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Old 01-26-2007, 08:29 PM   #1
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julyg HB Userjulyg HB User
Physical therapy postop who has good results?

I am going to P/T post surgery 2 x wkly and due to pain and spasms am not getting much relief. Can turn neck in one direction less than 50 % what it should be, Wondetr if it is the P/t or typical... I am 3 months post surgery.

Also is anyone aware of video for post op exercises thst stress technique?

Currently getting tens, heat, ultrasound and stretching massage (Major ouch!)
I am looking for mobility and pain relief.

 
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Old 01-27-2007, 11:09 PM   #2
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Re: Physical therapy postop who has good results?

Hello,
I had surgery 12/4/06.
My neurosurgeon said I didn't need to go to therapy. She just showed me some neck exercise to do at home (10 turns to left,right,up,down,left side and right side) after 3weeks and it has really helped and saved me a lot of money too. I'm 7-8 weeks out and finally able to turn my neck left and right without much pain and finally released to drive. So it does get better it just takes time. I working now on the up and down motions to be pain free.

Hopefully this is to some help for you.

 
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Old 01-29-2007, 08:41 AM   #3
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dennisgb HB User
Re: Physical therapy postop who has good results?

julyg,

I think physical therapy is critical to long success in this type of surgery.

The physical therapist should be well versed in neck surgery recovery.

I was given an excercise program designed to strengthen the neck, and help to improve support at the levels above and below the surgical site.

These excercises also reduce the spasms and actually help tone the entire body. I still do them 2 1/2 years out.

The therapy you describe sounds like pain treatment rather than strength training.

I would go back to your surgeon or GP and ask them to refer you to a PT program for spine strenthening.

Dennis

 
Old 01-29-2007, 09:30 AM   #4
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Re: Physical therapy postop who has good results?

Dennis:
Last summer I went to P.T. (for the zillionth time) only this time with a trained Pilates rehab P.T. Before my surgery it seemed to really strenthen my core, but some of the exercises aggravates my neck. (mostly on the ball when I was on my stomach). Does she sound like a good one to go back to after having ACDF? On my first post op visit, they told me at my 6 week appt. they would ask me if I would like to go to P.T. they would give me a prescription for it. The Pilates P.T. is the one who works in my physiatrist's office (who referred me to the surgeon)

 
Old 01-29-2007, 10:42 AM   #5
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Re: Physical therapy postop who has good results?

SKZ,

I'm not sure about that type of PT. I did the ball thing, but only during the initial visits.

They eventually helped me learn a routine of floor and standing excercises with weights.

These PT people were trained specifically in spine surgery recovery.

Over the years, many of the people on here were sent for PT "treatment", or told that they did not need to do any PT. I totally disagree with this. I feel that proper excercise is as important as the surgery.

My surgeon, advised me that the failure rate for the levels above or below the surgery site is above 50% in people who do not do proper neck strengthening excercise. Once your fused, the other levels in your neck have to take on more stress. By strengthening the neck muscles, the muscles help to take the stress off the other levels.

Excercise was very difficult for me, because I wasn't one to excercise regularly, with the exception of walking. Once I learned the excercises, I worked at it, and have been doing the excercises every other day for 2 years. This keeps my neck strong, and also stops spasms.

I recommend any of you who have not been given a referral to a spine recovery trained physical therapist, ask you surgeon or doctor to send you to one. You will be amazed at the results. This is particularly true for those continuing to suffer from muscle spasms. It worked wonders for me.

BTW, they never put me on any machines like the pain treatment PT. They had neck machines that run off of a computer, that help to build the muscles in the neck, but none of the "treatment" types of machines.

I hope this helps. I know that some docs don't think this is nessesary, but I think they are either wrong or trying to save the insurance company money.

You should make your own choice, but just remember, that the doctor isn't always right. Do your research and understand the problems with adjacent failures, and then make up your own mind.

If there is one thing you all can do that will be a major help for you, is to understand this and find a way to get this training.

New surgeries, don't try to do any excercise too early. Listen to the doctors on the timing. I didn't start until 6 months after the surgery. It should be tied to the fusion speed. Some are faster...mine was kind of slow, because I was a smoker.

Dennis

Last edited by dennisgb; 01-29-2007 at 10:47 AM.

 
Old 01-29-2007, 12:37 PM   #6
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Re: Physical therapy postop who has good results?

