Anyone here ever go to physio therapy?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by PaisleyIsGod, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. PaisleyIsGod

    PaisleyIsGod Tele-Holic

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    I'm starting today and I'm pretty bitter about it. I've had back/neck/shoulder problems for so long that I used to have to sit out little league games due to the pain. Over the years I've been to chiropractors, did posture exercises and massages. It's only been getting worse and at this point I'd almost call it unbearable. There have been times I've had to leave/miss work after tweaking my back just from standing up or moving my arms. I wouldn't say I'm in amazing shape but I'm fairly strong when I'm not in pain, I'm pretty active in sports and I walk my dog all the time.

    The weird (to me) thing is my new doctor recommended physio after about 5 minutes of talking to me and said to see him again in a month to talk about x-rays. I really just want an MRI or some kind of scan so I can be told "here's what's wrong, here's how we should fix it."

    How many of you have gone through physio? Did it help? It was always my understanding that it's more for recovery from an injury or something extreme like a car accident, not a place to get diagnosed and go through recovery all in one. I'm trying to be positive but even when the doctor got me to push on his hands and do small movements it was really painful, so it's hard to imagine this process will help much before knowing what the problem is.
     
  2. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    My wife is going through the same thing with her shoulders. Last year she was running, and fell hard - caught herself with her arms - and dorked up her shoulders.

    Primary doctor said "I think you're fine, I don't think you tore your rotator cuff, and you insurance probably won't cover the MRI without trying Physical Therapy. Go to physical therapy".

    Physical Therapist said "You're not getting better. See a specialist."

    Specialist said "Your insurance probably won't cover an MRI yet. Take these anti-inflammatory meds for 6 to 8 weeks."

    She hurt herself in May. We are still running in circles - nobody will call the insurance - they will cover an MRI - but they all want her to "do other things" first.

    If she was not in so much pain, she would have bludgeoned a health care worker close to death by now.

    Maybe some of that pain needs to be transferred before anyone gives a [poo].
     
  3. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The doctor could tell by your answers and the tests that your pain is not radicular so there's no need at this point for an MRI to look for problems with your spine.

    I've been to PT and found it helpful.
     
  4. BoogerRooger

    BoogerRooger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've been having physio since my shoulder dislocated last year. Its a longstanding problem and I ended up in A&E to get it put back in and was routinely sent to the physiotherapist who has given me lots of exercises to stretch and strengthen my shoulder to good effect.

    But this may be of inteterest to you, the physio suspected there may be long term damage that can be corrected, so she arranged for me to see a specialist who has in turn arranged for an MSI scan to asses the damage to see if he can do a keyhole procedure to fix it. So your physio should have diagnostic capabilities and may get you along the road to a full diagnosis and treatment. Good luck!
     
  5. src9000

    src9000 Poster Extraordinaire

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    For this type of pain I'd suggest going to a sports doctor. Not a family practitioner.
     
  6. Jeff_K

    Jeff_K Friend of Leo's

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    I did PT for two frozen shoulders and it was...unpleasant...but it was necessary to break the adhesions and totally worth it. It beats the alternative.
     
  7. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Sorry for your pain. A good physio (or "PT" as we call them here) may well be able to help you and assist with some diagnosis and recommending tests as well.

    The body is a complicated system. I would hope if your doc saw any potential spinal problems he or she would be able to order an MRI or similar test to rule out.

    Help can often come in unexpected places. I was in chronic joint pain for a long time, but the pain would move around and not get better. Mid-back, shoulder, neck, knee, foot (that was surprisingly bad). But always soft tissue stuff. And it would linger and sometimes get debilitating. Turns out I have an issue with gluten of all things (there were other symptoms, and it took years to put together).

    Touch wood, since figuring that out, the soft tissue stuff has gotten much better.

    So there's hope. Hang in there. I'd give physio a fair shake. If you get a good one, they can do wonders. They're learning more and more about "fascia" (connective tissue) and in certain folks it can get all bound up and cause terrible pain and weakness that can't be fixed from a skeletal standpoint - but can through patience, manipulation, stretching and exercise.

