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Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

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Old 03-14-2008, 07:33 AM   #1
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Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

Hello everyone.

I am in agony!!!!! !!!

I have been to 2 PT appoinments and the end result is Pian Pain and more pain.

In the morning I am waking up with burning neck pain and burning pain over my scapular area. It is so hard! The PT guy even did less with me yesterday because the first session flarred me up so bad.

I was put on the LA Morphine sulfate 30 mg's 2 times a day instead of the 8 10/325 percocets that were no longer working. I am allowed to take up to 4 percocets for BT. Before the PT started I was walking and feeling OK and now I cant even go out and walk.

I truly feel the walking may do me more good than the PT. I still get flares from walking but the PT is way worse.

I heard that the dose of Morphine sulfate I am on is somewhat low. Is that true?

You know I am willing to try the PT because I want to get better but having it cause me that much pain is just to much.

My PM is unavailable until next Mon., and I wont see him until next Friday the 21st right before he does the facet block.

I want to get better and stronger but the PT is grueling and I am so screwed the next day I can't see straight

I guess I will try his office on Monday morning. I will not have to return to PT until Mon anyway.

Part of the reason I think they are asking me to do the PT is to show I am trying to get better. But remember now, I still have the C 3-4
C 4-5 C 5-6 herniated discs and one at C 5-6 that my NS said needs fusion or ADR (artificial disk replacement)

I just want the pain to get better and this sucks. The new med was helpinh and now it is not even touching my pain. Last night it was time to take the Morphine Sulfate and I did an an hour later I was still at a pain level of 10, and I had already taken the 4 percocets I am allowed to take.

Please help me figure out what to say to my PM and what to do. I have a really good relationship with him. I dont want to ask for any specific drug or anything but I honestly feel like the percocets are not helping me anymore and the Morphine sulfate at 30 mgs 2 times a day may not be enough.

It makes me sad that I am so put out and knocked down by the added pain the PT is causing me and personally I dont want to do it anymore.

So sad to be in such a high level of pain again.

I know there is an end to the maddness somewhere and until then I can do nothing but wait it out and tough it out....urrrggghhhh!!!! frustrated


Last edited by skych; 03-14-2008 at 07:38 AM.

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Old 03-14-2008, 08:12 AM   #2
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

I have just answered a post there of Drpeppers just saying exactley the same thing. Physio is making me worse,,,,,,,,,,,, pain that day, worse the day after and not even normal today ! so I am giving it up. Post fusion 9 months ago and still in pain.................................... ..


Old 03-14-2008, 10:41 AM   #3
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st


First off here's a hug for ya! (((Christine)))!

I would do exactly the same thing you have planned. Put in a call to your PM on Monday morning and let him know that the PT is beating you up more than it is helping you.

When I was doing PT, I always made sure I took my meds (the percocet) right before I went, so that hopefully, by the time I was finished, they had begun to work. I don't know if that is an option for you or not, or if you have tried that.

Hopefully, the PM will increase your meds to help you get through this round of PT. I hear what you are saying, and I agree that the PT's purpose is to help us, but not at the expense of having our pain spiral out of control!

Good luck sweetie. I hope things work out for you. Let us know what the PM says on Monday.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:30 AM   #4
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

Hi Chrissy,

I agree with Round1 and Spinal, call your doctor and let him know whats happening.

I was in the exact same spot myself. weeks turning into months post fusion, and the pain was not going away. My surgeon seemed to be taking it as a personal insult to his god like skills and said he didnt even believe in PT, but he prescribed it for awhile.

I had to take my lortabs before a visit, to hopefully have it kick in before I left, but sometimes for 2 days afterwards, I was a hot mess, in agony, even landing in the ER a few times needing a pain shot and some valium to stop the muscle spasms.

My surgeon blamed the physical therapists and refused to order more, at that point I was booted back to my primary, who continued my pain meds and sent me back to PT but for massage and hydrotherapy only, which did help quite a bit, but I went through my insurances yearly allotment for PT visits pretty quicky.

