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Thread: Time To Ditch Physical Therapy?

  1. #1
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    Time To Ditch Physical Therapy?

    Dang, I hate that all I seem to post about these days is my physical condition but here it goes - I think I mentioned in the past in addition to this crazy wrist surgery I had two weeks ago, I have been dutifully going to physical therapy for a lower back/pelvis/hip issue, and dutifully doing all the home exercises almost everyday for months. That problem is actually giving me more pain lately than the healing wrist!

    I've been in PT since mid-September, so that is about 12 visits in which I have been poked and prodded and yanked and stretched and folded to no avail. I wake up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in the sides of my hips that travels down the sides of my thighs, so bad that I can't stand sleeping on my sides at all. A few weeks ago I ended up in Urgent Care because the back spasms were that bad.I toss and turn and get up and take muscle relaxers, 800 of Ibuprofen, put my head at the foot of the bed, use ice, try heat, try the pain killers they gave me from the surgery, etc, etc. I wake up so stiff and sore and I do my exercises, and I go on a walk for 20 mins. My hips start hurting and locking up after about 50 yards. They say it is a faulty SI joint, weak core muscle, yada, yada, yada.

    Over the weekend I decided to try not to take any more drugs for the pain because after the wrist surgery, my body feels like it is on a toxic overload with all things pharmaceutical. I am going back to trying CBD oil, some CBD salve and some other herbal remedies (I already have them anyway so I'll see if any of it makes any difference). I also decided that it is time to go to a spine specialist and get a new work up - I haven't had spine x-rays since 2009 so maybe there are some changes on that front. I am also doing some more internet research - the nearest I can self-diagnose is that my gluteus medius and my IT bands are either torn or inflamed and all that PT is doing is further damaging them. My last PT appointment the woman was trying to "move" the fascia of my left quad using her elbows and forearm to sort of "iron" out the knots but the pain from the extreme pressure actually made me cry, right there in the PT room it hurt so bad. But they seem to think that is the recommended course of action. I ended up with bruises the next few days (not the first time that has happened either). I don't fault the PT people, as I think they are going with what they are trained to do (and I like the clinic and the clinicians who work there), but after a solid six months of chronic, debilitating lower back and hip pain it is high time to explore another course of action. And if it means x-rays and an MRI of my back as a diagnostic tool, so be it. I have health insurance and I can pay the co-pays for now.

    I am just so sick of being in pain from all fronts - sometimes I wonder if I have fibromyalgia, or some other weird muscle disease . I really didn't expect to be this debilitated at age 57. The pain and stiffness effects every single part of my day from working, to exercising, to my intimate life with my boyfriend.

    Thank you for reading-listening. I am really trying to be matter-of-fact about it (the back pain portion of my life) so I don't fall into a depression over all the stuff I am going through. Very few of my friends know that I have this separate issue going on; they only know about the crazy wrist surgery I just had. I really try not to broadcast to the world all my aches and pains but sometimes you just got to tell it like it is...
    Last edited by SiouzQ.; 11-5-18 at 7:14pm.

  2. #2
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    I have quit both physical therapy and chiropracty when I felt the benefit was no longer worth the time and expense. I had the feeling in every case the practitioner would have me going for the rest of my life if he could.

  3. #3
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    I would quit and get a MRI so they can figure out what is going on. Pain sucks. Acupuncture has helped me in the past.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    I was actually looking up acupuncturists this morning before it got busy in the gallery. Mainly, I need some diagnostics at this point to know which direction to go to.

  5. #5
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    I would definitely get the diagnostics first.

  6. #6
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Wishing you comfort and answers.

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    For sure, stop doing what is not working. I would suggest swinging to the other range from the PT that's not working: Deep, gentle stretching...yoga style.

    For you SI joints/back: get a chair. Scoot up to it with your butt and put your legs on it. You are looking for 90 degrees at the hip and at the knee. Put a rolled towel under your neck for support and extension. This will get your back in proper position as well as your hips. Stay there for 10-15m if you can.

    Also, have you tried heat? For your back and your hips. If you can, do the heat before the stretching...your muscles will be more relaxed and it will be more comfortable.

    It's not fair to someone who hasn't worked up to it, to do myofascial release. I have my massage therapist do it...but I've done it for decades.

    Take good care!

  8. #8
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    I'm sorry you are suffering. I have found relief through a chiropractor- he treats, gives exercises says to come back if it hasn't helped. He's not into keeping me forever. I like Gardnr's suggestions too, they seem gentle and quite possibly effective. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    I could have totally written that post last year (without the wrist complications.)

    My whole kinetic chain was thrown off from my broken foot/surgery etc. I went to a bunch of chiropractors, p.t.s, acupuncturists, to no avail. I had a cortisone shot, which made it worse for a few days, no other effect. I really thought I would never walk without pain again. Same thing with sleep - waking up with screaming burning pain in my leg, my hip, aaargh! I had X-rays and MRI, was told I had bad disks, bursitis, arthritis. Other docs said the scans were normal for my age.

    The truth is, what shows up on the scans and x-rays are not usually the actual cause of pain. Causes are more commonly aggravated nerves, muscle imbalances, atrophy, and postural problems.

    Seeing a personal trainer was a lot of help to me. He was sure I could fix this myself and it gave me hope. I foam rolled, squatted, lifted weights, stretched. In time I started to break down what was going on with my body. I also found a massage therapist who understands my body so well - I wish I could send her out to you!

    I still need to walk about 6 miles a day (with abs engaged, pushing off with my toes, long strides, ears higher than nose) to keep my pelvis in alignment (payback for all those years sitting at work.) I need to stop every mile or so and stretch my hip flexors. It's a lot of investment, but I SLEEP at night!!

    The p.t.s at Upright Health have a ton of exercises (mostly glutes) that are helpful :https://uprighthealth.com/
    I recommend watching ALL their hip pain videos, and then choosing what seems like it will work for you.
    Working glutes and abs will help but takes time.

    Postural Restoration has a list of shoes that keep your body in alignment: https://www.posturalrestoration.com/...s-live?id=4361
    All the shoes are ugly . But, I got the New Balance 1080 v8 and my walking pain was decreased by at LEAST 25% right away. Ugliest shoes I'll ever love.You have to get the exact model they recommend. I DO NOT recommend seeing a Postural Restoration therapist. Waste of time & $$$

    The Roxofit hip brace from Amazon helped me quite a bit during the worst periods.

    Dance has also helped. If there is a Barre exercise class near you, I would give it a shot.

    You will get better!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, stop the physical therapy. If it was going to help, you would have had some relief within a couple sessions.

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