Does Physical Therapy Help?

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Alice22
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Date Joined Jul 2015
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   Posted 4/13/2017 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone has tried physical therapy and whether or not it was worth it. I went to an orthopedic surgeon last week about shoulder pain and he suggested physical therapy. I would have to pay about $1000 before my insurance kicks in which is worth it if it works and lasts, but not if it doesn't. Anyone have any positive results? Thanks.

Alice
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use peppermint oil capsules and Bentyl which help during a flare and with IBS symptoms.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum)

cyclinglady
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Date Joined Aug 2015
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 4/15/2017 9:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I d not have RA, but have celiac disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis which are other autoimmune disorders. I have taught water aerobic and water arthritis classes at the local YMCA for 25 years in addition to my real job in Marketing.

Consider water exercise. I can not tell you how beneficial it is to my students. Many have seen dramatic improvement. Just be sure you are not in a pool alone!

Take care!

Alice22
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Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 4/15/2017 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Cyclinglady,

The doctor mentioned that the physical therapists he referred me to has water aerobics so that is interesting that you say the same thing. Maybe I'll give it a try. Thank you!

Alice
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use peppermint oil capsules and Bentyl which help during a flare and with IBS symptoms.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum)

ks1905
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 4687
   Posted 4/15/2017 3:17 PM (GMT -6)   
What is causing the shoulder pain? It really depends on what the cause is, but most likely you would see some benefits from it. Are you going to need your shoulder replaced or a different surgery? You'd still probably see a benefit from it in preparing for surgery. It would make the surgery a quicker/easier recovery if you prepared for it with PT.
Keith

DX'd with Severe Pancolitis June 2005
Previous Meds: 5ASAs, Predisone, 6-MP. Remicade, Humira, Simponi, Cimzia & Cyclosporine
3-step J-Pouch surgery: 2013 & 2014

Current Condition: Chronic Pouchitis -- Not as bad as I thought it would be
Current Meds: Stelara
Total Hip Replacement: 12/16 -- Thanks Prednisone!!!
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=3755226

Alice22
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Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 4/15/2017 3:58 PM (GMT -6)   
The orthopedic doctor said the xrays were unremarkable, or something to that effect, so I don't think I need surgery. I have a little damage from RA but not much (thanks to the biologics I've been on, I'm sure). He also said inflammation and something about synovial fluid due to the RA was causing the pain. Because of the UC I can't take NSAIDS so besides maybe trying physical therapy I'm going to see if I can get my remicade dose increased. Thanks, Keith.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use peppermint oil capsules and Bentyl which help during a flare and with IBS symptoms.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum)

ks1905
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 4687
   Posted 4/16/2017 11:31 AM (GMT -6)   
You could go to the Physical Therapist for an evaluation and see what they recommend for you.

I can't take nsaids either, made my surgery and recovery a little tougher. The TENS device and ultrasound Therapy at PT definitely helped my recovery.
Keith

DX'd with Severe Pancolitis June 2005
Previous Meds: 5ASAs, Predisone, 6-MP. Remicade, Humira, Simponi, Cimzia & Cyclosporine
3-step J-Pouch surgery: 2013 & 2014

Current Condition: Chronic Pouchitis -- Not as bad as I thought it would be
Current Meds: Stelara
Total Hip Replacement: 12/16 -- Thanks Prednisone!!!
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=3755226

Post Edited (ks1905) : 4/16/2017 11:34:35 AM (GMT-6)


Alice22
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Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 4/16/2017 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a $40 Tens unit that I bought from Walmart about a year ago that I just used last night on my shoulders. I've used it before for neck pain and it seemed to have helped. But the one they have in PT is much better. Never heard of ultrasound therapy; I will ask about that.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use peppermint oil capsules and Bentyl which help during a flare and with IBS symptoms.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum)

ks1905
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 4687
   Posted 4/17/2017 10:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Alice,

After exercise for 45 minutes then they stretch me out, massage, apply a TENS device, Ultrasound the area and add heat to the area for 15 minutes.

My copays are $40 a visit so by the time I am done with 25 sessions I will be $1,000 out of pocket. It was worth it for me but I had surgery that I needed to recover from. If I need my other hip replaced I'll probably go to PT to prepare for it, the PT doc says that the people who use PT to prepare for surgery recover the quickest.
Keith

DX'd with Severe Pancolitis June 2005
Previous Meds: 5ASAs, Predisone, 6-MP. Remicade, Humira, Simponi, Cimzia & Cyclosporine
3-step J-Pouch surgery: 2013 & 2014

Current Condition: Chronic Pouchitis -- Not as bad as I thought it would be
Current Meds: Stelara
Total Hip Replacement: 12/16 -- Thanks Prednisone!!!
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=3755226

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 14831
   Posted 4/17/2017 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Alice, the ultrasound is a very deep heat. They use a gel on the area & take a wand & work it around the area. Depending on how you respond to the physical therapy, I too am a big believer in water therapy. You are weightless & do not have a risk of injuring yourself.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Alice22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 4/17/2017 7:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Keith - It sounds like you have a good Physical Therapist and a $40 co-pay isn't bad when you consider the benefits you're getting from it. When I go next week I'm going to see if they mention the TENS unit and the ultrasound therapy; I hope I can get that, too.

