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PT and nerves

jasrojjasro Posts: 224
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
while learning physical therapy exercises from a therapist two years ago, i was told not to do anything that created more neurological pain.

i can only perform these PT exercises during warm weather because of pain issues. (so there are long breaks in between performing them.)

this summer, holding my head left or right, front or back - creates numbness/tingling down both left & right arms - as well as *seemingly* affecting the left side of my head/face. my primary care doc has told me to "do the PT exercises anyway". that scares me.

do these kind of reactions to PT create permanent damage?

thanks in advance !


  • Regarding the numbness down your arms when you move your neck, is this new? Have you had a recent MRI or x-rays?

    If this is new tingling, I think you should have a workup to see what is going on, especially since the tingling is positional. Since we are not doctors, it would be wrong to advise you whether it is okay to proceed with the exercises, so you really should speak with another doctor about this if you are still uncertain. I do know that I would get shocks going down my legs when I bent my head down, and it would turn off when I raised my head back to neutral position. I was still allowed to do conservative exercises during that time. But your situation is specific to you, so please proceed with caution until you know for sure what is going on.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • i thought my med. history was in my sig.

    it is confusing when the PT therapist told me not to do anything that creates these symptoms yet my MD told me to keep doing them.

    googling for an answer doesn't result in much.

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  • I have very simular pain issues. I am currently in PT with definate physical restrcitions. What I have learned is that your therapist is following guidelines given by the doctor, however, to get better sometimes it gets worse. Communication is key, chances r you are seeing the therapst more than the doc, I would show the therapst exactly howyour doing the excerises and where the pain is. They should be able to help you with a modified technique or suggest a lower number of reps. Alot of times, exercises to strengthen will bring on pain,its part of the healing proccess, however if it is making the problem worse it should be adjusted. Try asking for soft tissue or ultrasound before doing the streaches/exercises at therapy. Alot of the time the pain will come from the muscles in the injured area being too tight. If they are when you do the excercises it woun't help.
    As far as perminate damage, it is possible, thats why you need to communicate, if they forget to ask your pain level or "if you can feel this" tell them, let them know if its getting better or worse. Ask for suggestions to help loosen area before doing the exercises and check into a outside source for massage that could be helpful too.
    Hope this is helpful. Good luck.
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