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Physiotherapy Good or Bad?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
Hi, I'm kinda new I have been lurking around since my injury in March. I had a microdiscectomy L5 S1 on the 1s st july so i'm now 18 weeks post op. I am much worse than before the op. I am in complete agony most days and spend most of the afternoon in bed.I have had a post op mri which shows most of the bulge was removed, so my symptoms are from damaged nerves. My actual question is what are your views on physiotherapy? My physio had been great up until the last few weeks where he keeps pushing me do things in the gym, I can do them ok at the time its usually once I cool down that the pain really flares up. He said to me today that I need to ignore the pain and keep doing more. I'm honestly not sure thats a great idea, i'm happy to push through the pain if it means i'll get better, i'm worried though thats it's going to make me worse.
Would love to hear about your experiences with physio :)


  • I agree & suffer with you, I don't think it's a great idea to push yourself into utter agony like that. Your physiotherapist isn't the one suffering, so easy for him to say. Extremely rude of him to tell you to ignore your pain & do more...OMG!!! No compassion there, only you know your own limits and how bad you suffer later. I know what the old saying means by "no pain-no gain" but too much can cause more grief as well, just be careful & DO speak your mind to Mr. Savage...LOL

    As for me, I just do my exercises at home now at my own pace if I'm having a good day...which yah..isn't too often, infact just walking is a real challange.

    All the best & luck!
  • It is my understanding that if it hurts during PT, you are doing too much. Have you tried water therapy? Its wonderful! Takes a lot of the pressure off your back and allows you to move better. My favorite part was to wrap a long tube around me and under my arms then hang in the deeper end of the pool, a form of traction that took pressure off the spinal nerves.

    Best to you,

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  • Obviously pushing yourself to a point where you are feeling pain during the PT is just silly and stupid. Now the real challenge is that fine line between discomfort and pain. I do believe the PT should give you some discomfort but not pain. How far you want to go into that discomfort level is up to you. Also the meds are suppose to help you to get over the discomfort.

    I advise you keep a journal as I do where you write down everything you eat and exercise that day. Keep notes of how you feel later that day and the next day. From that point you should play with the program so it works for you but continues to challenge you.

    If you like I can post one of my spreadsheets but honestly the therapists can really not make up for what you need to do on your own. Your situation is especially tricky as you had surgery and it was not as successful as hoped in reducing pain.

  • Thanks for all your advice :)
    I am going to stand up for myself and not let my physio make me into doing things I'm not comfortable with. I was worried that i was just being a sook, but I am glad to know that this much pain is not what physio is meant to be about.

    Thanks, Naomi
  • My last PT was the best. She never had me do anything that caused pain. I had almost 4 months of PT after two microdiscectomies, so I was very cautious. If an exercise hurt me, my PT modified the exercise or held it off until later.

    Based on my past experience, I don't like PTs who won't listen and pushes me.

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  • This is always hard and in already having pain one might expect any PT once initiated to give additional pain or that discomfort would only be temporary however intense that might be, only you know what that pain feels like and what is reasonable to you. PT is something that more CP patients go through and one of the many strategies to address the pain, this should be a working relationship, every patient was not keen at the beginning and it does hurt.

    Most back patients here have had to go through this, it either worked or they are still posting here having had more invasive procedures, many understand that it is painful and we do understand. If PT for you proves to be success then it will be less painful than surgery or a lifetime of pain, we all had that indecision to how successful it would be in the long term and never easy while you are pushing.

    You are doing well in attempting all that is being asked from you at this time and we all wish you success for the future.

    Take care, John

  • one the day i left the hospital following my mast operation the physio came to my bed and asked me to walk up and down the stairs as i could just manage this i was discharged and told to come to physio in 7 days ..so 7 days came and me ..thinking that i would get the kind of physio got 12 years before was looking forward to it ..i was in for a shock instead of getting shortwave diathermy and manipulation and a nice massage all i got was an A4 piece of paper with some core exercises on ti and told to go home and do them ...as i walked for the hospital i decided to drop in at my private physio home and show him ...he put them in the bin and told me if i tried to do them i would cause more pain and it would not help me ..he suggested swimming or pool walking ..as the exercises that the hospital gave me were only suitable for some one that had a stronger back than me .{i used to do core stability exercise along with other exercises when i was a regular at the gym}.but stopped when my back became as bad as it is now ..there is no way that i could do core stability exercises with the amount of pain i am in ..and my private physio said that one size dose not fit all regarding post op exercise and the hospital physios should taylor the exercise to the individual not just offer the same to all ..if i have the ADR i have been told the the hospital that i am having the operation in has a dedicated physio unit for ADR and fusion patients so maybe i will have a favorable review after seeing them.....that's if i am a suitable candidate for ADR ...
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