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SANDYJAS's Photo SANDYJAS Posts: 1,238
10/18/11 3:54 P

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what exercises do you do?

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SCHUELLER48's Photo SCHUELLER48 Posts: 181
10/18/11 12:48 P

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I also went for PT. I would go and she would ask what my pain level was. She would tell me to lay on my stomach. Then she gave me some exercises to do at home on my back. I did this for almost 3 months. I have been doing them since August of last year. I am finally walking again without pain. I still can't sit or stand for long periods of time without it coming back. I had a lumbar xray in May because the doctor said my pain was going on for too long. Just normal wear tear on my spine. Pressing on my sciatic nerve if I bend the wrong way. Gave me more PT time, but can't see what going and telling her what my pain level is will help. emoticon

One day at a time.


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SANDYJAS's Photo SANDYJAS Posts: 1,238
8/23/11 7:07 P

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Very good advice, Kris!

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SLIMMERKIWI's Photo SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (127,989)
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8/23/11 4:59 P

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It wouldn't hurt to have a consult with an Orthopedic Specialist. Yes, you DO need to tell them everything, but they can see most for themselves from x-rays, anyway. It you don't want "just your back" fixed, then tell them and be advised by their opinion. Of course, it doesn't hurt to get TWO Orthopedic Specialist's opinions. A letter from the Physiotherapist outlining her observations and treatments wouldn't hurt, either.

Good luck,
Kris

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SHERA47's Photo SHERA47 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/23/11 6:50 A

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I'm doing physical therapy. While it's helpful and they do give me printouts. I am still in a lot of pain. I have a bulging disc. However my PT discovered that my left foot turns in and my internal hip rotator has a problem. I grew up with my left foot turned in (since birth) and it was never corrected. So now they are having me do a lot of exercises involving turning my foot back and it HURTS. I really like my PT and she is working hard to help me.

I have to make a decision soon before they send me back to work. I'm in too much pain to work but I know I prob need surgery. Now not sure who to do go. Do I go to a orthopedic and just tell them everything? I don't want them to just fix my back if that's not the root of my problem. Any advise would be considered. Thanks a bunch.

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8/22/11 6:25 P

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I'm really glad that you tried again. It proves that if at first you don't succeed, shop around until you find someone with the RIGHT skills to help you properly! I'm glad that you tried again, and am really sure that your body thanks you for it :-D

Kris

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SANDYJAS's Photo SANDYJAS Posts: 1,238
8/22/11 11:27 A

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Just wanted to give you an update. I have gone to a new physical therapist for 2 months. I feel much better! He is the first one (out of 5 therapists) that has really helped me! He mostly does massage and I have a few light exercises and stretches. I have to go easy on the exercises -- some make me worse!
Sandy

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PURPLEVALENTINE's Photo PURPLEVALENTINE Posts: 5,033
2/21/11 3:42 P

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I went to PT for 6 mths and it did help me. I was only paying $15 a session but it does add up quickly. I still do my exercises daily (they gave me a print out and bands to use at home) and I do them religiously. lately I have had more pain than normal. I have gained weight 20+ which I know is not good for my back. The streches and exercises are helping me get through it.

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MARTHA_JEAN's Photo MARTHA_JEAN Posts: 407
2/17/11 7:22 A

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I'm with LaraE, Stick with it and you will see improvement!!

I did A LOT of PT after my accident and it was very costly. That is something you have to consider! It can get wicked expensive, just make sure you get your money's worth! I found that doing the exercises greatly helped me improve over time, and yeah there were weeks I didn't feel like doing it.

One way that has helped me is to load them into my fitness tracker and I get Spark Points for each exercise. (And it reminds me that I need to do them!) The points add up fast too!

All the best and hope that you have more good days without pain and spasms!! Keep us updated and remember to be good to yourself.

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WALKTHISWAY2011's Photo WALKTHISWAY2011 SparkPoints: (1,191)
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2/14/11 10:11 A

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I did PT 3x a week for 10 weeks. Sure the massages, heat packs and tens units felt good but once I was done with PT i was right back when I started. They should defiantely be giving you print outs and if the PT isnt helping you, talk to your doctor again to try and find other ideas for your specific problems. Chiro also helped my sciatic problems but ended up hurting my back in other areas so that is a tough decision for anyone with back problems to make.

