I was on the phone with a past patient who was hurting in his back and having pain down his leg. He got and MRI and was told that he has stenosis and one herniated disc. (Unfortunatley what the doctors do not tell you that based on research as you get older the majority of people are going to show degenerative changes such as stenosis, degerative disc disease, arthritis, etc. Even people who are pain free). The doctors did injections and that did not really work nor did the medications, so they said he needed to have surgery and that his pain was coming from Stenosis and therapy would not work.
He was not sure what to do, so he called our office to get our opinion. I got on the phone with this patient and asked a few questions to get better understand on how his symptoms presented.
With one question that he answered, told me that his pain is not coming from stenosis. Of course I spent about 15 min on the phone asking him questions and trying to see based off his functional activities how his body responded. There were other questions that also did not add up as well.
What was the question? Does he feel better or worse with walking? He said he feels better walking and his leg pain gets better too as he continues to walk. Stenosis will get worse with prolonged walking and his symptoms in his legs could get worse. It is the opposite of what should happen with stenosis.
This is a common occurance I see with my patients. They are told there is nothing they can do, they either need to live with it or have surgery. I always tell my past patients to contact us anytime to ask questions or have a new injury to see if their is anything they can do conservatively. Research states that only 7% of the patients with back pain ever get referred to physical therapy. You always need to try conservative care and always try to find the physical therapist that specialize in the spine and someone who will spend time with you. Not 5 min and pass you on to others.
I only refer out a couple of people a year and confirmed they need to have surgery. It does not happen very often, but when I see red flags or they are not progressing like they should, they need to have surgery. It is not often because most people do not need to have surgery.
If you have any questions about any pains or soreness that you are having, at mPower Physical Therapy in Dallas, we have a FREE Phone Consulation were you can call and speak to one of our top Physical Therapist. We can learn more about what is going on with you, what you have tried and what you are being told. We do not like to see people go down the wrong path even if they do not come in to see us. All you have to do is CLICK HERE to fill out a form to get you scheduled.