Physical Therapy / good or more pain ???

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CPnewbie
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 7/31/2008 6:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I had physical therapy again today ~ I have two hours two days a week and for a few minutes after I leave I feel so darn good and then bam get home and I hurt so much I want to howl !!! I am trying so hard not to take the pain meds because I become a zombie and almost get depressed and I hate that so I stay in pain until bed time when I have to take them ~ does anyone else do PT and have any advise ?? I really hate pain meds and pain !
 
CPnewbie
 
 


ryand
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 7/31/2008 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, CP. I am sorry you are having these issues with PT. Does your therapist give you any suggestions for how to maintain the effects of his treatments beyond the hour or two you are there at his office? My PT is so wonderful, but I've been through MANY to find this one. He is the first one who has really spent time talking with me about how to walk, sit, stand up from a seated position, sit while typing on the computer, sit while driving the car, etc. Other therapists have given me exercises to do and the little sheets with directions on them, but this guy actually spent time working through them with me and watching me to see what I was doing in my "normal" movements that might be aggravating my injury or undoing the progress we'd made at therapy appointments.

I can't really relate to your pain med experience, as I have a really high tolerance and don't usually experience the side effects so I've never had that zoned out feeling from my medications. I have to take my medications or I just can't function. It took me a long time to come to terms with that, and my PT guy and PCP had a lot to do with convincing me that it really is better to take my medication proactively than to wait until the pain was so overwhelming that I didn't have a choice. When I would try to hold out and not take my meds until it got really bad, there was just no way they could work and it would take a long time for me to get back ahead of the pain. Now I take my medication pretty much on schedule. I do try to limit my BT med as much as possible, but I am much quicker to take them when I feel the beast taking hold b/c I know where it will lead. I hate the fact that I have to take medication, but I have already lost much of the life I used to have to this pain monster, and I know that without the medication I would be forced to give up the pieces I've got left.

Maybe you could talk with your doctor about your doses and see if you could take smaller amounts to keep from feeling the "zombie" feeling? Like if you are prescribed a percocet every 6 hours, what if you took 1/2 a pill every 3 hours? Maybe that would limit the side effects but keep enough of the medicine in your system to help the pain. Or maybe there is a slightly less potent medication he could prescribe. Like Tramadol or Hydrocodone?

I wish I had better advice for you. I know this is frustrating. It just takes a lot of trial and error really to find what works best for you. But remember that your goal is to keep the pain at bay. You probably won't be able to be pain FREE no matter what you do. Most of us have had to give up trying for that. We are shooting for LESS pain. A tolerable level. Once you've found what that level is, you have to work with your doctor and therapist to figure out how to best keep you in that range throughout the day.

Keep us posted. I hope you are feeling better tomorrow!
Ry

PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
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   Posted 7/31/2008 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
CP,
Well, we all hate meds and pain! That being said, we struggle to make peace with our various maladies, many of which may not be "cured" unless we get really lucky.

Since I've been through a lot of PT in my life (was at my PT today as a matter of fact) I will tell you it's where i've leared the most, although I've had some bad PT's, too, andit can make a difference. What are you doing for 2 hours? That's a long time - although it could depend on the modalities you're using.

But staying in pain by trying to tough it out and not take the meds actually is making it harder for your body to heal, and to relax. I think I recall you're still working (sorry, I can't remember everyone's background!) and maybe you're pushing it too hard. Sometimes you need to just come home after PT and be able to relax. Depends on how serious your problems are. When the PT works your muscles and joints, however, it's going to make them sore. But that can be different from creating real pain. It's kind of a fine line you don't know until you learn it over time! The "no pain, no gain" theory is really not accurate, especially for us pain patients. Too much pain means you're pushing too far, and I suggest you discuss this with your PT. I also suggest you maybe talk with your doc to see if there are some other meds you might try that could help with the pain but be less sedating. Again, sorry I can't recall what you're taking. Explain it to your doc and see if there are other medication options. But all of them have side effects. It's just not going to help you physically or psychologically if you force yourself to stay in pain. Usually you're advised to take pain meds shortly before a PT session so that you don't get as sore.

Hope some of this helps a little!

PaLady
by the way I love the marines thing. I'll have to check out that site. Were they any less expensive than traditional movers?

CPnewbie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 7/31/2008 8:08 PM (GMT -7)   
PAlady ~ The marines are sooo inexpensive ~ $10 an hour is what I had to pay and they did everything even moved the friggin piano and I thought they were goind to die doing it but they had a smile on their face the whole time ! I have used them now for everything , what you do is find one that does what you need like painting or sprinkler repair or cleaning windows , plumbing etc and they are great !! They need and want to earn more so they work hard and love free food !

