I’m finally having some proper physio

I’m finally having some proper physio

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This week I had two other opinions on my pain and how physio can help me. The first was really negative and deflating; the second had just as much bad news but was really positive. I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere.

I’m finally having some proper physio

We’ll start with the first opinion

So last Sunday I had my gym induction. I’ve been using the gym based on my previous physio’s advice (see my previous blog post my physio session: a spanner in the works) that basically any exercise I do will be of benefit. I’ve been focusing my workout on the exercises that I did in my physio session and I’ve been feeling pretty good about it – staying positive and feeling good for going.

Well my gym induction threw another spanner in the works. I’m fed up of these bloody spanners to tell you the truth. It’s two steps forward and three back all the time.

It wasn’t really an induction in the end either. I explained my situation (summarising a 5 year chronic pain journey into a brief conversation is always tricky) and I was prodded and poked in my muscles, in the middle of the gym, with other gym users around me.

In summary I was told (yet again) that my body is all out of alignment and that my muscles need stabilising. Oh and any workouts I do on the weight machines won’t do any good.

Great!

I’ve signed up to a 12 month gym subscription based on a professional’s advice and for what? At the moment it feels like I’ve just wasted my money.

Oh and in my gym induction I was told I’d need at least 5 personal training sessions to get “fixed”. I’m not sure to believe whether these will actually help me or if it’s just a scam to get me to spend more money. I’d be surprised if it was the latter – I’d like to think Bannatynes gym is more professional and trustworthy than that. Especially as my partner had a gym induction at the same time with another personal trainer and was offered a second session free to look at setting up a proper workout for her. I think I drew the short straw.

I’m at that point where I don’t know who or what to believe and it’s just getting me down. The more and more it happens the more deflated and fed up I feel. Having to justify my decision about my coccygectomy is also taking its toll. The guy literally couldn’t believe I’d had it removed.

My second opinion

A few days later I had an appointment to see another physio about my neck pain – can you tell I’m desperate for some help?

I wasn’t sure what to expect and to tell you the truth, I was all ready to be defensive and assertive about my previous decisions about my surgery. But there was no need. The whole set up was much more professional from the start and I was impressed immediately.

This appointment was literally an assessment and I finally had a thorough investigation. We talked through my history, what I’m struggling with now, and the treatment options available. There was also some hands-on assessment and this was vital to establish what was causing my pain and where the treatment focus should be.

Finally a justified diagnosis

The physio concluded that I’m a complicated case and that my neck pain is being caused by sitting abnormally. He emphathised with me and understood that it was because I was defending my body from my coccyx/lower back pain. He also explained that it’s going to be a difficult and long journey to see improvements but he was positive that some treatment would give some relief. And more importantly, regular treatment would help to stop things getting worse.

There is a lot of tension and stress in my upper back, and some muscles elsewhere aren’t being used at all. I’ve got some rotation in my spine, and it is unlikely that this damage can be reversed. I also now need to make sure that I start using some of the muscles that have pretty much seized up and have very little blood circulation around them.

He wants to focus on my neck pain first so I have booked in three dry needling sessions. This  was recommended to me as they’ve had a high success rate with this type of treatment with other chronic neck pain clients. I’m not really looking forward to it but I’m willing to give it a go.

So it’s been another week of ups and downs, lots of tears and reflection, but I’m finally starting to feel I’m getting somewhere at last.

Oh and the physio answered my question are aqua classes good for chronic pain and said “yes, absolutely they are, and they will even help the muscles around your coccyx.” That’s me going to regular aqua classes now.

Have you tried dry needling to help with your chronic pain? Did it help? Do you recommend it?

Read my blog post The day I cried at my needling appointment.

10 thoughts on “I’m finally having some proper physio

  1. Gavan Sticka says:

    Hi Alice,

    Great blog – I’m a physio and it gives a great idea into how people with persistent pain perceive us and our service. Very insightful!

    Obviously this is after the fact but I hope you’re still going with the gym. It sounds like you’ve gotten some bad advice at this so called induction. It sounds like you realize this anyway which is great.

    There’s no good evidence for muscles being imbalanced or out of alignment having any relationship to your pain. These concepts are impossible to reliably test for and completely irrelevant. Ignore practitioners who tell you these things. There’s great evidence that doing strengthening exercise will help with pain in the long term and even if it doesn’t, there are a whole host of other benefits especially to mental and general health.

    Good luck with your journey. Keep advocating for yourself! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog

    • Alice says:

      Hi Gavan. Thank you for your kind comments and I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading my blog. If you have any future blog post suggestions or would like to know more about my perspective on certain things just let me know.

  2. Diana says:

    I went to my very first ever physio appointment last week for a frozen shoulder. I too was impressed with the professionalism. Good luck with your recovery. 🙂

    • Alice says:

      Thanks very much. Hope your shoulder is getting better. I’ve been to 3 different physios over the years now and its surprising how they all differ. I definitely prefer the more professional, customer focussed ones x

  3. Jennifer says:

    I’ve not heard of drying needling before so all I can say is I hope this helps. Having had chronic low back pain for the last two years due to a car accident I know how frustrating and exhausting it can be. Finding the right person to work with you is key.

  4. Rachael stray says:

    You usually get a cooling off period when you sign to for the gym speak to them and see if you can cancel or adjust so you only pay for the aqua classes.

    Wish you all the best with your journey x

    • Alice says:

      Thanks Rachael. I think I’ve gone past the cooking off period. I’m sticking with it as I’m hoping to use the weight section in the future. I can use the treadmill (fast walking) and the cross trainer so that’s good at least. And another bonus is that going to the gym is getting me out the house. Just done my second aqua class 😃

  5. Hayley says:

    Good luck with all this. As always you have all my empathy. Am forever being shunted fromgeslth professional to health professional all of whom have different opinions. It’s very frustrating, isn’t it? You e inspired me to try aqua lessons again though. All the best.

    • Alice says:

      Thanks Hayley. I’m so pleased you’ve tried aqua again. Let me know how you get on 😃 I’ve just done my second class – a little more painful this week but I’m hoping that’s just because I’m using muscles that haven’t been used for some time! x

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