fine by me. Well i went yesterday, and had yet again another new girl who decided i needed to ramp it up a bit. Normally in my pool routine i do 30 min of "excerises" and 30 min of what they call spine - which is basically floating and they sort of wiggle your back around to get movement in your spine and using the jets for massage. Everytime i do this routine, i feel so good afterwards. Ive even had glimses of days without pain ( only 2 times but it was pretty awesome). Anyways yesterday i spent the entire 60 min doing exercises, i got no break or jets or massage therapy. nada. i kept telling her my pain was getting worse while i was still in the pool. she would just stop that workout and start a new one. UGH! well ive now spent the past 2 days i PAIN ....more pain than ive had in awhile. i even have muscle cramps all the way up my back which ive never had before.

So, im at a dilemma. The thing is i cant go to this PT forever as its an hour away and gas is expensive - esp since im not working, so i knew id have to stop eventually. on top of this, i just dont feel like they are giving me the right attention anyways. im sick of being passed around. so my question is this, has anyone done their own PT at home or on their own?
theres a place close to my house that is a PT place with a pool that you can either go to PT there OR even just use their pool for your own "leisure" im debating just switching to them OR even just going on my own...but i just want to make sure im doing what i need to do to eventually progress and get stronger. is there any place to get PT excercises when i finally can do the ones i know now? i know my core has a LONG way to go - i was prego before back surgery so im basically without core muscles now lol i should also mention, my dr didnt say i had to go there, he said it was my choice, thats just where he usually send patients because he knows them and its close to his office.
any advice would be great!!!! thanks!!!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    This has been on of my favorite subjects. I've been in and out of physical therapy for 35 years now. I've been to so many Rehabilitation Center and have had countless number of therapists. Two things I have learned. First find a good Rehab Center and Second, but most importantly find a therapist you trust. Once you have that, stay with that therapist even if you have to make a lot of calendar adjustments. Most people know by now, then when it comes to dealing with the medical field, I never use the word insist or demand. However, when it comes to a therapist, yes, you want someone that you can build a relationship with. Seeing different therapist each time, is almost like starting at ground zero. My therapist knows more about my body than I do! Instead of giving you the details here, please read my thread at All about Physical Therapy

    There is always a fine line between when Physical Therapy can help and when it can hurt. Understanding that line can be very difficult.
    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
  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 767
    edited 02/11/2014 - 9:52 AM
    I totally agree with Ron.

    I have been to half a dozen different PT clinics, and didn't realize what I was missing until I found my new physical therapist. She is awesome! I Make my appointments ONLY with her and do so months in advance, if I have to. Seeing a new PT each time is a waste of everyone's time! How can he/she read your file, look at your films and be up to speed each time? If there is one PT there that you liked, and clicked with, I would suggest working with the staff scheduler to align your appointments with that PT. the relationship you have with your therapist will make or break your recovery. For me, because I knew my therapist so well, I was able to be perfectly honest about what was working, what wasn't, and be accurate about how much training I did at home etc. Her philosophy was that NOTHING she was prescribing should hurt, and if it did, she would tweak the exercise so I could build up my weak muscles to work back towards the original exercise.

    This level of honest two-way communication was wonderful. Now I'm having to start over as she moved out of state, but I know what I'm looking for this time! Good luck.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • thanks guys. i was wondering if i was just "overreacting" to being passed off. but like you said, how can they read thru it all, well i know they cant and dont because they always ask me "so how did this happen?" ive gone thru my story more times than i care to count. its so annoying. the girl who is suppose to be "my pt" is awesome and everytime ive gone to her i loved it, but like i said shes only there a few days and theyve told me they alternate their pool schedules so no PT has to do pool everyday.....well kinda hard for me to ever have the same person as tahts all im doing. i went and met with the other PT place (close to my house) and actually talked to the director who is a PT himself. he seemed knowledgable and helpful and their pool is fantastic and only 5 blocks from me (as opposed to 45 min) lol. i have an appt with one of their PT in a week, so im hoping i can get back on track. the did assure me tho that i would only see one PT and they do not take turns like the old place. guess we will see how this place goes.
  • I had spinal fusion in July and started pt at the end of august. I went to the pt center at my surgeons office but it was to far. I went to another pt center. I quit after 3 weeks. They would not listen to me and kept pushing me to hard like I was lazy. It was reccomended that I stay out of work for 10 more weeks of rehab. I had my follow up with the surgeon, they told me i did not need pt anymore. The doctor discharged me to go back to work at my appointment.

    I had to go back to work. I exhausted my fmla and my disability company gave me a hard time about staying out. My absolute worse issue is behing tired 24/7.

    You could find exercises online to do in the water your self. I am 6 months post open and the recovery is hard on me.
    40 year old mom
    Tlif July 18
  • After having done PT off and on a few times I found that it hurt more than it helped. I think it's all just a racket but that's just my opinon.
    ALIF April 2011 but it turns out I broke before it barely fused.
    L4-L5 posterior fusion December 2013
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 02/22/2014 - 11:24 PM
    I think if you have misdiagnosed mechanical damage to your spine PT makes it worse. It did for me.

    Then they have the cheek to tell you you need to keep up exercises up that have you in agony with a hot pack every day. Somehow the pain is your fault. I have never been lazy and thought they knew what they were doing. They didn't have any idea in my case. But I'm not textbook. Sorry medical profession I'm just not in your books. I think PT if they don't know what's wrong is an expensive con too.

    The pain clinic I went to was mainly been PT. I could have joined several gyms and had personal trainers everyday for a couple of years for the cost of one three week expensive useless pain clinic.

    Now I finally understand the cause of my pain I realise the exercises they were making me do that hurt like hell on earth were making my vertebrae go more out of place and making my pain much worse. They were actually damaging my already damaged vertebrae, nerves and spinal cord.

    The only good thing to come out of it was I realised my hips were not aligned and I had lost 10cm on the right from crushing my vertebrae so I got built up shoes so my hips aligned.

    If something hurts way too much I've learnt my lesson not to do it.

    They tell you you have to adjust to your new life of pain - but contradict themselves by giving you exercises that don't consider adjustments. Even one of the spine specialists agreed with me that pain clinics are an expensive joke when they can't make a correct diagnosis, and don't know what else to do.

    It is sad as I went in there so positive they would make me feel better - I didn't realise that because they made my pain worse - they would blame me and not take a look at what they were doing, look for a solution to my pain - not just keep doing the same stuff like robots. They could see i was in agony and crying every afternoon lying down with a heat pack. Bind Freddie could see it wasn't working for me and most of the other people. Here pain clinics are the last resort.

    As Anelsen said in one of his posts - get a correct diagnosis - then find a solution. Without a correct diagnosis they are playing in the dark.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    has kept thousands of patients out of wheelchairs and disability. Without the treatment they receive from therapists, many would not even been able to spend the time to write on a post on any web site.
    Annie-m said:

    After having done PT off and on a few times I found that it hurt more than it helped. I think it's all just a racket but that's just my opinon.
    Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion. There are many times where some physical therapy sessions can cause more harm then good. I've been through that. But its not physical therapy itself. It can be the therapist , or as I said about the session. There can be points when PT attempts to go to far to help reduce a patients problems.
    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
Sign In or Register to comment.