To both of you , your right , I think I just need to take the meds and get used to them. I know it's better to be proactive than reactive, it's just been hard to admit that this is my life as you all know. Currently I have percocet, vicodin and tramodal they gave me rx of each to see which one works best. The vicodin works for about 1 1/2 hours the percocet makes me higher than a kite and the tramodal makes me sad but works longer and no nausea so that's the one I am using most.

I have a great PT I think it's just that this is all new to me and I have not been in it very long. Each session he does the electrods (sp) with heat for 30 min then stretches then the bike then my back massage / chiro and then the ball excersises and then more stretches and then the ice. He is going to work on the normal activities after he gets the first 24 sessions down he said. I have been given 70 sessions so far and we will reduce them to an hour each 3 times a week after the 24 sessions. Every time he touches my back I want to kick him but the elcetrodes and the heat feel great and so do the stretches even though they are hard.

You all help so much it's brings tears to my eyes! I am so lucky to have found this forum to talk to you all !!!!
Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your family here , it makes me feel better just to know you are all here and you know what is going on ! Don't mean to be a downer but you all understand and it just feels safe!
CPnewbie
 
 


CPnewbie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 7/31/2008 8:13 PM (GMT -7)   

PAlady ~ well for someone who can't remember everyones background you do a great job ! Yes I work and I work hard and long! Want to laugh , I run two medical facilities !!! I am the true cliche of the cobblers kids don't have shoes and the mechanics wife's car doesnt' work ! I didnt' go to the doctor until I was dying last year (30 mintues from the bright light per the ER doc) and I didn't let my pain affect me until one of my docs kicked me out of the office and told me to not come back until I knew why I was in so much pain !!! Anyway thought that would make you giggle ! The medical pracitice manger who doesn't know when to see a doctor! LOL!!!

CPnewbie


CPnewbie
 
 


tom inpain
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/31/2008 8:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Newbie: Stop running and that may help Your pain ? just kidding. No pain no gain I was told. Have You tried Aqua therapy ? This is the only therapy that ever worked me plus Disco Dancing. Smiles Tom
Tom Lasko


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/31/2008 8:40 PM (GMT -7)   
CP,
Sometimes I chuckle at the number of people here who seem to have come from a health care background (myself included). I'm hoping you're not taking the percocet and vicodin on the same days, and perhaps if you're doing that with the tramadol the combination may be too much. I think you do have to work with the meds and doses to see what may be the best balance you can get and still function. I don't know what strength the percs and vicodin are, but if you're not taking too much tylenol you may be able to add a tylenol with say the vicodin. But you've got to be careful not to take too much tylenol - I think it's about 2000mg/day or something along those lines. Do NSAIDS help at all? Sometimes I'm using advil gelcaps for a little breakthrough relief, but I can't take too many or it gets to my stomach. I maybe take a dose every now and then but not more than once/day. Funny, I could take the ibuprofen in high doses for a long them, then my stomach gave out.

My PT usually do a lot of the heat/.stim/stretching and passive modalities until the tissue has a chance to heal, and maybe gives me a few stretches and builds on them slowly, but exercise machines like a bike - well, I can't do any of those but I'd have to build to those at the end. I just wonder if he's going too fast with you. Try talking to him. You could see maybe what would happen if you backed off the bike for a week - but then I"m not a PT! Somedays I feel like I could be one. You might also ask about a TENS or other stim unit for your home use. There were reps "giving" them away through my PT and I lucked out and got one. It's not a TENS but a lot like it - called an Interferential Stimulator and my PT says it's like what he does on me in his office. The TENS (as he explained it) is just designed for pain, but the stim I have is designed for pain and to increase blood flow to the tissues. Has to do with the frequency. It eats 9V batteries like candy, though, so I had to get a 9V battery charger and buy my own rechargeable batteries. The company does send you supplies, including regular batteries, every couple of months but bills your insurance. If it helps you in the office, you may ask if you could get a unit for home.

Ok I'm beat!! Come join us at the Beach Party!

PaLady

CPnewbie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 7/31/2008 8:54 PM (GMT -7)   

Tom your a very funny man ! you make me laugh at least once on all the threads ! thanks for that laughter truly is the best medicine and as soon as I learn to stop running I will LoL !! I have a terrible disease besides the pain it's called the need for money and I can't wait until all these kids are out of college because then baby I will take a vacation for the rest of my life !!!! :-)

Scarred ~ good luck tomorrow! I am not sure what exactly your procedure is but I only have good thoughts for you and will look it up so I understand it better ~

CP


CPnewbie
 
 


CPnewbie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 7/31/2008 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   

PAlady ~ due to the almost dying thing last year , when I was taking vicodin, vodka and advil (about 20 a day with a liter of vodka) due to pain I can't ever take another anti inflammatory so they are watching me like a hawk for the tylenol as well due to the loss of blood from the bleeding ulcer from the advil and other stuff I pretty much put my liver and kidneys at risk pretty bad and the doctor in the ICU who helped me said I would rather see you smoke than drink or take anti inflammatories sooooooo....that was bad since he was a lung specialist !!! I have asthma as well and they are worried about the drugs and my breathing so it's all fun right ! God I have never told anyone this but my husband !!!! You all bring out the trust factor in me because you are all so open and out there ! Bless you for letting me be here !!!!

