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Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 7/2/2010 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Any thoughts on recovering from physical therapy?

My back was doing so much better I guess I got a bit too ambitious & thought maybe my neck could get better as well. The pain was not horrible, but it has very, very little mobility (due to the pain, so it's all just tricky as can be -- if I just held my head up straight & faced forward I was okay, but that's not always possible & moving it made it hurt like crazy!).

I'm doing practically nothing -- just turning my head about 20degrees, 10 times puts my headaches in full force. And my shoulders & upper back feel like I've been beaten to within an inch of my life. My PM says I'll probably have to give up on the PT, but basically it's my very last chance to be able to cut down on my pain meds -- which I want more than just about anything in the world.

Ice & Heat both set off shooting pains down my arms. Totally intolerable. Resting helps, but I need to go to work so that's not an option but for about 10 hours a day.

Any other thoughts? I'm so very miserable. How on earth such a tiny bit of movement could make me feel like I've got sea sickness & someone beating me half to death all at the same time is beyond me. But I'm pretty persistent so if anyone else has gone through this & has any ideas I can run by my PM & therapist, I'd REALLY appreciate it.

thanks!
frances smhair

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/2/2010 10:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Frances,
Have you tried using a soft neck collar? Ask your PT if it would be a good idea for you. I've had chronic neck problems for decades and one thing I've learned (the hard way, of course) is that when things are in a flare with my neck, the best thing is to try to keep it in the right position via a soft collar for awhile to give it a chance to calm down, then slowly - slowly - start the stretching routine my PT taught me years ago. Also, if I don't sleep on a good cervical pillow I'm a mess the next morning. And what constitutes "good" can vary over time! I've bought more cervical pillows than I can count, use them for a bit, then sometimes go back to an older style, or buy a new one, etc, etc, etc! I'm in the midst of that battle right now.

Necks are such a pain in the neck!

Good luck!

PaLady

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 7/2/2010 11:03 AM (GMT -7)   
PA-
Thanks for your post. The PT says that is a really bad idea & will set me back further. My PM disagrees & wrote me a script if I want to go pick one up OTC at a medical supply.

Usually I would go with my PM (even though he changes his mind an awful lot), but I had a soft collar post-op & it did seem to make things worse. Then I got another custom soft collar when I saw my first PM. Probably I got worse b/c he was a scheming idiot (used me as a guinea pig without telling me first), but it could've been the soft collar. It did feel really good while I was wearing it, but my neck hurt horribly whenever I would take it off even for a short time.

But desperate times call for desperate measures, so maybe I will try to find a soft collar again. I wish I could remember where I got the custom one. I have a very long, skinny neck & most of the collars don't fit right. The extra small is the right width, but I almost need 2 of them to get the right length.

If anyone knows of a place in north/central Illinois, NW Indiana or S Wisconsin that sells custom or semi-custom soft collars, please let me know.

thanks,
frances

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13481
   Posted 7/2/2010 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Frances I hate hearing that you are having such a problem with that neck of yours. Just when you were going along so well. You know it is odd how these PM dr differ on things. My prior PM dr had me in a horrible back brace because I walked bent over, well, my current PM dr said throw that thing away!! She said it will ruin what little muscle you have left in your back, so I did. I still walk bent over just not quite as bad as before. I hope you get better soon.
 

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


Blessedx8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 7/2/2010 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Frances,

First, I'm glad to see you posting :) But not glad you are in so much pain.... I'm really sorry. I wish I had some suggestions for you... All I can say is that you've come such a long way.... and I can tell how motivated you are to cut down on your meds and to have your neck pain/headaches lessen. I sure hope you can find something that works for you. It's hard when you are in so much pain to get discouraged - that I DO know... but I know you are strong and, hopefully, you will figure out something that works. Maybe some others will have some suggestions, too.

Take care, Frances... I really hope your pain decreases, and that you feel better.
--Tina
Main Health Problems: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Chronic Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Hypoadrenalism; Mixed (Obstructive/Central) Sleep Apnea - on Auto BiPap; Depression/Anxiety; Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

Pain Issues: Cervical/Thoracic back pain (they called it DDD...but I don't know); migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands/arms/feet; Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial (Sept, 2008); awaiting my decision for implantation...


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/2/2010 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Frances,
I was doing the soft collar thing intermittently under the supervision of my PT years ago. And she was the one who was the best for my neck, but obviously you have to follow your own instincts and medical advice here. I think a poorly fitting one may make things worse. Also, I never wore it while I was sleeping. I think I even bought mine OTC. But without following all the other suggestions from my PT - including ergonomics with my computer, when watching tv (I tend to protrude my neck, like a lot of us do), cervical pillow, etc., nothing works. And just one thing being off is all it takes for me.

Do you have a theracane? My PT also gave me one (same PT as above - she was my greatest PT, but then moved away). They look like a giant candy cane with those knobs on them that you see for getting at pressure points in muscles. Now I don't use that right on my neck, but my muscles between my neck and my shoulder (and everything else connected to them LOL) are always tight, and that is great for someone living alone to passively put pressure on trigger points by sitting back into one of the knobs. That doesn't cure anything, but it's one of my survival tools that's always on the couch ready for me to grab.

If I can think of anything else I'll let you know. You probably already know no carrying of shoulder bags of any type!

PaLady

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 7/2/2010 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Susie & Tina for your support.

PA -- I'd never heard of a theracane. It sounds interesting. I'll have to look into that. :)

Lindaloo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 7/2/2010 1:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I was going to suggest a soft collar before Pa Lady but I have never had one or neck pains bad enough to warrant one, so I guess you are on your own instincts here.

