physical therapy - Is this NORMAL???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by daylilyfan, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    The script from the Rheumy said for 12 sessions of massage, and ultrasound. I'm in a flare that's lasted a couple months, and I was having issues with extreame tightness between my shoulder blades, and muscle spasms below one shoulder blade.

    In the first PT session I had an assessment from the head of the PT. OK, that I understand. She had me move my arms in all positions and push against her hands as hard as I could even if it hurt.... and I think I may have injured my rotator cuff (not sure on terminology) -- shoulder didn't bother me ever in the past, but it's been two weeks and it's still very very painful. Can't reach up, can't sleep on my side, can't stand to touch the shoulder, can't reach back to hook bra, etc. Even my vicodin doesn't touch the pain. Going to family Dr. tomorrow to see what's up with that, as Rheumy said that's not her area. I am NOT happy about this. My right shoulder was sore for a few days, but is ok now, but the left shoulder hurt immediately, and now, 13 days later, is no better at all. All the PT place says is that they could not have injured me, and fibro people take forever to get better. Grrrr.... I've lived with fibro for 30 years. This is not a fibro soreness. This feels like something really wrong.

    But anyway.... back to my question..... since that first time, the head PT lady had me see another PT person, I assume an assistant of some sort, who seems to be making my treatment up as he goes. The first session, all he did was try to give me a tens unit, but I already had one from the Rheumy's office. Next session, he gave me a bunch of neck stretches that involve using both arms above my head - I said "I can't lift my left arm above my head because of the shoulder injury from the evaluation" he said "we cannot have hurt you in the evaluation - try harder!" When I insisted, he gave in and figured out a way for me to do the exercises using only the good arm. Next time in, they put me in a thing where I laid down and my head was laid in the metal cradle, and strapped in, to stretch my neck with 15 lbs of pressure for 50 seconds, let off for 10 seconds then pull for 50 more, did that for 15 minutes. Before he started, he said 'are you comfy" I said No - that thing is pressing right on the tender points at the base of my skull, which are two of the most painful of my fibro points!" He said the stretching would make them feel better. So, I tried it. Today, I feel like someone is pressing on them constantly!!!!! ARGH! (OK, my fault, I didn't protest loudly enough.) I asked him - what happened to the massage, ultrasound etc on the script? He said that Dr's don't know what people need, that's why they send people to PT's..... I cancelled tomorrow's appt. till after I see my Family Dr. and find out if I have a real injury to the shoulder, or if it's the fibro reaction to the evaluation movements.

    SOOO..... question is... have any of the rest of you had a PT place do stuff that was NOT on the script? I know the script said massage, ultrasound. They have not done any of that. It said nothing about excercise, neck pulling etc. I see the Rheumy next Tues, and will ask her then too.... but you all have a lot of experience to fall back on.

    After the shoulder injury, I am so afraid of coming out of there with more problems than I went in with!
  2. baybe

    baybe New Member

    when I went to PT the tens unit put me into spasms and the stretches didn't work. My PT said my back felt like scar tissue and she did cranial sacral? massage for the rest of my appts. She did the right thing.

    As for the pain in the shoulder blades, I get severe pain there if manipulated harshly or overstretched, that is my most active site. I right mine off to the Myofascial Pain Syndrome it is very easy to roll the fascia away from the muscle when you have this dx. That is why my PT didn't do typical massage.

    I don't know what your pain story is, but for me, and many of my fibro friends the particular pain you described is one of the worst and also the first place that kind of pain shows up.
  3. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    I've had cranial sacral massage by a wonderful massage therapist before and it helped.( Unfortunately, she's not covered by my insurance.)

    That's why I'm asking the question about if others have had PT places do completely different stuff than what the Dr. prescribed.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/30/2005]
  4. Rose_Red

    Rose_Red New Member

    I would call your Rheumy and scream as loud as you can!!!!!!! Make sure you tell him what the idiot assistant said about docs not knowing what patients need. If your doc thought you needed PT he would've ordered PT not Massage and Ultrasound.

    massage therapy is awesome and NON-PAINFUL!

    Is there a physical therapist anywhere else near you? If you have the option - i would choose not to return.

    I had an aqua therapist try this same bs with me. I let my Rheumy deal with her and her boss.

    Don't let thm do this to you.

  5. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    anyone else been to physical therapy and had treatment other than what was prescribed?

    What would you do if you were me?
  6. tngirl

    tngirl New Member

    When my doctor writes the prescription for therapy he puts the area that needs work and my diagnosis.

    The PT always does an eval the first visit, but has never said do it anyway if it hurts. He always stops if I tell him it hurts.

    As for the shoulder pain, I have that frequently and mine is fibro. I've been to a specialist to confirm this. That doesn't mean yours is fibro. It happens to mine if I overuse it or over stretch.

    You have the right to switch physical therapists and tell your doctor why you want to switch.

    My therapist does use different things, stretches, strengthening exercises, ultrasound, tens and massage and manipulation.

    He is very good. Once I had to see another therapist in the office. The first session she really massaged too hard. It was very uncomfortable and hurt alot the next two days. When I went back I nicely told her about the pain and she said she was sorry and would be more gentle.

    I think I (and anyone with FMS)are sensitive to touch. The way she massaged may not have hurt people without FMS. She is very nice.
  7. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    shoulder could be partially dislocated, or be tendonitis (but may not as it became painful right away after the exam at PT office) or could be partially torn rotator cuff. Going for X- ray first thing in A.M. She put 4 shots of steroid and painkiller into it and gave me a script for lidoderm patches. I'm to call her Friday to see how it is. If no better, it's MRI time. She's betting on the partial delocation. She said if she knew a PT was not doing as she ordered, she'd give them an earfull. She said cancel apptments till I see the Rheumy next week. And, double up on my Aleve for now.

    She said she'd like the name of the head PT that told me to push past the painful point in the Eval. The therapy place is part of the Hospital my Family Doc is associated with. She wants to have a talk with someone about it. Says no way should she have done that.

    And, NO MORE putting my head into something that makes me rest it on my tender points!

    Hugs to all...
  8. Rose_Red

    Rose_Red New Member

    It sounds like you have a good doc. I hope it all works out well for you.


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