Dennis thanks for the reply and i was hoping you would! Mr. Dr is in a different city and knows of noone in my city for physical therapy. I agree my current P/T is trying to reduce pain as I have regressed with almost nonstop neck pain. It feels like cannot tolerate most drugs, so most of the time i am VERY UNCOMFORTABLE I am not sure I can shout that louder.
it feels like a bad tooth in the back of my neck...constant throbbing.

Prior to this surgery incredibly active...mountain hiking etc.
When the P/T was moving along with therapy they had me do tens, stim, then ride an air stream bike for 10 minutes moving arms back and forth and do the green balloon material stretcheswith my arms.....Not what you were doing.
I called my current P/T today to cancel as I am in too much pain and he recommended going back to my hard collar for a week! (and going to a new Nurosurgeon)

I think the problem is with pysical therapy

So if you were me and you were looking for a new P/T what specifically would you ask for?
Surgeon says xray looks good its all muscular. Something is wrong!

Thanks Dennis

 
Old 01-29-2007, 12:54 PM   #7
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Re: Physical therapy postop who has good results?

Dennis: I also am interested in your P.T. experience. Did I read correctly that you waited until 6 months post op to start P.T.?

 
Old 01-30-2007, 06:59 AM   #8
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dennisgb HB User
Re: Physical therapy postop who has good results?

So if you were me and you were looking for a new P/T what specifically would you ask for?

You want a pyshical therapy clinic that is versed/trained in the recovery of spine surgery patients.

Did I read correctly that you waited until 6 months post op to start P.T.?

Yes, my surgeon was very conservative. I was in the hard collar for 4 months and the soft one for another 2. He wouldn't let me start PT until after that.

 
Old 01-30-2007, 01:39 PM   #9
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Re: Physical therapy postop who has good results?

Just a little clarification.

Many of us who have dealt with the pain associated with cervical spine problems, have been referred to Physical Therapy as part of the "medical process" to get us to the point where we eventually got the surgery.

I went a bunch of times to different physical therapists before, I had the surgery.

None of them worked. This is because in most cases, we have mechanical issues that just don't see improvement from this type of therapy. In my case I had a bone spur the size of an index finger pressing on the nerve. Physical Therapy did little to improve this.

Most of the places that I went to for pre-op PT were the ones that hooked a simulator up to you and did some massage, or put hot wet towels on you.

The place I went for PT after surgery worked with me to first get my posture back (we have a tendency to get curled up in a ball prior to and after this surgery), then to reduce the muscle spasms, and then gradually work up an excercise routine. They did not have any of the equipment or types of PT treatment I had seen before.

I know, we all start to get a negative feeling about PT...particularly if we experienced the stuff that didn't work before. I think that is pretty common. I went into this place sceptical, but after the first session, I could see that they knew what they were doing, and the results even the first time were pretty good. They got me out of the spasm cycle after a couple of sessions, and on to strengthening my body. I think it was 3-4 weeks from start to finish, and afterwards, I felt the best I had in years.

I do know it works. If I miss a session (like right now, as I am on the road traveling for work and can't bring my weights), I feel it. If I miss two sessions, my muscles will start to tighten up...sometimes they will spasm. I usually can get them loose again, but it can still be a problem.

Anyway, there is a difference between PT.

Dennis

Last edited by dennisgb; 01-30-2007 at 01:40 PM.

 
Old 01-30-2007, 01:44 PM   #10
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Re: Physical therapy postop who has good results?

That is my biggest fear...going back to PT and aggravating things all over again. I have been in spasm for 5 years without a let up and I cant even fathom getting out of it. And I certainyl do not want it to get worse. I am going to have to talk long and hard with my surgeon on Feb. 22nd for my 2nd post op and tell him the type of PT I want this time. I am really fed up with going to PT and having everything flair up, everytime I go.

 
Old 01-31-2007, 02:39 PM   #11
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Re: Physical therapy postop who has good results?

Gang,
I went to the Neuro one week ago today! That would be 3 months. I wrote in a previous post that he said I was "90% fused" He's so happy with the progress. He said "PT wasn't required". He wants me to start just lifting a 3# weight, and doing my usual thing. Carefully! No lifting fridges with my neck anymore!
I am going to call the PT guru and go and see some strengthening exercises.
Later,
Ice

 
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