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Physical Therapy For Scoliosis

SecretAgentManSSecretAgentMan Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Chronic Pain
I have scoliosis & my orthopedic doctor has sent me to physical therapy. She said since im in pain so much, she want to see if physical therapy can strengthen my muscles around my spine. I have gone to 7 sessions of PT & every time I leave the place, im in worse pain then the time before. I get very fatigued & within an hour afterwards, im in serious pain. I hate the fact I gotta go home & lay in bed with heating pads & take several doses of pain meds just to lower my pain.

I am thinking of calling my physical therapist & calling it quits for the rest of the sessions. I have an appointment with my ortho doctor on Sept 9th & will explain everything to her then. I also sent her an email last Friday but she never got back to me. Is it a good idea to just quit physical therapy because I am hurting so bad after each session? I also told my therapist about the pain but they think its not as bad, I hate people like this that think therapy is the cure of everything.

Anyway, what do you guys think? Should I just quit therapy? It seems my primary doctor understands my pain, unlike my ortho doc.
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1

Comments

  • Let your Therapist know that you're having too much pain with your therapy sessions and maybe they can adjust it for you and maybe give some home exercises also to do and if she's not listening maybe another PT would be more helpful. Do you take your pain meds about an hour before going to Physiotherapy that may help also. You may want to speak with your Dr. regarding the pain involved and hope you can see him before Sept. 9.

    I have mild scoliosis and kyphosis and just now seeing a Chiropractor to see if he can help but it's mainly for my recent neck pull I got the other day and chronic lower back pain due to DDD.

    Have you tried warm water Physiotherapy yet? Best wishes and hope you can find some relief. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • charry said:
    Let your Therapist know that you're having too much pain with your therapy sessions and maybe they can adjust it for you and maybe give some home exercises also to do and if she's not listening maybe another PT would be more helpful. Do you take your pain meds about an hour before going to Physiotherapy that may help also. You may want to speak with your Dr. regarding the pain involved and hope you can see him before Sept. 9.

    I have mild scoliosis and kyphosis and just now seeing a Chiropractor to see if he can help but it's mainly for my recent neck pull I got the other day and chronic lower back pain due to DDD.

    Have you tried warm water Physiotherapy yet? Best wishes and hope you can find some relief. Charry

    I do take pain meds before going into therapy, in fact, thats why I am able to do mostly everything they ask of me but within an hour of leaving there, I am in serious pain.

    And yes, I have been telling my therapist this but she says, its supposed tp hurt & its normal. Well......I have a cousin & 2 friends that are doctors & they all told me that if it hurts after all those sessions, its not good to continue.

    Last Thursday was my last therapy session & I went straight home, took a shower & layed around with an icy hot patch & a heating pad & took double my dose of pain meds just to feel normal again. Also, I was really fatigued & told the therapist last time I was in therapy.

    I told her 2 weeks ago I dont think therapy is for me & she kind of got pissed off, LoL, what a joke.
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  • "Suppose to hurt?" I don't think so! Some mild pain sure - loosening of muscles and such, yes, but 'pain' such that within an hour you are on pain medications and using ice and heat? Tilt!

    When my surgeon sent me for PT for my second neck fusion, I was dying after each visit. I stopped going, called my surgeon and told him this "PT" put me in a world of hurt and tears. He told me "then stop going", and I told him no problem doctor, I already quit!

    Sore is one thing, but pain is NOT normal for the most part. What I mean is if you had to go for rehabilitation after surgery, yeah doing the PT might "hurt", but should only be sore later when the PT is done if that makes sense?

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Do you know your therapist credentials? You need to be with a therapist whom is used to working with spinal patients. Not all therapist are good for everyone. Doing therapy on the spine is not the same as doing therapy on a knee. What degree is your curve? Have you had prior surgery for the scollosis, or is it adult onset? Also is this land therapy or aquatic therapy? Sometimes water therapy is the place to start before going to land therapy as in the water your only supporting 20% of your body weight. A good therapist will challenge you to a degree and while it might a little hard, it should not hurt to the point of putting you in tears. That is called torture therapy, not something to get you better and it defeats the purpose if you are bed bound after the therapy. Therapy is to get you up moving, not put you in bed.
  • Aviatrix36440 said:
    "Suppose to hurt?" I don't think so! Some mild pain sure - loosening of muscles and such, yes, but 'pain' such that within an hour you are on pain medications and using ice and heat? Tilt!

    When my surgeon sent me for PT for my second neck fusion, I was dying after each visit. I stopped going, called my surgeon and told him this "PT" put me in a world of hurt and tears. He told me "then stop going", and I told him no problem doctor, I already quit!

    Sore is one thing, but pain is NOT normal for the most part. What I mean is if you had to go for rehabilitation after surgery, yeah doing the PT might "hurt", but should only be sore later when the PT is done if that makes sense?

    Brenda

    I understand exactly what you mean. I will go one more time tomorrow, which will be my 8th time going. should I tell the therapist that im quitting & then call my orthopedic doctor & primary doctor or should I handle it a any different?
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  • what the others here have said.

    You should not be having such high levels of pain after physiotherapy. I suggest that you clearly tell your physiotherapist how much pain you are in after a session, and let them know that you want them to adjust what they are doing with you. Make it clear that if you continue to have so much pain afterwards, you will not continue. Then perhaps try a different physio. I would also suggest that you let your surgeon know why you are thinking of changing.