Susie - Thanks for the explanation. I know heat is supposed to be helpful for inflammation. Sounds like water therapy should definitely be part of the plan. Thanks.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use peppermint oil capsules and Bentyl which help during a flare and with IBS symptoms.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum)

ks1905
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 4687
   Posted 4/17/2017 8:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Alice,

My insurance company pays my PT basically nothing, total rate is $50 for a session, $40 from me and the insurance company pays $10 until I meet my max out of pocket and then they pick up the full $50.

Maybe you can negotiate a rate directly with the PT practice, something similar to the rate that your insurance company would pay after you meet the $1000 out of pocket.
Keith

DX'd with Severe Pancolitis June 2005
Previous Meds: 5ASAs, Predisone, 6-MP. Remicade, Humira, Simponi, Cimzia & Cyclosporine
3-step J-Pouch surgery: 2013 & 2014

Current Condition: Chronic Pouchitis -- Not as bad as I thought it would be
Current Meds: Stelara
Total Hip Replacement: 12/16 -- Thanks Prednisone!!!
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=3755226

Alice22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 4/18/2017 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Keith,

I don't think I'd have any such luck. I called them this morning to find out the price of a session and the lady told me, "We won't know until after it's over." What??? I told her I at least needed a range, which she said is between $180 and $300. Just on principal I don't want to pay $300 (even though I'd meet my deductible more quickly). The last place I went to was $180 so they're probably all the same where I live. That is great that your PT is so much more reasonable - I wouldn't hesitate to go if they had the same system down here.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use peppermint oil capsules and Bentyl which help during a flare and with IBS symptoms.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum)

ks1905
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 4687
   Posted 4/18/2017 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Alice,

My initial visit (evaluation) was billed at $235, my plan discounted it to $125 ($85 from ins & $40 from me).

My regular visits are billed at $185, my plan with their contract discounts it to $50 with my responsibility being $40.

I'd tell them that it isn't feasibly for you but you could afford somewhere close to the contracted insurance rate through your plan. Ask your insurance company what they pay this provider per claim.
Keith

DX'd with Severe Pancolitis June 2005
Previous Meds: 5ASAs, Predisone, 6-MP. Remicade, Humira, Simponi, Cimzia & Cyclosporine
3-step J-Pouch surgery: 2013 & 2014

Current Condition: Chronic Pouchitis -- Not as bad as I thought it would be
Current Meds: Stelara
Total Hip Replacement: 12/16 -- Thanks Prednisone!!!
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=3755226

Alice22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 4/18/2017 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Keith,

That's a good idea - I will do that. I'm not a good bargainer but I'll muster up the courage. But I'll call my insurance company first.
Thanks.

Alice
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use peppermint oil capsules and Bentyl which help during a flare and with IBS symptoms.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum)

ks1905
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 4687
   Posted 4/18/2017 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Offer them a little more than what they'd get from your insurance company or tell them that they are getting $0.

You have RA, tell them that you might be a long term patient of theirs.
Keith

DX'd with Severe Pancolitis June 2005
Previous Meds: 5ASAs, Predisone, 6-MP. Remicade, Humira, Simponi, Cimzia & Cyclosporine
3-step J-Pouch surgery: 2013 & 2014

Current Condition: Chronic Pouchitis -- Not as bad as I thought it would be
Current Meds: Stelara
Total Hip Replacement: 12/16 -- Thanks Prednisone!!!
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=3755226

Alice22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 4/18/2017 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
You are smart! I will do it but I don't know if this strategy will work where I live!
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use peppermint oil capsules and Bentyl which help during a flare and with IBS symptoms.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum)

ks1905
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 4687
   Posted 4/18/2017 4:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Alice,

You're like their perfect patient, you could probably qualify for some sort of long term PT for one issue or another but you're independent enough that you won't require full time individual attention after they show you what to do. Many of their patients have had strokes, heart attacks, knee replacements, or other issues that need a lot of hands on attention.

I went to school with my PT doc's wife so we've been doing a lot of talking during therapy and have become friendly. He been telling me about all types of their patients and how some types are much difficult than others.
Keith

DX'd with Severe Pancolitis June 2005
Previous Meds: 5ASAs, Predisone, 6-MP. Remicade, Humira, Simponi, Cimzia & Cyclosporine
3-step J-Pouch surgery: 2013 & 2014

Current Condition: Chronic Pouchitis -- Not as bad as I thought it would be
Current Meds: Stelara
Total Hip Replacement: 12/16 -- Thanks Prednisone!!!
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=3755226

Alice22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 4/18/2017 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Keith,

You make an interesting point. I will gather info from the insurance company, go to my first therapy session, then try to make some kind of deal with them. But I feel like I should go there first and meet them before I do that. You have good ideas about all this - thank you - you may be saving me a ton of money if it works!

