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Old 03-01-2007, 07:55 PM   #1
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Traction as conservative therapy

Hey all. I've started a new round of PT with a cervical spine therapy specialist who is using McKenzie exercises to help try to combat my disc protrusion problems coupled with what they are now calling severe spinal canal stenosis as well. (My MRI called it "moderate" but doc and PT both say severe. In fact, PT says "severe severe", lol).

The PT today put me on the traction machine for treatment. The stretching felt really good while we were doing it this morning. The problem? After returning to work for a couple hours this afternoon and a 45 min easy walk on the treadmill in early evening, I have started hurting really bad all evening long tonight. It hurts enough I haven't been able to do anything tonight but lay on a heating pad on the couch.

I'm sure you all have tried traction therapy prior to your various surgeries and fusions. When you were doing conservative treatment, did traction hurt you at all? I like to think I have a high pain tolerance, but I am really stiff, sore and hurting now, more than I ever had with any other treatments. It also seems to have given me a killer headache, and I rarely have headaches. Thoughts for a miserable Moonchaser about your traction experience? Is this normal and I need to get use to it until I start getting better?

Thanks, Kim aka Moonchaser

Last edited by moonchaser; 03-01-2007 at 08:01 PM.

 
Old 03-02-2007, 07:39 AM   #2
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

Its very possible, the P.T. put you on too much weight with the traction. The same exact thing happened to me at the P.T. Do you know how much weight they put you on????? It has to be VERY VERY VERY gradual on the weight.

 
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:50 AM   #3
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKZ View Post
Its very possible, the P.T. put you on too much weight with the traction. The same exact thing happened to me at the P.T. Do you know how much weight they put you on????? It has to be VERY VERY VERY gradual on the weight.
She said I was at 15 pounds. She did start slow, and over 5-8 minutes we built up to the 15 pound mark, which is where I stayed then for about 10 more minutes. Is that too much for the first time out? At this point, it's just numbers to me. Thanks for the response SKZ, I appreciate it.

 
Old 03-02-2007, 08:31 AM   #4
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

Oh my God, YES, that is too much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!
It took me weeks to get to 15 lbs. I started out like at 3 lbs. and stayed there for 5 mins. The then next day maybe 4 lbs. I am sorry, but you need to tell her to slow down. I mentioned that same thing happened to me. It took me a week to recuperate. That is absolutely not cool. I hate to be negative, but that really makes me mad that you had to go thru that, unnecessarily. 15 lbs. was my ultimate goal, which took me about a month to get to.

 
Old 03-02-2007, 08:50 AM   #5
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

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Oh my God, YES, that is too much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!
It took me weeks to get to 15 lbs. I started out like at 3 lbs. and stayed there for 5 mins. The then next day maybe 4 lbs. I am sorry, but you need to tell her to slow down. I mentioned that same thing happened to me. It took me a week to recuperate. That is absolutely not cool. I hate to be negative, but that really makes me mad that you had to go thru that, unnecessarily. 15 lbs. was my ultimate goal, which took me about a month to get to.
THANK YOU! I have such a "I can do it" attitude in general that when something does happen, I can't always figure out if it was too much too soon or if I'm just being a baby. It's so good to know that I don't have to be She-RA, queen of the amazons here. I thought maybe walking on the treadmill did it to me, but I've even slowed down the pace I walk at. One of my goals is to get better, but also keep some of the things in my life that mean a lot to me, like my exercise routine w/the treadmill, etc. I would hate to give that up, I've given up so much already.

I'm a little better today. Woke up stiff and sore, but it's worked itself out mostly throughout the morning. I have much, much less pain today than I did last night. Some minor shoulder pain lingers and intermittent numbness returned to left hand today. Although I slept through the night, I can tell I didn't get that deep sleep time we all need, cause I'm soooo tired today and that's not like me. I was so miserable last night I didn't even care who got voted off American Idol! LOL. Thanks so much for the info.

 
Old 03-02-2007, 08:56 AM   #6
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

I have done the treadmill since I got home from surgery. I do notice I get tight when I do it, but I keep doing it. I a convinced it has helped me keep up my stamina. How fast are you walking and how much per day?

 
Old 03-02-2007, 10:38 AM   #7
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

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I have done the treadmill since I got home from surgery. I do notice I get tight when I do it, but I keep doing it. I a convinced it has helped me keep up my stamina. How fast are you walking and how much per day?

I'm slow - I usually set the speed to between 2.0 and 2.5 if I'm feeling good. I can usually walk at that speed between 1.5 and 2 miles. If I'm still doing ok then, I will follow up doing the stationary bike for 2 miles at a slow pace too.