    All the best. Pain is a tough thing - please don't let yourself get too down or frustrated - talk to your doc, minister, friends, counselor, whatever, as often as you need to. A good physio is half-counselor too, in my experience. They can provide perspective and encouragement on progress you might not see happening quickly enough.
     
  8. 1293

    1293 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have shoulder issues right now. I can't sleep for more than an hour straight. I get about 3 hours a night. I've spent thousands in premiums and copays for hitech imagery only to be sent to physical therapy. It sounds like your doctor is taking the smart approach.
     
  9. 1293

    1293 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's what I've got. I had it in the left shoulder two years ago and now on the right. My wife has to put deodorant on my left armpit. For now, I'm sucking it up and wiping my own a$$.
     
  10. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

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    Diagnostic imaging is really a challenge. A doctor needs to be able to order the right one. I wish it was like Star Trek where McCoy pulls out a tricorder, passes it over the body for 3 seconds, then looks at what the readout says. Our reality is different.

    My wife was in a car accident, hurt her shoulder, and the diagnosis was a torn rotator cuff. MRI confirmed the injury. Surgery followed by PT and that should have been the end of it. Except it wasn't. Her shoulder continued to give her problems, and doctors could not figure it out. She was accused of med-seeking, making it up, referred to psychiatry. Nobody wanted to reopen the case and reconsider that there should have been more to the original diagnosis. Besides, the original MRI showed a torn rotator cuff. End of story. Insurance was not going to approve additional diagnostics anyway.

    It didn't change until we received a settlement check from that accident. We decided its primary purpose was to first deal with the health issues from the accident, so we went to an orthopedic surgeon outside of our insurance coverage and asked for a look from a fresh set of eyes. He figured the most likely scenario was a torn labrum, which an MRI is not going to reveal. He ordered a CT scan with contrast and an algorithm specifically used to reveal that form of injury. We paid for it out of pocket. The imaging confirmed his suspicion. Surgery to fix that and more PT... her shoulder is as good as it is gonna get.

    The point of my story is that a doctor needs to have a direction to focus on in the diagnostic process. An MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, PET scan, you name it sometimes needs a focus from someone who has an idea. My wife's CT scan only found the torn labrum because the doc ordered the right contrast and told the radiologist what algorithm to load. It sucks that the medical insurance was uncooperative, but fortunately the auto insurance coverage was good enough.
     
  11. k.l.k

    k.l.k Tele-Holic

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    a good PT is probably going to be better at diagnosing chronic soft tissue problems than the average orthopedic surgeon much less the average GP.

    but PTs come in all kinds, just like guitarists. some are better than others. most of them have certain things they're best at. and a really good certified massage therapist can often work wonders.

    i would look for the best folks in your area who specialize in sports injuries-- the basic mindset is different there, they're used to working with athletes who actually expect/hope for real improvement, and so on.

    fwiw, i spent a number of years in sports med and athletics, and still have friends in the industry. most medical plans now try to limit PT work and choices, because soft tissue/back stuff can be chronic and the labor costs add up. when i have the dough, i go off my plan to see a good CMT.
     
  12. PaisleyIsGod

    PaisleyIsGod Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for sharing your experiences everyone, lots of really encouraging stuff in there. I feel really lucky reading some of these because the company I work for seems to provide good coverage from what I've read and I shouldn't end up in any disputes. I went to a family doc because I thought it would be the first logical step to get referrals etc. Some days it's so bad I feel I should go to the ER but I can handle a more gradual approach for now. Hopefully the guy I'm going to tonight can at the very least give some good input on what to do from here. It's funny, his bio on their website says he's a former professional pianist who has an interest in musicians injuries, but I don't have any of those (yet).
     
  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Except - poor posture/positioning with a guitar (seated or standing) can wreck havoc on the back/neck/shoulders. And it's hard to know when we are not positioned properly. Maybe let him know you play and he'll suggest bringing the axe in to see if that is contributing. A few pointers/guideposts can really help.
     