Ask the therapist if they can show you some non impact exercises you can do at home, then try and do them everyday, the idea is to strengthen the muscles around the fusion so they can help hold everything in place, But you have to do it very gently and slowly or you will just end up aggrivating the whole area.

Good luck sweetie, I hope you can get on a better med and find some quality of life soon, have you ever considered trying methadone? It has worked really well for me, I never thought it was possible I could get back to the levels of pain control I have now, I want the same for you and for everyone on this board.

Hang in there! your friend, Fabby

Old 03-14-2008, 11:38 AM   #5
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

Chrissy, we both sound like we are in the exact same spot. What I find funny is my appt is not until the 21st too!!

I hope that they give you some meds soon that take the edge off your pain. It just stinks to have pain every waking hour. (((((((((HUGS))))))))))

Old 03-14-2008, 11:41 AM   #6
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

Chrissy if the PT is making your pain worse than please stop going until you speak to your Dr. there is NO need to suffer like this just so you can show your Dr you are trying to get better so he doesn't think your drug seeking which your not, you truley have pain but its silly to cause yourself more pain to apease your DR. It is obviously not the right time for you be going to PT as it will often cause you some discomfort but not this extent so please hold off on going if your getting worse and your pain is increasing!!!!

good luck I sure hope you can figure things out as you have had such a tough time and I really do feel for you all the pain your in every day of your life.


Old 03-14-2008, 12:09 PM   #7
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

I forgot to mention a few things. after my surgery my Dr put me into PT within a month, it was so painful I quit going. I could not stand the pain, My pain was so much worse after my sessions and made me a whole lot worse. he did put me in hydro therapy and this was so wonderful and helpful. could you ask for that instead? its water therapy and it feels so good as long as the pool is very warm... I can't handle any type of massage to this day and I can't even put the hot tub jets on me or I get much worse...

my friend had a cervical fusion and is doing so good. she had pain for 15 years and now that she is a year out of surgery she has NO pain at all and her numbness is gone too, so I do think neck fusions often times do help people. Have you considered a cervical fusion? I also have 2 hernaitions in my neck on top of a low back issues so I have pain in both area's but my neck is not surgically fixable. I was in a car wreck and had whip lash pain for over a year and I still get neck flares all the time. i would not wish it on my worst enemy as its horrible and makes you miserable..

I had a laminectomy lumbar surgery in 2001 for CES and a huge herniation and have pain every day still, its awful but thankfully my pain is managed with oxycontin 40mgs 3 times a day and 5ms of oxy IR B/T meds as needed. I so hope your Dr can up your pain meds as you have been suffering for to long and its not fair for you to live this way. your dose is low for someone in the type of pain your in. Is your Dr opiate phobic? it sounds as if he is very conservative. What dose is your percocet? I hope its at least a 15 mg or a 30mg and not a 5mg? you poor thing I have been reading your suffering post for so long now and really feel your Dr needs to handle your pain better as your in way to much pain to handle life. I would seek out another Dr if this guy does not start helping you as it seems you have been in SO much pain for SO long and I hate to see anyone suffer when they can get stronger meds and try and get better.

hugs, SS

Old 03-14-2008, 02:11 PM   #8
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

Wow...thanks everyone for responding so quickly!

Well just to clarify a few things.

The surgery that I had was not fusion.

I have tre herniated cervicle disks at C 3-4 4-5 & 5-6.
The surgery was only to address C 3-4 and 4-5 by doing a Posterior Cervicle Laminotomy and Foraminotomy.

My NS said it would not help some of my symptoms which he believs to be comming from C 5-6 herniation. I do not have any cord contact but in my personal opinion it is pretty close and may not take much to accomplish contact.

