Bring on the pain!

I’m beginning a course of physical therapy this morning — my back pain is currently at manageable levels, so it’s time to work it over and get my core up to a better state for the long term. I am not looking forward to it, but it would be nice to get into a stable shape.

Hey, I’m back already, and that wasn’t nearly as bad as I imagined. I pictured brutal gym coaches yelling at me as I worked out on big heavy machines, but it wasn’t like that at all. I got an ultrasound treatment of my lower back, and then a nice firm back massage (it was difficult to stay awake), and finally we ran through a set of 3 stretching exercises I have to do every day. They were exercises I can do lying down in bed! I’m also supposed to continue taking long walks, but I was doing that anyway.

Now the only danger is that I’m feeling so relaxed that I want to go take a nap.


  1. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin has just invented TreaTing Terrible Things wihT TrebucheT™©® and is now looking for volunteers to TesT iT on. She says the treatment is Simple, Short, SatiSfying, and Superb, apparently consisting of monopolizing T and S, being ShoT ouT of a TrebucheT until SquiShed and flaT, with your choice of landing areas: Sea, concreTe, or minefieldS. One treatment — usually consisting of several shots — is frequently sufficient. Inexpensive full payment in advance. Spiders not included. CheeSeS exTra.

  2. says

    Physical Therapy is wonderful. It has fixed problems both my wife and I have had that we both thought would require surgery. Good luck.

  3. gcstroop says

    I’ve always been skeptical of PT. The industry, as a whole, is full of people willing to dry needle you, stick a TENS unit on you, or have you do some inane bullshit exercise that doesn’t really increase force production.

    It’s better than sitting your ass on the couch, I suppose, but the whole concept that we need to weed out “imbalances” by doing isolation exercises is fucking stupid. The body doesn’t move in isolation, but PT’s seem to think that we need to zero in on a single muscle and make it stronger, as though they know when your superior gemelius is weak as opposed to your piriformis…

  4. nifty says

    I had a great round of physical therapy that really helped some chronic back and hip pain a lot. My worker was nothing like what gcstroop disliked- no needles, no isolation exercise, rather all types of dynamic motion to strengthen core and the goal was not to strengthen any individual muscle, but to balance them. Their goal was to teach me exercises I could do on my own and hopefully not have to return to their care in the future. (I had some chronic issues in the past but what really made me worse was some horrible ergonomics and posture while doing on-line /remote teaching.

  5. madtom1999 says

    Having spent years in various therapies for back problems after a car accident I wondered if ‘proper’ exercise might help. So I popped down to my local Cornish Pilot Gig rowing club and after rowing for 1 1/2 hrs twice a week for 6 months my back problems largely disappeared. Stopping due to Covid restrictions they came back. Started again around this time last year and after a while they cleared up again. The downside is my forearm strength is such that I can remove the head off any screw and have twice sheared the fittings off taps (faucets?) trying to stop drips!

  6. chesapeake says

    My experience over a dozen years was that of the 3 or 4 different kinds of PT I encountered, some were very good ,some did nothing, some hurt. For me a therapist with experience in pelvic alignment exercises was very helpful. I continue to do these exercises 10 years later.

  7. jrkrideau says

    I have had chronic neck pain for many years and tried several different things. Finally a visit to the University Physio Clinic (part of the medical school), a set of exercises, and presto, pain gone in 3 days and stays gone as long as I keep up with the exercises.

    Some physios look like quacks but the good ones are fantastic.

  8. magistramarla says

    Because of my chronic problems, I need ongoing PT to keep walking. , with forearm crutches.
    I’ve experienced several different PT philosophies in two different states.
    It took me a while, but I found a practice which suited me perfectly when we lived in Texas.
    After our move to California, I tried the PT practices that my PCP recommended, but was not at all satisfied.
    After researching, I found a PT practice less than half a mile from my home which is exactly like the one that
    helped me so much in Texas. I go twice a week, and get the help that I need to strengthen my core and my leg
    muscles to keep me upright. Some physical therapists are worth their weight in gold.