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traction and physical therapy question

I have yet to have my mri- going this wed. but my doctor( Spine specialist) suspects a pinched nerve from a herniated disc. My question is : what were your experiences with physical therapy and lumbar traction? It doesn't hurt at the time, but now my leg is killing me. It hurts in all different places- very inconsistant. I guess I will just put ice on it. Any suggestions?


  • I know I've already shared my opinions of traction with you. Don't worry, I'm not going to go into all that again!
    Machine traction is extremely hard on your body. I had intense tummy pain for days after treatment. I thought I had very strong core muscles but the traction pulled them. Traction has a way of confusing your symptoms for that very reason..all of you is being stretched! Your leg pain could now be a combination of stretched muscles AND nerve pain from herniation. For now I'd be icing both your back & any areas of your leg that particularly hurt.

    From personal experience I do not trust any 'specialist' who doesn't require the results of diagnostic tests before they treat you for spine conditions. They can do far more harm than good if they don't know exactly what they're dealing with. When all this started for me I was talked into seeing a chiropractor. After discussing my pain she insisted on taking X-rays & after seeing the inflamed glowing white areas of my spine she refused to touch me & told me I needed a spine specialist. I'm very lucky that she was such a professional. She could of caused so much damage by performing regular adjustments on me.

    Physical therapy can be fantastic but what I said is equally true..any reputable PT should require diagnostic test results before compiling their plan of action. My first PT was over zealous & caused a lot of pain. My next therapist talked me through my MRI, pointing to issues like 'advanced Modic changes' as reasons to restrict my exercises.

    My MRI results have always been received pretty quickly. I know it's really hard to be in pain all of the time, we want answers now! but I'm sorry to say spine problems are rarely like that. Keeping active is vitally important & I commend your proactive approach to this..it's going to be a huge positive for you! Please take it slowly until you receive your results & your spine doc gives you the green light. Your eagerness to try different therapies & really work at this is a huge asset. It will make all the difference long term ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • thanks for your support. It took me so long to schedule an mri because of waiting for my insurance company's approval and then scheduling. I should mention that I did have another mri two years ago because of pain that couldn't be alleviated due to a tumble down the stairs- the doctor looked at this. Even I could see the disc narrowing. And I've gone to a few "bad" therapists. Scary. Thanks for the positive response.
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