CP


CPnewbie
 
 


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/31/2008 9:08 PM (GMT -7)   
CP,
One thing I've learned here is how much support this kind of a forum can truly give. More meaningful than I ever could have dreamed. So I feel just like you!

So glad you found us!

PaLady

BionicWoman
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 7/31/2008 9:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a physical therapist several years ago that explained the pain medication to me so eloquently, I've never fought the need for medication with PT since.
 
You love your body enough to make the effort to heal and feel better.  So, you go to PT and, with great care, work on strengthening your muscles, stretching yourself out, floating in warm water to relax your aches, whatever modality you've chosen.  When you're finished, your body is pleased and you feel pretty good.
 
Afterward, you deny your body the pain control it needs, because you don't "like" taking pills.  To minimize your suffering, you cease all activity and curl up in your bed, where your muscles become stiff and contracted.  Phychologically, the pain takes its own toll and your stress level increases. By the time you "give in" and take the medication, it's not enough to completely address the problems caused by trying to avoid the pills for those hours.
 
When you return to PT for the next session, at the very best you're starting in the same place as your last visit.  Or more likely, you're starting out tighter, more contracted, more physically and psychologically drained from stress, and in more pain than you were at the last visit.  You make no progress whatsoever.   You are essentially treading water, going nowhere.
 
But, if you love your body enough to make all that effort, to work on strengthening, stretching, aquatic therapy, or whatever modality you choose AND provide your body with adequate pain management afterward, you give your body what it needs to maintain itself or even continue to heal during the time between the sessions. Then, you'll make the progress you're seeking. 
 
 

CPnewbie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 7/31/2008 9:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Bionic ~ thanks for the message.  You are so right and I realized that just telling my husband about all the thing everyone has said that I was actually harming myself by not being proactive and taking the meds. Starting now I will love me and  my body enough to do the right thing ! Thanks again for your words they were wonderful !

CPnewbie
 
 


CPnewbie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 7/31/2008 9:46 PM (GMT -7)   

PAlady ~ thanks so much for all being so accepting ! I am glad I found you all too ! Going to take Bionics message to heart and become more proactive on the meds and am going to finally take that jacquizzi ! Write you all in the morning after I run the clinic.

Love and a wish for a painless sleep to all !

CP


CPnewbie
 
 


Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 8/1/2008 4:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I can't comment on any of the pain meds since I can't take them. But I just wanted to say that I know exactly how you feel. When I first started pt, the guy manipulated my neck by doing manual traction to my neck among other things. I have never felt so good in my life. I'm like wow! This is totally awesome! The drive home I was singing to the radio thinking life was good. Thennnnnnnnnn the pain started setting in. Omgoodness, I have never felt anything so horrible in my life! Since I can't take pain meds other then Tylonel, I was a mess that night. So the next time I went to pt, I told him how bad I felt and he said that yes it will hurt when you first start. But as time goes on, it will get better. He was true to his word. I never felt that type of pain again like the first time. I went to pt for about 6 months and even though it never took the pain away, it helped some and it helped as long as I kept going. But I had to stop because I was having complications from my other illness. So I just wanted to say that it may get worse before it gets better :)
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Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 8/1/2008 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hope you don't mind me coming in here, I think its great doing PT, I'm in PT right now too and as soon as I get home a ice pack is awaiting me. Do you think a ice pack could help you too?
It's just a thought...I also have a recumbent (spelling error sorry) bike at home and use it on non PT days, I do right now between 4 to 6 minutes on that bike.
Doc told me as soon as I loose muscle mass I'll be in surgery so I'm going try to not let that happen.
My PT sessions are 1 1/2 hour long, but I've got a long 45 minute drive there, now if only the driving didn't hurt. hehehe......
Lots of soft hugz to you.
TC and keep us posted.....
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BionicWoman
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 8/1/2008 10:49 PM (GMT -7)   
CPnewbie said...
Bionic ~ thanks for the message.  You are so right and I realized that just telling my husband about all the thing everyone has said that I was actually harming myself by not being proactive and taking the meds. Starting now I will love me and  my body enough to do the right thing ! Thanks again for your words they were wonderful !

You're welcome.  That therapist gave me several gentle nudges, such as the medication conundrum, along with several very hard kicks in the pants; all of which were needed and most appreciated.   tongue
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