    I also agree with tamtam about trying to see a spinal specialist physio. I was convinced to try a different physiotherapist when I started rehab for my lumbar fusion. The first physio I saw seemed to be rather overwhelmed about all my symptoms and pains post surgery.

    I changed to a spinal specialist physio and am so glad that I did. He has been wonderful. Because I have problems throughout my spine, there have been times the exercises have flared up pain in other areas and also in my knees. When I told him, he got me to stop those exercises and gave me different, less stressful ones.

    When I have found activities difficult or painful to do, he advises me on how to stand to do them, and gives me exercises to strengthen the muscles I need to use. He is a real treasure! :-)



  • I completely agree with the others. My PT always asks when/if something hurts and tells me to stop immediately if they notice me wincing during exercises during the session. I have a high tolerance for pain so she knows if I'm wincing at all it must be pretty bad. A little pain from muscles stretching is one thing, but that should be no more than what you'd have after a 'normal' workout if healthy but out of shape.

    Definitely work with your docs and PT together to get everyone on the same page. You should not have to double pain meds ever after therapy. As TamTam said, it's supposed to help us move, not shut us down for the day.

    Hope you feel better soon!
    Christine
  • tamtam said:
    Do you know your therapist credentials? You need to be with a therapist whom is used to working with spinal patients. Not all therapist are good for everyone. Doing therapy on the spine is not the same as doing therapy on a knee. What degree is your curve? Have you had prior surgery for the scollosis, or is it adult onset? Also is this land therapy or aquatic therapy? Sometimes water therapy is the place to start before going to land therapy as in the water your only supporting 20% of your body weight. A good therapist will challenge you to a degree and while it might a little hard, it should not hurt to the point of putting you in tears. That is called torture therapy, not something to get you better and it defeats the purpose if you are bed bound after the therapy. Therapy is to get you up moving, not put you in bed.

    This all started about 1999 when I was playing sports & felt this sharp pain go straight up into my head & it gave me a tremendous headache. I reached back & felt a slight curve in my spine but it has gotten really bad since then.

    I didnt have insurance so I put it off hoping some sort of exercises & stretching would help. Then in 2002, I went to see a doctor w/o insurance again & asked him to look at my spine & he stated "not much I can do here" so he prescribed me darvocet got my pain, a 3 month supply & put me on my way.

    I started working many hours back in 2001 & stopped working in Jan 2010 because of my pain. I finally got insurance back in April of 2011 & got diagnosed by a doctor for the 1st time with scoliosis just by looking at me threw a physical & then he confirmed it with x-rays.

    As far as how bad is it medically, I will ask him next time as see him & get back to you on that. I suffered a lot of years with pain but it has gotten really bad the past 3 years.My pain after the physical therapy gives me cluster headaches as well.

    Several years ago, I was paralyzed & couldnt move for like 2 hours one morning & finally got to moving after I was able to get up. That was very scary but it only happened once in my life & hope it never happens again.

    Of course therapy is to get me up & moving but these therapist like pushing people to the brink. for instance, one exercise is to lay flat on my stomach, raise my left leg & at the same time & that really hurt the middle of my back, my spine that is & I told the therapist this & she said just keep trying, the biatch, LoL!
  • Like Tamtam brought up, directly ask this therapist what their experience and training is in so far as spine issues. Don't accept a generic "we are trained in all areas of the body and most injuries to be a therapist" (Yeah, I had one say that to me!) - which was crap.

    As soon as you start feeling pain, tell her immediately and have her stop doing it. If she tries to minimize what your feeling, I would stop the session and call my doctor. If you can't get a hold of him, leave a detailed message as to what is going on, and that you want a new spine trained therapist. This way they can't (the therapy center) say you didn't try to work with them.

    Please let us know how it goes.

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Aviatrix36440 said:
    Like Tamtam brought up, directly ask this therapist what their experience and training is in so far as spine issues. Don't accept a generic "we are trained in all areas of the body and most injuries to be a therapist" (Yeah, I had one say that to me!) - which was crap.

    As soon as you start feeling pain, tell her immediately and have her stop doing it. If she tries to minimize what your feeling, I would stop the session and call my doctor. If you can't get a hold of him, leave a detailed message as to what is going on, and that you want a new spine trained therapist. This way they can't (the therapy center) say you didn't try to work with them.

    Please let us know how it goes.

    Brenda
    Thanks for the information. I would like to tell you how the therapy usually starts. LLet me remind everyone that I do take pain meds & an inflammatory an hour before I go to physical therapy so maybe that is why the pain isnt too bad during the session & that is why the pain comes on hard about an hour or 2 afterwards.


    The therapist usually starts with having me lay down & do some stretches. Then the one that hurt is when im laying on my stomach & I have to raise one of my legs as i raise one of my arms at the same time.

    Then, I am taken over to where I do leg weights where I push the weight with my inner right thigh inward towards my left leg & vice versa with the other leg.

    Then I get on some kind of bike sitting down & go for 7 minutes.

    Then I go over to a machine where I gotta pull 10 pounds of weights walking backwards with my hands & then forward slowly (do this 10 times)

    Then I gotta do it again another way where im pulling these two ropes with the weights from behind.

    Then im like bending down & pulling up 10 pounds weights up to my upper body (10 times)

    Imo, if I wouldnt take any pain meds, I think I would have a hard time doing of the weight exercises where I gotta pull with my hands.

    I go to physical therapy on Tuesday, I will report back.
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