Thanks for the tip on the pilates guys! I too cant do any twisting type action nor can I walk on the TM anymore. Hopefully there are some classes around my area (live out in the booneys lol)

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LIZZZELLZZZ Posts: 4
2/13/11 12:23 P

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i think that who the physical therapist is really makes a difference. In 2004, I threw out my hip and I do agree that I was paying $30 a session for them to watch me exercise! However, with this neck issue, I found a great therapist who does everything to help me (traction, deep tissue massage, stretching, heat & ice, etc.) but does not waste my time. She goes over exercises I should do once a week (about 10 minutes) and then tells me to do them at home or at the gym. One time, however, I had a substitute therapist and the woman wanted me to exercise the whole time (no massage or traction).

SLIMMERKIWI's Photo SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (127,989)
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1/5/10 12:32 A

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I can understand the difficulty with $70 twice weekly, but could you afford it weekly, or every 10 or so days. That way you are getting good input by a qualified person who can give you hands on, and not spending so much either. For me, I went to the Osteopath for a fairly long time (can't remember exactly but it was 2-3 years or so) and then suddenly I improved considerably and was able to reduce the frequency, and then all of a sudden it improved (again) and I didn't need to go to him - my Pilates has kept it reasonably well in check.

Kris

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STATCHMO's Photo STATCHMO SparkPoints: (36,964)
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1/4/10 8:18 P

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I really appreciate all the thoughts and comments. I had an awesome weekend during which I really thought I had turned the corner re: my back/sciatic pain. I actually slept 7 hours each night and did my treadmill time w/o any back spasms. Then I woke up this morning--both literally and figuratively---at 4am with moderate pain, and had mild back spasms on and off all day. You all have me convinced I need to at least attempt to do my stretches and exercises (which yes I do have printouts for) even if they make me hurt. The jury remains out on further PT, as honestly I am just not sure I can afford to pay $70 twice a week indefinitely. I like my PT on a personal level, he seems a nice, caring guy, but the last time I was in he seemed honestly a little flummoxed by the fact that I wasn't feeling much better already. I think he knows the clock is ticking in terms of my financial ability to continue treatments. Thanks again for all feedback, it helps immensely to know I am not experiencing all of this alone!

"It is our choices... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." (JKR/Dumbledore)


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SLIMMERKIWI's Photo SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (127,989)
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12/31/09 5:40 P

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You have no need to apologise - we are all here to help each other! Hope you have had a nice New Year Eve and are into a safe, happy and healthy New Year!

Kris

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SANDYJAS's Photo SANDYJAS Posts: 1,238
12/31/09 1:36 P

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Thanks, Kris, that was really helpful! I probably should take a class. Sorry to comandeer the post here.
Sandy

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12/31/09 2:29 A

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SANDYJAS - Altho' Pilates does have twisting in some exercises, most aren't. I also an advised to NOT twist etc. My Instructor has shown me various ways to do the exercises which don't require that, and it there ISN'T a way with that particular exercise, she gets me to do something else.

Weak Core Muscles causes an H. of a lot of pain - I know - I've been there. I've had cocktails of meds which haven't worked and have needed to go and get narcotic shots in my bum! Stronger core muscles GREATLY reduces that problem. DVD's are one thing, but you cannot possibly know that you are doing them properly - odds are your posture won't be quite right and you could do some harm. They are fine if you don't have problems, but when you have issues like we do, then you REALLY DO NEED proper hands-on instruction.

Kris

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SANDYJAS's Photo SANDYJAS Posts: 1,238
12/30/09 9:42 P

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I have had back problems since 2007. I have tried four different physical therapists. Most are exactly how you describe.

Sometimes they start with ultrasound or "stim" machines, then do some massage. Mostly it's just teaching you exercises.

Last time I went to physical therapy they "fired" me, because my pain wasn't getting any better. It's too bad, because that was the only time I had a therapist do one-on-one for the entire hour. Usually I have found the therapist has at least two, sometimes three patients, and they are going back and forth between them.

Last week I tried aquatic physical therapy. The therapist gave me exercises to do and walked away without staying to make sure I knew how to do them. She had two other clients in the pool at the same time, and I only got 30 minutes! Huge waste of my time, to get there, get wet, get showered and blow dried and dressed for basically 15 minutes of therapy. The nice thing was that they had a hot tub and a steam room, which are really helpful.

