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Can physio make a problem worse?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by alexpotter, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. I am just after some advice. I have a problem with the vertebrae in my neck and this causes nerve pain down my arm. I was referred for physio, and by the time I got a first appointment (about 6 weeks) the pain had pretty much gone, but I was still left with pins and needles. After the first appointment, I was in a lot of pain again for a week, which again subsided, but only with the help of strong anti-inflammatories. The physion didnt seem to think this was normal but then again didnt say it wasnt, just kind of said 'Wait and see'
    The second apppointment (2 weeks later) then caused exactly the same thing. The pain now gets so bad it reduces me to tears.
    My question is - is this a normal reaction or not? Should I continue with the treatment, or should I stop it and hope the pain and pins and needles goes away on its own, as it was doing before I started the treatment in the first place! I would call the physio but she's on holiday until my next appointment. [​IMG]
  2. Red wine fan

    Red wine fan New commenter

    The short answer to your question is yes.
    My cousin has very loose joints and her shoulder *popped* out a couple of years ago, requiring surgery to fix it. She had the keyhole procedure then went for physio. The idiot physio managed to pop it out again in the first session [​IMG] So she had the keyhole surgery again a couple of months later and the same thing happened again. Seemingly the surgeons were unable to explain to the physios how to treat my cousin (but it was Stepping Hill, now in the news). Finally, she had major open shoulder surgery which left her living with her parents for 6 weeks as she couldn't manage alone.
    Go to your GP and ask for a review of the treatment and if this is a normal side-effect. Good luck!
  3. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I am obviously not speaking from a medical perspective, only my own experience, so if you are worried, seek a medical opinion but....
    I was in a car accident in 2005 and incurred a whiplash injury. I didn't feel badly injured, the immediate pain wasn't great and I could go about my daily life almost as normal in terms of shopping, driving, sleeping etc. However, I did find that I lacked strength and couldn't hold my arms in the air, for example to blow-dry my hair or hang out the washing. I could no longer do certain exercises, especially those involving using my arms in the air (so Body Combat, Aerobics etc).
    I was referred for physio, eventually, by my insurance company. It was a private physio, not NHS. I was in absolute agony during the half-hour sessions as she manipulated the vertabrae in my neck and spine. It was SOOOOO tender and I'd literally be in tears by the end of it. I hadn't expected it. I'd expected physio to be gentle and satisfying, not agonising.
    Overall, I didn't feel like the physio I've received has 'cured' me at all. The pain I went through at a private physio and later at an NHS physio seemed to be fairly expected. I actually felt like I'd been beaten up the days following some particularly hardcore sessions.
    So, it may be that the pain is to be expected. I know that I'd describe my pain as agony, not merely sore. However, if concerned, seek further advice.
    As a final point, I must say that I found my visits to an Osteopath to be far more helpful that the physio, and much less painful although I had to pay for it myself. I'd also recommend accupuncture in your treatment.
  4. i'm often very sore after my physio appointments - they're manipulating damaged areas of my body so i must admit i expect it. however, having said that i believe some physios are better than others so if you're not happy with the physio you're seeing, see another physio (privately?) and see if you're as sore after a session with the new physio. if you are, then there's your answer. if you're not, then what the original physio is doing possibly isn't the right course of action for you.
  5. I go to an osteopath and she always says I will be sore for a couple of days after due to muscle inflammation. She tells me to ice up often as soon as I get home. I have a bag of peas which I put straight on my back for 10 minutes, I then put the peas back in the freezer and go about my every day stuff for an hour or so. I then sit down for 10 minutes with the frozen peas. I do this throughout the day and the soreness is not so bad.
  6. Also I should add that I was told my a physio that nerve pain goes through stages. Pain, pins and needles, numbness and weakness. Sometimes when things are coming back and recovering you might be getting these in reverse. So your nerve which is obviously pinched may be getting released and so you are going from pins and needles to pain. I had this with my sciatic nerve in my leg. I had a numb toe for 3 years and after having physio for a few sessions I got the most horrendous pain in my foot but my numbness disappeared. After a few more treatments the pain went away. I have no pain in my foot now and toes that I can feel.

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