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Harrison 01-05-2007 05:54 PM

Physical therapy is justifiably one of the most frequently discussed – and debated – topics on this board. These are some of the past discussions we’ve had in the past two years. I’ll update this topic regularly and add my 2 cents. My pithy 1 cent synopsis here: ADR Post Op: Less is more!

Unfortunately, many patients have been hurt in the early days of their therapy; there could be many reasons for this:

- The soft tissue structures are still healing and “getting used to” their new “biomechanical position in life,”
- The muscles and structures in the back, trunk and legs are unconditioned, weak or even malnourished (blood, nutrients, fluids, etc.),
- The therapist did not receive specialized training to treat spine patients (many do not; few in the U.S. have received training for ADR patients!) and may have pushed you too hard.

Most of these topics are focused on PT after artificial disc replacement. However, there are some things that you can do to prepare for surgery, as well as prepare for PT after you’ve had surgery. Some of these activities include:

- Stretching: legs, especially hamstrings and calves,
- Breathing: learn deep breathing techniques, as in Tai Chi or Chi Gong,
- Massage: learn how to do self-massage, buy a Theracane or pay a professional to work on legs, trunk and entire back,
- Jacuzzis: are always great, as are saunas,
- Walking: is easy and good for everyone. Just make sure you have good sneakers, and that your gait is healthy and reasonably symmetrical,
- Yoga: be careful on some of the stretching, but focus on the “spine lengthening” and core-strengthening.

Give yourself plenty of time to recover after ADR – at least 3 months before you start PT. Some folks started PT well before then, but many who have suffered a setback or problem due to the reasons mentioned above. Decide for yourself after reading these past discussions below. If you decide on PT, take these considerations to your therapist:

- Be psychologically and physically prepared for PT. After all, your entire body is being treated, not just your lumbar spine!
- It is perfectly rational to ask your therapist questions about their training and certifications! What spine training do they have? How many spine patients have they treated? How many ADR patients? (Be ready for this answer…)
- If something doesn’t feel right, you’re in the driver’s seat – so exercise your right to say, STOP!


Physical Therapy . . . Who needs it!

Physical Therapy Post ADR

Plea to the APTA (Post-op PT)

Set Back From Physical Therapy?

Gym Exercises, any tips?

Q & A with ProSpine PhysioTherapist on Recovery

Should PT be painful?

PT? How long after surgery?

Interesting Medscape article on lower back pain PT

Physical Therapy and related questions

Massage Therapy

Deep Water Therapy

How bad is therapy for the first time?

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