Physical therapy is making my pain worse

I have osteoporosis and osteoarthritis - also recently suffering from sciatica - L5/S1 herniated disk plus L4/L5 herniation.

I went to physical therapy, and the first place made me a lot worse, so I went to a sports med specialist (non surgical) - went to new phys the exercises seems to make symptoms worse - also got orthotics which i tried a little bit - so much pain in ankles i had to put them away for now.

i am really discouraged. anyone out there have similar experiences to share? thanks.

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Hello Ellen, maybe you ought to give it more time? I'm taking acute or intense physical therapy for quite sometime and at times it seems the pain is worse; however, by now the pain has been reduced a quite a bit. I found one of the vest hospitals here in NYC and asked for a referral for physiotherapy and found it. I'm very satisfied with the therapist who is very dedicated and thorough. Maybe if you found a good hospital where they have it perhaps you'd feel better? BTW, I'm going because of a complicated hip replacement, 3 times a week, additionally I go 2 or 3 times a week at my gym for high energy water aerobics.

I too have osteoporosis and osteoarthritis...(What is orthrotis?)

Hope this helps? :) Leidi

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Oops forgot to add that this rehab or physical therapy center I've been going to is affiliated to the best hospital. (where's an "Edit" here?)

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thanks.

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orthotics - (not othotics :) ) are inserts for shoes which are supposed to help and correct back problems. my pain has just gotten so much worse this past week after my last appt with physical therapy...it is very discouraging.

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Something is NOT right here, ellen 128 ---------
Physical therapy should not be causing such pain. Fatigue, maybe, a few temporary aches and pains,maybe.
Be sure you are not bending at the waist or twisting your spine with fixed feet. These are definite NO-NO's as they stress your vertebrae.
ALL physical therapists should, theoretically, be able to help you, but, unfortunately, not all PTs are as knowledgeable in osteoporosis management and treatment they should be.
Lucy Buckley PT aka Mother Goose

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I searched for a physical therapist with 20 plus years experience. She introduced me to Sara Meeks book "Walk Tall! An exercise program for the prevention and treatment of back pain, osteoporosis and the postural changes of aging". She also recommended I get from Amazon a"soft, grey half foam roller" to put under the spine when doing the supine exercises.
The program seems extremely safe and effective. She has a website. Very, very safe, I don't see how this program could cause more pain. I feel very lucky to have found this physical therapist and through her this system. Through the website you should be able to find a PT in your area trained by Sara Meeks. Good luck. Let us know what you think of this if you decide to investigate it.

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Well, my own approach to chronic pain is to not do anything that makes pain worse. I would tell the therapist, this is making me worse, can we try something else, that will not aggravate the pain. Either that or get another therapist.

Persisting with painful work does not improve things.

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Physical therapy should not be making things worse. However because of both time and financial factors, the model of physical therapy is changing from the original hands on with heat,cold and manipulative therapy , etc. modalities to here are the "instruction sheets , go home " and do them ! I was fortunate in that I was able to change from a hospital based outpatient physical therapy center practicing the new model to a physical and sports medicine specialist who firmly believed in the traditional model. A lot more time and effort but the results were worth it !

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I have osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and spinal stenosis. I went for physical therapy at a medical university hospital for several months. For awhile it helped, but I had to quit due to the worsening of my sciatica.I also even had to quit gentle yoga for awhile. The only thing that has really helped the pain has been cortisteroid injections, but I know those are not good for my bones.

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I went once and physical therapy laid me out for two days. The next I went back she told me to jump on the stationary bike. I told her that was not happening and she needed to listen to me. We sat down and discuss my physical problems and i suggested swimming. Swimming is wonderful and helps me get the exercise I need.

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I see a physical therapist who uses manual therapy, which is facilitated stretching to correct shortened tight muscles that interfere with walking properly. Likewise, he has me strengthening the muscles that allowed the others to shorten, and go into spasm. But it is not painful, and has eased my pain.

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thanks. sounds similar to what my chiropractor does, and i am back with him. after only one visit, i feel a lot of relief!

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thanks - at least i know i am not the only one who got worse with phys. therapy...my sciatica definitely was worsened by the phys therapy...

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You don't have a history of endometriosis, do you?

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ellen128 ,
Please be careful going to a chiropractor , as they can crack your bones, and I mean literally! It happened to me a few years ago.

Before you go to a P.T. you might want to ask if she/he knows how to give P.T. to a person with Osteoporosis, and Osteoarthritis.
I have never been in pain going to my P.T. I feel good after.

Take Care,
April

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I would go to a different physical therapist. I have been to about 5 different PT"s ,at different times, and I would say that out of all of them only 2 were really good. Ask around to friends who have been to PT's and find one that they recommend. PT time should not be spent on stationary bikes. You can do that on your own. Also, orthotics do help foot problems but many times make other problems worse. But your feet are the base of your body and need to work right. Wear them only a short time each day and work up to more. Also, some orthotics are better than some. I have had 2 differnt pairs and my last pair are great .

Kathy

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THANKS SO MUCH! i feel a whole lot better today after 2 mild noninvasive adjustments by my chiropractor who i have been seeing for 20 years - i go for what works - and he has 'cured' me of herniated neck disk pain, carpal tunnel and trigger finger. i have to go with waht i knkow has worked.

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Swimming is a fine physical activity, but does not build bone because the body is "unloaded". No weight-bearing and not that much resistance -- unless the water is turbulent.
Stationary bike is also not applicable for those with bone loss.
Lucy Buckley PT aka Mother Goose

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call sara meeks and ask her if there someone she train in your city she on this site

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This is really interesting, vflorence. How did you find the therapist? Thank you.

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