Anyway, I went and had a second opinion a few weeks ago. Actually I went to my NS who did the cervivle surgery and an Ortho whoe specializes in the neck and spine for the second opinion. Both docs said it is to early to say if more surgery is needed at this time. I will be 3 months post op on April 9th and then the Ortho doc said I should have seen signifigant improvement by then.

Well I dont see much improvement at all.

As far as my PM doc goes I have a good working realtionship with him. He knows all about my past drug abuse of street drugs. My drug of choice was Methamphetamines. YUCK!!!!

Anyway we have a real good relationship. I was actually sent to him around Sept 2006 because I had a work related injury to my arm in 2004 that led to 4 surgeries on my left arm. So we are well established with eachother.

Fabby while I was on W/C I was put on Methadone after my last arm surgery. I had a really hard time with the Methadone because of the side effects. Sleepy and poor concentration and memory issues.

After 2 months I asked if we could titrate down to see how much pain was there and to my surprise I had little to no pain. BUT, even though I never have abused any of my pain medicine Getting off alll the meds was really hard on my body. A very long slow process.
So my Pm and I agreed that Methadone is not an option. He said he did not want to put me through all that again. Thank God,

Sorry so long. Anyway the W/C thing ended just as I got in the car accident and 30 days after the car wreck I was back in PM. I traded one injury for another.

I really do feel that I am having so much pain stil prtly from left over surgical pain and partly because I feel that a fusion may be necessary.

At this time I thought I was making some progress with the pain control because of the medication change, but I always did wonder if the Morphine Sulfate at 30 mg's a day was going to do it because the Pharmacist said that was a very low dosage of this particular medication.

I am right back into the cycle of the up down up down up down. OR it just flat out stays elevated and does not budge from an 8. FRUSTRATED and in agony....

Unfortuantely I am no stranger to the viscious pain cycle that we all are involved in. It all started with the arm injury that lasted almost 3 1/2 years lots of pain and 4 surgeries later I am better only to get knocked right back into the cycle.

Now one neck surgery and still agonizing amounts of pain....I find myself feeling frustrated that the docs will not comment anymore about the sources and causes of my issues and what they want to do.

The PM will do a facet block, which was recomended by the Neuro, on the 21st. But over this weekend I will have to tough it out and wait.

I did walk today even though I was in pain. I only made it 1/2 mile but it was nice to breathe some fresh air.

Well I better stop typing because this post is already to long.

Thanks people for being here for some support and guidence.
I dont know who I would be able to process this all with as I find that generally most people do not get it because they have not lived it.

So thanks again.....Chrissy

Old 03-14-2008, 02:33 PM   #9
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

Hey Chrissy:
I did not see this was your post so sorry about that. I am going to be praying for you. I would agree that if this were me I would say f this and no more PT therapy for me. When I was at the Cleveland Clinic I really pushed myself but only you know your limits and you have the right to stop when the pain gets too bad. They don't know how much pain you are in. Heck, it could even be causing damage to your muscles or spine. You really don't need any more for your lawyer to work on. I would say do not push yourself past your limits. I did this over the weekend and look where I was at. My sponsor is kind of in the same boat but he is not starting PT due to finances. I told him the same thing that if you are really hurting bad then stop and tell them I can't do any more. If you think you are injuring yourself then stop and don't go back. Please don't intentionly inflict harm and possibly irreversible damage. Try to remember how much these meds dull down our pain. And for the pain to skyrocket off the chart this is your body's warning to STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING. C'mon I know you have better sense than to be inflicting undue pain. Maybe I have a low tolerance for pain but I'll be praying for you.


Old 03-15-2008, 03:49 AM   #10
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

Chrissy I wondered about the pt. I would definantly talk to the surgeon. I am right behind you & due for my next follow up monday, guess what should be starting? You got it pt. Twice before surgery it made things worse. I know I need it this time but it still worries me. Boy seems like you can't win at times.
Good luck my dear, Sammy

Old 03-15-2008, 01:13 PM   #11
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

I have been fired by one or two therapist and should have quit another couple. Because of that same reason, they made my pain worse. Sorry I disappeared for awhile. I'm going through some mental stuff and just couldn't handle some of the stuff that was going on on this board.