 
Old 03-02-2007, 11:32 AM   #8
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

Hi - my PT prescribed to the try about 3 times and if it aggravates your condition where it takes more than an evening to bounce back and we aren't trying to do that, then we stop.

Traction made me really worse, no matter what weight they used. You have to try it a few times and decide if it is helping or not.

I think the head weighs about 8-10 lbs, so if you did 15 it was over the weight your neck is carrying - you need to work up to it to see if you benefit.

 
Old 03-02-2007, 12:07 PM   #9
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

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Hi - my PT prescribed to the try about 3 times and if it aggravates your condition where it takes more than an evening to bounce back and we aren't trying to do that, then we stop.

Traction made me really worse, no matter what weight they used. You have to try it a few times and decide if it is helping or not.

I think the head weighs about 8-10 lbs, so if you did 15 it was over the weight your neck is carrying - you need to work up to it to see if you benefit.
Thank you! What a great way to think about it - I was using more weight than what the human head even weighs. I'm going back to PT in the morning. I'm for sure going to have a discussion with them about this. The bad thing is I'm bouncing between two different PTs, so I may have to bring it up more than once. Thanks for sharing your experience with me.

 
Old 03-02-2007, 02:19 PM   #10
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

Now I am starting to wonder if I am walking too fast on the treadmill and that it might be contributing to my spasming. I have been walking 3.0 mph, which is a 20 min. mile. Do you think that is too fast at almost 8 weeks post op?

 
Old 03-02-2007, 05:30 PM   #11
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

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Now I am starting to wonder if I am walking too fast on the treadmill and that it might be contributing to my spasming. I have been walking 3.0 mph, which is a 20 min. mile. Do you think that is too fast at almost 8 weeks post op?
Well, I'm certainly not going to be the one to give you the best advice here, given I'm trying to figure it all out myself, but I would think that since you are still technically healing that going at 3.0 mph could be a bit too much for you. I have had spasms occasionally at 2.5, and I haven't even had surgery.

Also, I got to see my two old PTs tonight (I use the same gym) for a brief minute so of course I had to pick their brains. They also thought 15 pounds was too heavy for me. They said they normally go up to and between 10-12 pounds, but it completely depended on the person, their problem and the situation. I'd love it if I could talk the doctor into letting me go back to them.

 
Old 03-03-2007, 09:34 AM   #12
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

Everyone is different, if you are having spasms then you might try cutting back a little. When I did the treadmill too close post-op, I went backwards. Treadmill walking is different than cruising through the neighborhood. WHen I used the treadmill for first 3 months, I wore my collar to help prevent bouncing etc.

 
Old 03-03-2007, 10:57 AM   #13
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

I think I will walk a little longer at a slower speed today and try that. I try and walk at least 25-30 mins on it. I was doing 20 mins. at 3 mph (with a cool down for 5 mins). Its worth changing to see how I do.
Thanks!

 
Old 03-07-2007, 09:19 AM   #14
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

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I think I will walk a little longer at a slower speed today and try that. I try and walk at least 25-30 mins on it. I was doing 20 mins. at 3 mph (with a cool down for 5 mins). Its worth changing to see how I do.
Thanks!
I'm curious - how did it go changing your strategy with walking on the treadmill? Any better? Less spasms?

For me, I discussed how the traction really hurt me (for days actually) with the PT and we've opted to only do manual traction for the time being. I'm still getting mixed results. It feels good while they are doing it, only to be really stiff, sore and hurting more later on. I've also still got the intermittant tingling, numbness and weakness in my left arm, but we're keeping the faith that the manual traction will help to alleviate it. The treadmill walking is still the only allowed exercise I have left, so I'm still doing that unless I'm hurting. Hope your change in approach helped you!

 
Old 03-07-2007, 02:29 PM   #15
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Re: Traction as conversative therapy

I slowed it down from doing 3.0-3.1 mph to 2.8 mph. It is better, but yesterday I skipped the treadmill altogether, and I felt the best i have felt since the surgery (spasm-wise). That is telling me SOMETHING. I have decided to buy a recumbent exercise bike and do that, and alternate with the treadmill. My husband has bad joints and it seems that now that I finally got him to do aerobic exercise on the treadmill, it is kind of aggravating his joints. OY. So really the best thing for both of us is that recumbent exercise bike. Lemme tell ya, you sweat ALOT on one of those things!! I researched it and you can get a decent one for around $450. I am going to order it on the net and be done with it. The model I want can only be gotten on the net. Why, I have no idea. Consumer Reports liked this model alot, so I am going with it. I dont know if I am allowed to mention it on here or not. I would rather not be banned!

 
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