I agree about getting a printout. I asked the aquatic therapist if she could write down the exercises. She said "not now, I can't". What an answer, I wanted to punch her. I asked her if she could mail or fax them to me, and she agreed. She also told me to do Pilates. To join a beginning Pilates class. But here is a little confusion. Both she and my doctor said not to twist, and Pilates has twists. I actually tried a Pilates DVD today and it really seemed like a great way to build up my core. The therapists all say I have very weak core muscles.

Sorry for writing a book here! But my advice is to get a printout of your exercises to do at home, and I agree to try Pilates or anything that really strengthens the core muscles that hold up your back.

Sandy

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LINDALOO80's Photo LINDALOO80 SparkPoints: (23,791)
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12/30/09 7:08 P

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I agree with Kris, you should get a printout of each exercise, you've paid for it. I am a little surprised they aren't doing what they started out with in the beginning. I've done PT three times over the years, all on my neck and upper back and I've never had them stop doing something unless I complain it has made something hurt worse. (I loved the traction machine so much, I wish I could do that every day! ;-) ).

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12/30/09 3:37 P

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STATCHMO - Often Physio IS just exercise. My Physio is Pilates with a qualified Physiotherapst who is also a qualified Pilates Instructer. I go to her classes weekly. I find it very beneficial.

I would suggest asking for X-Rays and/or Ultrasound of your back and surrounding areas so that they have a definitive diagnosis and can therefore treat appropriately. My X-rays revealed arthritis of both hips, spine and scoliosis. The scoliosis puts a slightly different spin on what exercises I should be doing and which to avoid. I was sent for x-rays because I had suffered an injury to my back, but after 2-3 months of appropriate treatment I wasn't getting any relief, and it was getting worse.

A physio doesn't have to always have hands on to treat. It is very important that you continue with the exercises because often the pain is because of week muscles not supporting your body properly. That is where the Pilates comes in - it focuses on strengthening your core muscles (abdominal and lower back) which in turn benefits all the rest of your body. It does also exercise all those other muscles, too. IF you only do the exercises occasionally you won't get the benefit you should get, and if you call it quits to going to your appointments, you may find that the exercises you do at home aren't being done properly. Sometimes all you need is a 1 or 2" adjustment and that can make the difference between helpful and harmful.

I have been doing Pilates for about 6 years now, mostly weekly, but still need the occasional hands-on adjustment from the Instructor.

re the exercises at home - has your Physio printed off the exercises. When I was first given a few to do at home between appointments, I was given a print-out which described each exercise, showed how it was to be done - how many reps, how long they should take, and where I should feel it working. I found that to be very helpful.

Let us know how you get on.

Kris

Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 12/30/2009 (15:38)
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LARAE329's Photo LARAE329 Posts: 2,921
12/30/09 1:36 P

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My experience was the same as yours. The advantage to doing your exercises there is that you see which ones will help you, at the gym you may use machines that could harm you, and they can watch your form to make sure you are doing them correctly. The exercises or routine you do at the therapist will change over time as you improve. I would say stick with it but talk to your therapist maybe you can reduce the number of visits if you can do the same exercises at a gym or at home.

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12/30/09 1:16 P

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I started physical therapy before Thanksgiving and having never had it before am not sure if my experiences have been usual or not.

Initially I got a lot of massaging type treatment and sonogram treatment, with various stretching exercises for homework. Lately however I go in, they have me do 10 minutes on a seated elliptical, 3 minutes on the total gym, and then I do all my stretches while the PT watches. Then I pay them $70 and they send me home!

I am tired of paying THEM to watch ME exercise. I can do that at home for nothing! My insurance is not covering these treatments (well, it goes toward my huge deductible), so I have to pay out of my own pocket every time.

I do feel like I am slowly getting better but honestly I have not been faithful with the stretching at home because one, it makes me hurt more, and two, they have given me so many exercises (at least 15 different ones) that I have trouble remembering them all. So I wonder if doing those things matters anyway.

I haven't made any more appointments and they keep calling me to come back and "finish my treatment."

What do you all think? What have your experiences been with PT?

BTW, the doctor said she thought I had blown a disk but the PT said he thought my sacroiliac was out of whack, but he now says it's in good position, yet I still have the sciatic pain, which I treat with OTC pain medications and ice.

I don't know, I guess I am just frustrated and tired of the pain.

"It is our choices... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." (JKR/Dumbledore)


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