Old 03-16-2008, 10:40 AM   #12
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

Fred, I am sure glad to hear from you. Chrissy & I were worried about you. Hope everything is ok & hope all goes well. I have a feeling in the near future I will be having to learn abit about arthritis & you will be a big help. So far have it in the c-spine, jaw, hip & shoulder. Surgeon post op tommorrow plan on asking him how much the arthritis can be interferring with the recovery (decompression) & so forth, by the way I remember you telling me you had this done many years ago & it was a painful surgery, well you sure were being honest, extremely painful & one heck of a long recovery, much longer then I had thought. Once again so glad you are ok & I am sure chrissy will be thrilled to hear form you. Sammy

Old 03-16-2008, 12:43 PM   #13
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

Hi Fred,

welcome back. We missed ya!!! I hope your well!

Sammy nice to hear from you and see your hanging in there..

I am still having a rough time and I have been taking it easy and not doing much. Sprng break has begun so I am resting as much as possible. Actually my teacher is ill and my classes last week were canceled.

I was in so much pain I went to the Chiro so he could do some massage therapy on me, but that is not really his thing. He wont adjust me and thats fune. He actually gave me the card to a person from the office that does the massage therapy at their home and they are certified.

I honestly believ that my meds are not working anymore and tomorrow morning I will call my PMs office and explain what has been going on. I also need to call the surgery center and set up my time for the facet block on Friday. The Pm may decide I should come in befor Fridays procedure to make a medication change. I want to continue the therapy but only if I am better medicated and the therapy is adjusted to other stuff.

Like I said the walking does more for me mentally spiritually and physically than any PT will do.

I am just blown away of how I wake up in the night when I roll over because of the pain. Then in the morning I wake up with a pain of an 8, 9. 10 and it is reall hard to get it down to a 7 if at all.

This morning I had my 12 step sponsee over and we worked on her 4th step and now I am going to apply Ice then heat and try and ride out the pain for another hour so I can take the last alotment of BT meds for the day.

When 4-6 PM rolls around I already know that the meds will have worn off of the little relief they give and I will suffer until I can take the Morphine sulfate at 7-7:30.

I am on the PT schedule for 1:30 tomorrow and I hope to get through to the PM before that

Well It is time to lay down and relax.

Thanks everyone....Chrissy

Last edited by skych; 03-16-2008 at 12:44 PM.

Old 03-16-2008, 01:05 PM   #14
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

After my first PT appointment (C-spine fusion at C5-6) I was in horrible pain and could not get out of bed for a week (literally). Thankfully there were some insurance issues that caused me to never go back.

Last edited by Fibbles; 03-16-2008 at 01:05 PM.

Old 03-16-2008, 04:53 PM   #15
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Re: Physical Therapy making my pain worse! Won't see PM until Next Fri the 21st

Hey Chrissy! [Hi Fibbers!]
I hope you feel better soon. I dont have answers for you, but just wanted to say that you are always there for me and everyone else, and I wanted to stop by and give ya a hug!
WE just got back from spring break, and major golfing that I wasnt ready for at ALL. Plus taking 4 dogs with us for 5 days, b/c our house sitter bailed at the last minute.
All of that turmoil, was worse than the golf. The dogs, two 11 yr old boys, ect. You get the picture. I feel like I have run the NY marathon on nails...
anyhoo, feel better soon, and Id hold off on the PT. I know that when I had major flares, my doc would give me whatever I needed, or tell me to back off and try something else.
My doc isnt one to "check up" to see if ive been doing any PT, he knows my insurance sucks, and honestly he knows that I do what I can, when I can.
Have a nice sunday evening, and relax!

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