I am so sorry it took so long for me to respond to your thread. When the title read new PT exercise, I never expected to see your story like this. I am so sorry for your pain.
Ok, now for some suggestions....I have so much back pain that I think I have tried everything. I am allergic to the Volteren Gel (which is probably what you are getting) because it is an NSAID. You'll know very soon if you are allergic. My husband is too, so we wasted some pretty serious co-pays to get that one. BioFreeze wins hands down!!! Ask for some at the PT. They usually have some they will "share" with patients. This may help give some relief.
Also, perhaps some shoe braces (mine help a great deal with foot/leg/knee/hip pain) because my other ailments caused the feet to suffer....thus no foundation and pain all the time. I was back to the walker before the foot braces and now I don't use anything unless I happen to need a cane on occasion. I have to wear a dorsal night splint and then the Richey braces during the day. I also ordered another type of dorsal night splint/airsole day splint combo for both feet from a medical dealer, but the size the recommended is too small. I'm sending thim back today and trying for the bigger size. I'd love to be able to wear "real" shoes on occasion since I've never been a great tennis shoe fan. My Richey braces had to be fitted into special shoes form the podiatrist.
I say all of this not to hyjack your thread, but to give you something else to try for relief. Also, since you couldn't find the microwave thing to warm.....Make one at home. Take a long tube sock (preferably thick mens white) and fill it to whatever level is comfortable to you with plain rice (uncooked of course). Tie a very good knot in the end or sew the end over itself several times (I ususally just do the knot). Pop it in the microwave making sure to test for heat every 30 seconds to minute depending on the microwave strength and the size of the sock or amount of dry rice. THe rice helps hold the heat pretty good and can be used over and over. I think dried beans work well too, but I've always been afraid they would explode if overheated in the microwave.
Best of luck to you my friend!
TLIF L5-S1/failed, Pituatary disorder w/HGH deficiency, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery & Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, Pre-glaucomic, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (surgery related trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendionitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet & much more.....