Physical Therapy Trips

downsouthJune 22, 2004

How many times do you have to keep going to physical therapy before its over? I just dread driving to their office, mostly because my back hurts me too much to drive. Is there a limit on how many times you go for treatment or could this be a never-ending thing? I'm sure my insurance company would have something to say about how many treatments are allowed.

I would like to hear from anyone that has been in physical therapy and how long did you go? Did it help at all or did your symptoms eventually return?

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A lot will depend on what the therapy was for. I am assuming that yours is for back problems. Is this after surgery or is it to try to prevent surgery?

My back would give me fits when I drove even short distances. Sitting on a small flat pillow made all the difference in the world. The seat just let my behind sag down a little too much, thus tilting my back and increasing the strain.

You want your seat to be a flat as possible and the back upright. No curves!!

Try it. Can't hurt, might help.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 1:42PM
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PB, thanks for the tip on the pillow. Physical therapy is mostly for the arthritis in my neck, as my doctor wants to see if it will help the numbness in my face and it is also for my back. I have a lot of pain in both of my hands and he wanted to see if PT would help this as well, because the tests he did showed I don't have carpal tunnel syndrome. He thinks all my symptoms are coming from the DDD and the arthritis. Since I gave up my job, it has helped a lot not sitting all day. I even get this same numbness in my left foot and if I walk long, it goes to sleep on me. All my problems are on the left side of my body and I believe they are all related to my back.

So far I don't see that physical therapy has helped at all. I always come back home in more pain and it takes me days to get over it, and none of my symptoms have diminished or disappeared. I take Motrin 600 for pain and I take Zanaflex at night. I also take Lorcet but it really sends me on a "trip" so I don't take it unless I really need it.

I haven't had surgery, I just have a lot of nerve problems. I have DDD and the arthritis in my neck & spine area. The DDD has gotten worse and I had to quit working. This tingling in my face is driving me crazy so I hope he can find the problem. I go back on July 7.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 10:12PM
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I went for 8-10 weeks, three times a week, for a frozen shoulder. I hated going because PT *hurts*, but it definitely helped. Before PT, I couldn't life my arm past my head or fasten my bra.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2004 at 9:40AM
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they've sent me to PT 3 different times, and each time, it made me worse. I went each time for at least 10 trips to give it a good try. Each time was for a different problem. Heel spurs, car accident back/neck pain, then broken foot and back pain from using crutches.

I have Fibromyalgia, and I have the tingling like you say - only mine is not in my face, it's in my hands and feet. With excertion, it's in arms and legs. I went through the carpel tunnel tests as well as painful nerve tests in the legs and feet. Nothing was found. When I finally went to a Rheumatologist for the pain of a broken foot that never went away, she said did you know you have fibro? I didn't think so, as I always thought people with that were so disabled they could not work or function - and I do... but she thinks I have had it nearly 30 years, so I have adjusted.

I'd look into Fibro if I were you. Many people think they have it - it's kind of the "in" disease I think.... and a lot of Dr's don't understand it fully and diagnose it when they should not.

Since PT makes you feel worse for days - that sounds just like a fibro person... plus the tingling and pain.

She put me on Topamax for the tingling and it helps with pain too.

Since your problems stem from arthritis, why not try going to a Rheumy, since that's what they treat... and they are the best at diagnosing and treating fibro.

By the way, I went to a certified massage therapist, who was trained in many types of massage. She corrected the pain from the PT and from the accident that caused the flareup. She has also helped with managing the fibro pain.

It seems that people with fibro can't take deep muscle massage, or electric stimulation, and exercise must be taken very very slowly or you will go into a "flare" and be worse, sometimes for a long time.

Good luck

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 8:17PM
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My neurologist is sending me to an orthopedic doctor for evaluation re. the arthritis. He also mentioned a rheumotologist if the orthopedic evaluation didn't work. I have an appt. Wednesday. I am really anxious to go. I hope they don't want to send me back to PT.

Joann, my shoulder sounds a lot like the problems you had. It's only my right shoulder. It doesn't hurt as long as I have my arm in a down position, but if I try to raise it, I can't raise my arm all the way unless I grab it by my other hand and help get it raised! If I try to push my arm out to the side, my arm tightens up from the elbow up. I can hear a lot of popping noise when I try to exercise it. I was in the car and tried to reach something from the back seat with this arm and the pain was very sharp. It only lasts for a few minutes and then I have to pull my arm up close to my body as this helps the pain.

As far as the DDD goes, I think I will have to live with this for the rest of my life. My neurologist told me DDD is the same as arthritis, so I have arthritis in my spine and neck and maybe shoulder?

Daylily, I will look into fibro. and do some reading on the subject. I am going to ask this orthopedist what could be causing this facial numbness, as my neurologist could not find the answer.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2004 at 11:59PM
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Downsouth - See a doctor if you suspect frozen shoulder. Without treatment, it can become permanent.

Here is a link that might be useful: frozen shoulder

    Bookmark   July 13, 2004 at 12:18AM
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