  14. PaisleyIsGod

    PaisleyIsGod Tele-Holic

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    Good thinking, I know I had this pain as a term before I started playing but if I'm doing something wrong I'm sure it hasn't helped.
     
  15. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    I was knocked of my bike 20 years ago, whilst I could still ride the bike I was in pain walking or even standing for just a few minutes. Doctors sent me for scans and x-rays, until after six months another GP sent me to the physio. The physio took ten minutes to diagnose bruised vertebrae, after two days of exercises all pain is gone never to return.

    Ten years ago I had a frozen shoulder, I could play a solid body guitar, but a semi or acoustic was too painful to play. Half a dozen sessions of physio had no impact. Finally the doctor gave me a cortisone injection into the joint, the next day it was fine.

    Last summer I woke up one day and could not tie my shoe. GP said it was muscle spasm and would go away in a couple of weeks, two weeks later it would go away within six weeks! Next GP sent me to the physio who manipulated my back with instant results. Six sessions have left me better than I was before I had the problem.

    So mixed results, but always worth a try.
     
  16. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    I was in a similar situation last summer. I thought an MRI would cleary show a stuck coathanger or something between my shoulders. but nope, they sent me to physio to cure a frozen shoulder syndrome. It took a long time and 18 sessions but it worked very well.
    they do know what they're doing.

    man, I could hardly lift my arm to put on a shirt. what's that good for? :rolleyes:
     
  17. catdaddy

    catdaddy Tele-Afflicted

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    My only experience with PT was a tremendous success. I was involved in a 4-wheeler accident that left me with no feeling in my left hand and tremendous neck and shoulder pain. After the initial exam my doctor told me that I would have to have surgery and she immediately scheduled an MRI and a surgical referral. MRI revealed cervical damage and the surgeon was ready to schedule surgery.

    Fortunately my medical insurance at the time required that I have an evaluation by a Physical Therapist before they would authorize the surgery. I thought at the time that this was an unnecessary delay; I was hurting and with my left hand useless I was very anxious to get better. To my surprise after the PT did her evaluation she told me she was confident that she could design a physical therapy regimen that could get me fully healthy without surgery. She was right. I underwent intensive physical therapy for 8 weeks and afterwards was pain free and had the full use and feeling in my left hand restored. The PT also gave me discharge directions that include stretching exercises to maintain my recovery. Ten years later I have no residual problems.
     
  18. Bees_Knees

    Bees_Knees Tele-Meister

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    I went to physio a couple of years ago. I was carrying a ladder hoist (it's a machine that attaches to a ladder and carries bundles of shingles up the ladder) with another guy, when he just let it go. It tore the ligaments and tendons in my right arm, from my elbow to my wrist. After a bunch Of cortisone shots, I ended up having to go to physio, spent quite a bit of time there doing exercises, stretches acupuncture, and electro shocks. I hated the acupuncture, and it didn't do anything for me, but the electric shocks were great.

    After a while, I was able to use my arm again, and basically can do whatever now, but sometimes it still really hurts. Did physio help? I think so, at least I learnt how to exercise my arm and how to use it properly without doing more damage. I would do it again if I had to, but I would skip the acupuncture.
     
  19. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Hey me too! Never heard of frozen shoulder until I just had it one day. Ridiculously painful, and I assumed it was a torn rotator cuff. They prescribed physical therapy, which I completed a couple months ago.

    Sadly I have not continued with the exercises, and keep telling myself I better so that i don't have a relapse.

    The physical therapy helped immensely.
     
  20. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I've benefitted from PT after knee surgery to remove torn cartilage. The PT helped me to strengthen my hamstrings to compensate for lack of stability resulting from ruptured ACLs.

    Lately, I had a single session with a neuromuscular massage therapist, who gently pressed the back of my neck in such a way as to release an apparently knotted muscle, which had caused constant pain for three years and prevented me from turning my head to the right more than a few degrees. I immediately had restoration of normal range of motion and freedom from pain and sometimes blinding headaches. All for $45.
     
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