Physical Therapy: Here we go

So, if you read my bio, you will know that I first hurt my thoracic spine carrying my 60 pound dog, but the real injury came when I tore my L5-S1 annulus at a physical therapy appointment.

Therefore, it has been a very tough road to return to physical therapy. But … I finally decided to get back on the horse again. I am going to a new place and seeing a new therapist. I first saw her last Friday and it went pretty well. She seemed very knowledgeable (I interviewed her this time), thorough, tough and gentle.

So I have decided to keep seeing her and hope for the best. I liked her answer too when I asked her if she thought I was going to get better. She said she didn’t know for sure, but based on my age, level of fitness before the injury, she thinks so. She also said it will take a lot of hard work and I will have good days and bad days. I thought this was an informed, thoughtful answer. It was because of her answer more than anything else that leads me to want to keep going for visits.

However, I didn’t have a ride this week to see her, so my therapy will start up again next week. I have been trying to do her exercises here. I actually bought a simple massage table to do my exercises on and it has been working out perfectly. It is firmer than my bed, but not as hard as the floor (or as difficult to get onto as the floor.)

I just now felt something really twinge in my back, so I’m trying not to freak out. It was higher up in the back, and maybe it was just angry I was pushing it further that I normally do. I tried to just settle into the dtretch, but maybe that is not the best idea. Maybe just hold for a seond, and then release so that if the muscles are so unused to the exercise they don’t just give way right away because they aren’t used to it?

Spine Articles

I liked this article. It was very thorough. This is a snapshot of the article …

Annular Tears

Our intervertebral discs change with age, much like our hair turns gray. Perhaps the earliest stage of degeneration occurs due to tears that occur in the annulus. These tears can result from wear and tear over a period of time. They can also be the result of a sudden injury to the disc due to a twist or increased strain on the disc that overpowers the strength of the annulus. These annular tears may cause pain in the back until they heal with scar tissue.

View animation of annular tearing

Related Document: A Patient’s Guide to Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

For more information click on the link below.

Random Ramblings: What’s been happening including Venlafaxine withdrawal, new updates from doctor on my progress

So, my Random Ramblings today will be to catch you up on what’s been going on.

So for anyone who is wondering what happened with the Venlafaxine withdrawal, you can rest easy to know that today is 3 1/2 weeks out and I am completely back to normal. I’d say I felt back to normal even a week ago. So don’t worry! It sucks for those 5 days, but you WILL get over it.

As for back pain, I saw my physician on Tuesday February 5th (5 months post injury). He said he was very happy with my pain tolerance, but not happy with my range of motion.

Left leg to chest

So he put me through a few exercises. Mostly bending at the waist on the table and then raised first my right knee to my chest, then my left, and finally, both. Then with both knees to my chest, he rolled them from side to side.

Here is my complaint. He had me on the hardest table — hard like a wood floor. No give.

I could imagine giving that table to someone who had a knee injury, or maybe a broken arm, but, seriously? A back pain patient.


That office should not have a bed like that in it.

Forward bend

So the repercussions was that it rammed my bony sacrum into that table. Also, considering where my injury is, L5-S1, that added pressure and zero give. I think it was all too much on my back. It’s one week after that visit and I am just now starting to be able to sleep at night with underwear again. At first, it really helped my upper back, but now, from lack of movement due to my lower back, I’m getting really stiff all over again.

Also, on the drive to the doctor’s office last Tuesday, I sat the best I ever have in the car. Then, on Thursday, I had to go to my annual mole check and I could barely sit again. : – (

So, I don’t know what to think about all of it. I’m at five months. He said when I left his office he thought I’d be better in 6 months. Now I question whether or not I will meet that goal since my low back is hurting so much from that visit.

I think that’s the common thing for me with this injury is that nagging question of if I will ever be better again.

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