It was very painful to do the physical therapy. I did the therapy every day and it just caused more and more pain. It was mostly stretching and strength excersizes and they caused my muscles to burn terribly.
From my experience, physical therapy is a disaster for treatment of herniated disk in the lumbar spine (L4-L5). Physical therapy was never proven to work for fixing herniated disk or aleviating any of the symptoms or pain related to that (such as sciatic pain). If your symptoms improved during the physical therapy, they would have probably improved without the physical therapy.
However, physical therapy, in particular when it involves mobilization/manipulation in the lower back, can be disastrous and might lead to what might be permanent and life long damages and pain.
My first physical therapist told me to sit straight and gave me a couple of exercises to do at my home and work. Before seeing her I had almost full range of motion. After I tried to sit straight according to her instructions and did the exercises that she recommended, my range of motion was reduced substantially and it was much harder for me to bend. It was a very bad experience.
After discussing the exercises that she gave me with 2 other physical therapists, they said that I should have never been given these exerces. And the original physical therapist who gave me these exercises was very experienced and specialized in back problems...
The experience from my second physical therapist was even much worse. I might have life long unpleasant tingling sensations in my leg due to his malpractice.
He is actually a very nice person who is an expert (with certificates) in the McKenzie method, which is now a leading method in physical therapy.
One of the reasons that I came to his clinic was because I did not want to spend time and money working with physical therapy assistants, but with licensed physical therapists.
However, he had a physical therapy student who was doing a rotation with him for 10 weeks. He gradually let her take care of my PT exercises. However, he also let her work for 15 minutes on my lower back in doing mobilization/manipulation. Immediately after these 15 minutes of her work, while I was still at the clinic, I started to suffer from constant unpleasant tingling (the medical term is paresthesia) sensations in my leg. I currently (around 5 months after the 'treatment') still have these sensations, even after a successful surgery that got rid of the pain, but not of these unpleasant tingling sensations.
Notice, when you do physical therapy, at least where I live, I am in a room with many bother patients and my physical therapist or physical therapy assistant also had 1 other patient when seeing me. The famous physical therapist who I saw barely remebered what were my symptoms. The method of seeing 2 patients at a time means that your time and money are wasted as you don't get the full attention of the caregiver.
Did you ever see a Dr for a 1 hour meeting and the Dr saw another patient at the same time?
My sincere suggestion to patients who suffer from sciatic pain related to a herniated disk, is to avoid physical therapy. If for some reason you want to give it a try, avoid manipulations/mobilizations in the lower back as they were never proven to help but can surely cause side effects that the physical therapist and their assistants have no clue how to fix.
Purposes:Headaches, Pain in upper back, and Coccydynia (pain in tailbone)(Started Feb 04, 2011)
Pain in upper back
Coccydynia (pain in tailbone)
Feb 25, 2011
Feb 25, 2011
Advice & Tips
Did 10 PT sessions, each preceded by a 30-minute hot pack on upper back and neck. During these 3 weeks, my neck and shoulders went into painful spasm twice. Therapist decided treatment wasn't working and canceled last session, sent me back to primary care. Also recommended I stop doing the exercises he previous suggested. Haven't had a spasm since I stopped. Go figure.
I have a shoulder problem since injury at home 6/8/2009, that seemed to get much better with time so i thought some therapy, electrical, heat, stretching, would help. It made it much worse. I checked today with my neurologist and I am sceduling a dual MRI for shoulder and brain on April 22, 2010 to check for leisions and check the shoulder. I am trying to confirm "Exaxerbation" related to my disability with MS or fix and repair to reduce pain.
A bit more to the story with my lower back surgery on Nov. 2, 2009 when my two year old rebif failed due to immunity and I began the exaserbation of extreme degeneration until March 18, 2010 since I stared Amprya. I do not trust the copaxone but am sticking with it until the MRI. (I had a brain MRI with indicator Jan. 20 and had 8 leisions.) If this is growing in numbers or size I will switch to Tysabria.
That is it.
I grit my teeth and bare the pain because the Therapist keeps telling me doing nothing just makes the pain worst. Today was a bad therapy day because I left there barely able to walk. I got home and took all my medicines and put a heating pad on my neck, right shoulder, and lower back. I want to live a normal life so I am trying to hang in there with the Therapist. No one can tell me how long it's going to take before I stop hurting.
Sep 16, 2009
Advice & Tips
the physical therapy helped with my neck and should pain, but when the Therapist manipulated my neck muscles the pain moved more into my lumbar. Each time the treatment was over, I needed help getting up off the table due to the severe pain in my lumbar and hip. I could barely walk the first two times after the manipulation of my neck muscles. I did not expect the therapy to help me at all, but I did notice more mobility in the move of my neck, and it helped my neck pain go from severe to moderate. If I could afford to continue the treatment I would. I did receive the treatment twice a week for 5 weeks. OWCP was paying the difference, and I am planning to talk with my Rheumatologist and determine if I should go back for more physical therapy. Due to my depression I rarely leave the house except for Doctor appointments, and the physical therapy. So, another unexpected positive was getting out of the house and interacting with people again.