Alice
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use peppermint oil capsules and Bentyl which help during a flare and with IBS symptoms.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum)

Don_D
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 548
   Posted 4/20/2017 5:13 PM (GMT -6)   
PT actually aggravated things for me and I had to stop going. Like anything RA however it seems that nothing is the same for everyone so hopefully it helps you. I tried swimming as well but it killed my shoulders and short of floating around on a big rubber ducky I ended up giving up on it as well. Not that I dont like floating on rubber duckies cause I certainly do. smile

I found for myself that very hot Jacuzzi tubs or hot tubs help but it is short lived it seems. -Don

Mustang2
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 4/20/2017 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Same here. Therapy aggravated my joints and made me swell.
I don't like the swimming pool anymore because I am sensitive to the cold/cool water. However, sitting in a hot tub is heaven! I feel great for an hour or so. Too bad it doesn't last longer.

Alice22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 4/20/2017 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Don and Mustang2,

That's interesting that it actually had the opposite effect it should have had. I have worried about that. I guess all I can do is go and try it and if something doesn't seem right to say something and stop. Thanks for your input.

Alice
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use peppermint oil capsules and Bentyl which help during a flare and with IBS symptoms.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum)

DianeB
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Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 1339
   Posted 4/22/2017 8:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning

Finding The benefits of Physical therapy has been a journey of trying different 'types' to find what works for me. And which therapists understand my issues. Took awhile to get everything lined up but it has been well worth the effort !!

I know it helps me because I have had periods of time that insurance would not approve (not wanting to pay unless I was 'making progress'. Staying mobile IS a daily effort & IS progress IMO.. Believe now Medicare officially agrees which may now set standard for insurance).

My 'journey' started w/a fall, at work, over 13 years ago.. Resulting in back, neck & joint injuries (wrists, knees, shoulders, etc,) fibro & CFS & ME. And, as time has gone by, arthritis.

What I thought was 'physical therapy', when I started, was painful but it kept me mobile. Tried the traction, once. 'Bike' tried several times thru first 6 years or so.. Aggravated my poor Injured knees way to much.

Learned when, where & how to use hot packs. And Cold packs. And TENS. How to properly stretch. And sit, get out of bed & chairs, properly for my injuries. Etc.

The 4th therapy office I went to concentrated on having THE RIGHT therapist stretching & manipulating ME. PLUS warm pool. Magic!!

If THE RIGHT therapist changed companies/locations I followed. On rare days, when not available for my appointments, under her supervision, several other therapists 'worked' on my knotted muscles - some had the right 'touch', some didn't.

For me - the last 7?/8? Maybe longer, years, I credit physical therapy in keeping me active & mobile !! Feeling better.

When insurance doesn't want to pay, now & then, since I know the correct way to exercise now, I can use the ' wellness' program that therapy office offers - in the same pool. Often with my therapist nearby, w/other patients. And I Can pay for sessions by the day - think is now $15 -or can pay for an entire month, unlimited days, for one set fee.

Walking & other exercises & stretching in a (very Warm water) pool, followed by a short soak in hot tub, with the right therapist, that is my magic fix !!

Hope my long Explaination helps others - to be patient & persistent.
Herniated cervical discs & other disc / spine issues, Arthritis, spurs
Injuries &/or pain to/in shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, legs, ankles
Fibro / myofascial pain, neuralgia, neuritis

Alice22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 593
   Posted 4/22/2017 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Diane,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with physical therapy. It sounds like you have been through quite an ordeal with your fall and several medical issues. I fell about a year ago on a hardwood floor when I was having a bout of vertigo and lost consciousness and also injured myself so I know how bad that can be, especially when you already have existing medical problems.

It sounds like your perserverance has paid off. Like with anything else, it makes sense that some physical therapists will be better than others and some therapies also more effective than others. I will try to be patient as I embark on this journey and if one therapist doesn't help will try another. Thank you again for your sound advice.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Use peppermint oil capsules and Bentyl which help during a flare and with IBS symptoms.

DianeB
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 1339
   Posted 4/22/2017 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
You are welcome. Do hope you find the right combo !

So sorry that you fell & were injured !! please share your vertigo issue as there are several possible causes & your therapist might be able to advise on getting help - I have overheard several conversations with other patients over the years.

Take care & best of luck !
Herniated cervical discs & other disc / spine issues, Arthritis, spurs
Injuries &/or pain to/in shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, legs, ankles
Fibro / myofascial pain, neuralgia, neuritis

Bstrong
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 5/19/2017 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
If the doctor recommended PT I would go , if you have doubts go for second opinion. Therapy could be good for you, strengthen the muscles which need that then the pain could be less. Physical therapy can do wonders. After some time when you gather information what excersise helps you maybe you can do it at home and just see therapist once in while. But everything will depend on you how dedicated you will be and look for recommendations of a good therapist too. Good luck!
RA - diagnosed July 2010 until December 2015

CURRENTLY IN TOTAL REMISSION

Plaquenil, Vit D 700 IU, Vit B complex, Vit C

Warfarin, Baclofen
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