As most of you know I have Spondylolisthesis, sciatica, lumbar lordosis and a pars fracture at L5-S1. Anyway my question is... With physiotherapy 2 times a week and doing the excercises that my therapist has given me to do at home, will this fix my back? I know stregthening is good no matter what but ultimately what will this lead to? I see my surgeon in about 1 month and that appt is to discuss whether or not I have had any relief and whether it may be time to go a head with surgery. I mean, I'm pretty sure i will get some relief but I'm 23 and I want to be able to go back to the active lifestyle I use to live. I want to do so many different things such as, working a 10 hour day with no problems to going sky diving etc. My biggest fear is that if physio does help and I think I am able to go back to work and then I screw things up even more, then what?!? I have to start from square 1 again, this has already taking 2 years. This is so frustrating, among many other things! I'm stuck, I gues it's just day by day. Any thoughts? Thanks a bunch. Kristy.
I was surprized to read your post because you are such a positive person and always add something kind or positive to other's posts.
Hang in there. PT really does help and you are so young to be going through this. There are lots of alternative to surgery that you can exhaust first. Positive thinking, which you already have a handle on, is the first step. I always smile when I read your posts.
You're awesome!! You know how it is though. Things can get crappy, eventually it's bound to catch up with us every now and then. I just wish I had a magic ball that would tell me what I needed to know. It would tell me what was in my future and would tell me whether or not I should just have surgery right away or keep plugging away at the non surgical possibilities. But the thing is...How long can I not make money and how long can I metally, physically and emotionally take it. I try to stay positive and I believe I am but my big problem is just not knowing what to do and that is what frustrates me.
Anyway, I really appreciate you response. Thanks a bunch. Kristy.
If you can avoid surgery at your age, try everything first, you are too young to start the surgery merry-go-round. Don't give up on PT, it took a full 3 months the time I had the herniated disc. It took a full 4 weeks before I had any time at all without pain.
PT does work, by strengthening your muscles in your back & your abdominals it helps support the spine & prevent any kind of injury or disc problem.
Are you still in pt or done with it?
Also, contrary to what some people think, surgery does not make your back stronger. Then you also have to consider the scar tissue from surgery. Many people have successful surgery & then months later have pain again from scar tissue.
Talk to the therapist about how to do things at work differently. You need to get up & walk around every half hour if you sit at a desk, use a small foot stool under your desk to elevate your feet. If you have to lift anything, pt can show you how to do it properly. I learned many things at pt, different ways to do things than I was doing them.
You will need to continue the exercises the rest of your life, as with the conditions you list already, your back will need to have strong muscles to support it.
I asked my pt the other day, why I am sore after being up and just sitting on the couch, she said even sitting, your muscles have to work hard to support your upright condition. I figured standing or walking would be what would cause me to be sore, but she said that any upright position puts strain on the back, that is why I feel better in the morning after having laid all nite in bed.
Let us know what you find out & how things are going. Also, if you are done with PT, you can always call them with questions. Both PT's I've gone to told me to call anytime if I have a question or a concern, that they will try to help me or help me adjust exercises etc.
Hi lori j
Thanks for your response. I am still in therapy. I've done it before but at that time I didn't have a diagnosis and wasn't being treated properly and it hurt like heck so I stopped. I started a few weeks ago and was told by my surgeon to do it for at least 3 months. I have done several different methods of treatment and the newest one is accupuncture. It certainly helps to hear that it will make a difference. My concern is that it won't be enough. I just want to be back to normal and do anything I want. I mean to a certain extent. I guess what I'm having a hard time with right now is trying to figure out what is ultimately best for me. I do not want surgery. So I will and am commited to do anything to go the non surgical route but right now it's just difficult because I am not seeing any changes and I just keep thinking about everything that I have lost in the past 2 years. I'll get over it and be fine I think I'm just having a bad week. Thanks again. Kristy.
Kristy, I didn't see any improvement for 4 weeks, I was in 24/7 horrible pain, but I had a great therapist. She was so encouraging, she kept telling me "it will get better"! Without her encouragment I probably would have given up on PT that first time.
I was in so much pain, I wanted immediate relief. Remember, it took 2 years for you to get this bad & it will take time to feel some relief. Keep up with the pt & your exercises, I know it's hard, but it will pay off.
Right now I have some pain from my old disc, but I just revert to the old exercises & in a few days it's better. I had a lot of muscle spasms from the upper back that I am in pt for now & it pulled on the area where my old disc problem was, so I'm not saying you can't have setbacks, cause you can, but you just revert to what you learned, that is what I do & it works.
I have bad days too, it's hard to be optimistic when you're in pain, but remember, it will get better. The pain I had from that disc, I thought nothing short of surgery could help it, but I was wrong.
Thank you lori j,
You are right. I really appreciate your encouraging words. Sometimes I guess we all need a reminder that things do change and things do get better. Again I appreciate your thoughts a lot, it really helps. Take care. Kristy.
You're welcome Kristy. I know I get down too, this is my third back problem, each has been in a different area. One thing I know now, is that I have to keep up with my exercises for the rest of my life. When the pain is gone, it's easy to just let the exercises slide, but then I pay for it down the road.
Kristy, keep going with the PT and see how it goes. As someone already said, you're awfully young to do the whole surgery thing. Stay out of the OR as long as you can! Trust me, I know where you're coming from. I'm 24, and I just had my second back surgery. So far I think it was successful, but I wish I had never had to do it in the first place. So keep doing PT, and discuss things with your surgeon when you see him. You said something about acupuncture- is it working for you? Let me know if I can do anything to help you!
Kristy, I wish I could add something, sounds like me. I remember going two years fighting my low back and my dr. It is frustrating and all we want is to be normal, especially at 23! I was 22 with my first injury then 24 when I had my first back surgery. Unfort. mine got worse b/c of a few factors: not being diagnosed correctly, and of course my hard headedness to continue lifting humans-well, with no diagnosis, I didn't know I couldn't. ANyway, I know how you feel, and don't become me. BUT, don't give up either-give things time to work, but if you honestly don't see or feel an improvement when you should, stand up for yourself. DON"t let the drs push you around. I didn't really add anything helpful, but I understand my dear. That is all I can offer.
Wow your story of being 23 with all this is all to familiar........I agree with others that surgery is the LAST resort, but I started with a herniated disc at 22 or 23 and had no injury...The thing that kept from doctors treating me more than PT was because I was so young.(then) I had to fight the insurance companies for a silly MRI, they said I was to young for that kind of injury and boy were they wrong...You will know when you can not stand anymore pain and then you will have to make decisions. If you keep having improvement with PT than keep doing it, if not research other things you can do to make things better for you..I hope you feel better soon
PS crappy days will come but they will go away too..
Thanks again all for the encouraging words and support. I will stick to my therapy and do what I am suppose to at home and what not. I will stay positive and just take it day by day.
Jessie - I am getting accupuncture but have only had it does once. I didn't notice any relief from my first session. I go to physio 2-3 times per week and I think I am only going to get accupuncture 1 time per week, it's up to my therapist but I think that's what he decided. I know several people that have problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, hip problems (and need a replacement) and back problems like all of us. And they see to get quite a bit of relief. My aunt is the one that needs a hip replacement and can barely walk. Since she has started her accupuncture she has had quite a bit of relief and has said that her quality of life has improved, just the little things she said are a whole lot easier. So I have hope. Take care all. Thanks again. Kristy.