I am sorry you are going throught so much pain though. It sounds horrible and I will pray for you for less pain. You don't deserve that. Keep posting and let us know how you are doing, ok?

God bless.

Lindaloo
Co-Moderator Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia Forums
 
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.
 
Linda


White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 7/2/2010 1:40 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Frances

Well since this is a subject that I am quite familiar with, I just had my last PT session this past monday, receiving cervical traction and exercises, to try and eliminate upper neck and lower head pain. I was suppose to have 12 sessions and my therapist stopped at 5 and said no more! he was not helping me, but just  making things worse, increasing my pain and irritating my gag reflex and causing me a host of different problems.Now it is up to the Doctor to deside what is nexted for my neck!  I have had C5 thru C7 fused, and C3/4 is bad, but I also have arthritis, bones spurs and stenosis, really bad through my cervical area. Frances I can empathize with you with the limit motion and causing pain. When I have lots of pain, or stiffness or that gag reflex of mine starts going crazy I wear my soft cervical collar and it helps allot! The last two weeks or so I have been sleeping in with it on, since I can not lay flat and sleep in a fowlers position,  I find the cervical collar helps keep my head up and in a position that does not iritate my neck I use one of those "C" shape neck pillows but not on my neck, I use it with the open end down toward my neck and my head nestled in the center of the "C" so the pillow is supporting my head from the top and the sides, so with my head cradled in the neck pillow and with my soft cervical collar on, and in a sitting up (fowlers position) and with a full face Mask and hose attached to my VPAP machine and a bright orange hoody on, I imagine that I look like some kind of alien sleep in my bed. smilewinkgrin Anyway I cannot use that neck pillow as designed for the neck,  I can not stand anything pressing on the back of my neck ( or  the back of my neck pressing against any thing,)  as that neck pillow does, it give me severe upper neck and head pain and triggers my gag reflex!( and that is really bad news!) I guess,  You just have to do what ever you have to do to get comfort and relief, and find out what works and what doesn't!  Frances just keep searching and trying and hopefully you to will find things that will work for you! I know it is difficult! for me it has been, and continues to be an on going search and experiment,  if I can go two or 3 hours in a row,  without out waking up in pain, and having to try some other position, or take  a pain pill for break through, then I consider it a pretty successfull night! As most nights it is an on going struggle and I am woken up every hour or two, by pain. Any more it is a toss up between my neck and head and my lower back and hip and leg.

I do have a question for you Frances, do you know exactly what is wrong with your neck? Herniated Disks? Bone spurs? What were they doing to you in Physical Therapy? What about surgery? you mentioned having shooting pain down into your arms, my fusions did away with my arm pain. I do hope that you can find relief, because I do know what you are going through! I think I can really empathize with you on this one! It is no way to live ones life, but what else can we do, but muddle our way through it all, and hope for better days!

I do wish you well!

 

White Beare


Moderator Chronic Pain
 After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then  went back to school and became a  licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!--   DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in  Sep 2009,  C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV  I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Post Edited (White Beard) : 7/2/2010 2:47:26 PM (GMT-6)


Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 7/2/2010 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
   Dear Francess,
 
      It is so good to hear from you again. Though, goodness, I am so sorry you are in so much pain. I don't have any suggestions that havnt been mentioned already. I take alot of medicine for my pain and what is left over it usually treated with "wet heat", TeNS, and arnica gel. I do hope however that you can find something quickly. I can imagine having the neck pain is aggrivating.
 
*hugg*
  dani
 
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
 
Chronic Pain Moderator


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2284
   Posted 7/5/2010 2:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm in horrible horrible pain right now so I'm keeping it short but I really appreciate your support & ideas. dani -- you reminded me that I have a tube of Volaren lying around here somewhere -- I'm trying to find it now. Hopefully it helps.

i just hate how quickly things can spiral out of control. now my low back is crazy hurting too & my stupid leg is turning blue (no worries, PM says it's what happens when I ignore the pain for too too long). i wish i could just tear off all my hurting limbs -- course then i'd be left with pretty much nothing. mad

off to try as many home remedies as possible & pray that my PM will be able to fit me in for shots this week. I'm totally done with PT! Who would've thought it would set me back this far?!

hugz,
frances

Blessedx8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 7/5/2010 7:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I just have a second on here, too, Frances... but you sound so miserable...and I feel for you! I'd like to tear my body apart, too, but I agree - I wouldn't have anything left - because every darn thing hurts. :(

I'm praying you can get in to see your PM and get some shots... please keep us updated and I'll keep you in my prayers. Hang in there....

--Tina
Main Health Problems: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Chronic Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Hypoadrenalism; Mixed (Obstructive/Central) Sleep Apnea - on Auto BiPap; Depression/Anxiety; Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

Pain Issues: Cervical/Thoracic back pain (they called it DDD...but I don't know); migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands/arms/feet; Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial (Sept, 2008); awaiting my decision for implantation...


theclarko
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/10/2010 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
hello,
I am a PT and listening to your stories carefully can answer your questions. Alot of times patients will start to feel somewhat better and that all of a sudden that they are healing. when in fact, it just means that we have the fire somewhat extinquished. Also, a neck collar can sometimes aide for posture, but we never want to rely on that device. Also, ladies, please consider the weight of your purse, carrying groceries, babies or any repetitive work that you may do. Our job as a therapist is to try and help the physician to help relieve pain and discomfort. Sometimes PT may not be the answer. Typically we should know within 3-6 treatments if we are making progress. Remember, you are only with us a maximum of one hour, and many things can happen the other 23. Hope you can get some comfort.

theclarko
Physical Therapist
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