I would like your advice weather or not to continue physical therapy

I have been in a flair sunce May. My doc first put me on nabumentone to try to get me through the flair and when it did not help he upped my savella. I called back after about a month when I still wasn’t feeling any better and he sent me to PT. after a coupe of weeks there without any improvement they sent me for water therapy, which is also not helping. My old doc came back and I went to see her to see if she thought there could be some underlying cause that would keep me in the flair and she ran some blood tests. They all came back fine and I mentioned something about weather or not she thought maybe my back could possible be causing it. I have a small herniated disc at the level where my worst pain is, it is a band of pain all the way around, in my back, sides and ribs. She didn’t think it was my back and wanted to treat my fibro first, then if I still have no relief the will check my back out. So I started Gabapenitn last night. I have an apt with the PT tomorrow again but they want to reevaluate me. So I am wondering what you would do. I have given PT a chance with no help and I have been thinking about not going anymore. It seams to me like a waste of my time and money and a waste of there time and my babysitters time. Thanks for the input.

Rebecca, I can only share my experience of PT with you. I went to 3 different PT places, getting treatment for months at a time at each one. They kept telling me I needed to strengthen my core muscles, which is true. HOWEVER, I was in horrible pain afterwards for days and I never got any stronger in the core muscle area. In fact, it made me worse because I started having bursitis pain in my side.

Some folks have had help with PT but it seems to me that a lot of people with fibro do not. I can't tell you one way or another what to do but I'd certainly reevaluate the situation if it's not doing any good. I went to a really good one one time, Spaulding Rehab, and even they couldn't help me. I honestly don't think they know how to treat people with fibro.

It's sometimes hard to tell what part is back pain and what part is fibro. I have the same issue, Rebecca. I'm REALLY sorry you're going through this and I hope you find some help for it.

Thanks Petunia, I have heard that PT doesn’t seam to really help us fibros and I wonder if it’s cause they don’t know enough.

It seems that way to me, Rebecca. The pt person with Spaulding tried to adjust the exercises to make them more comfortable but no matter what, my back hurt horribly. i don't think they even consider that a person could have fibro. I told her i thought something else was going on (didn't know about the fibro then.) You'd think she'd have some knowledge of people who don't respond to standard therapy. But she didn't know what to do once the adjusted exercises failed to work. So what good were they? I felt worse after them and ended up with bursitis too.

Again, i don't know if my experience is the same as yours, Rebecca. I'm just trying to give info on what i went through. Maybe you could talk to the PT person and ask her what she knows about fibro and how she accommodates for it. It wouldn't be a good sign if she wasn't aware of it or what to do.

She does seam knowledgable about fibro, but the guy that will evaluate me tomorrow doesn’t. However I still get the look like she doesn’t know why it’s not working. Thanks again Petunia.

You're welcome. For whatever reason, it doesn't seem like PT is the answer. Maybe because our pain is due to the nerves and there's nothing wrong with the muscles, joints, etc. I really don't know...

I have had the same experience with PT. It didn't and still doesn't work for me. I actually get worse pain from it. As far as my own experience regular PT is not really appropriate for fibromyalgia in most cases. Some do ok with water therapy but then again, if there is an instructor putting you through a routine, you can easily push past your limits and end up flaring up. Water therapy worked for me only when I did my own thing and at my own pace. No water boot camp!

You have to ask yourself "is this working for me or not?" "Am I getting better or worse?" That will pretty much give you your answer.

I would say don't go. You don't seem to like it, it's not helping and its as you said a waste. I tried PT once, had no effect and after a few months I just stopped going. You know your body better than anyone else. If it isn't working, it isn't working. . .you gave it a try and that's all that matters. Good luck to you!

Dear Rebecca,

In my non medical opinion, a herniated disc is never small, each disc directly corresponds with the movement of our body, each and every disc is an important part of our spinal cord. Like my Chiropractor says "we are ONE UNIT". When we have trauma and injury to one part of it, it always affects the WHOLE.



Honey, I cannot tell you to stop PT, this is a decision that you have to make with your Doctor, but I do want to tell you that am so sorry that you suffer this. Talk to your husband and your Doctor, see what they think, and of course talk to us. We are always here for you.

Wishing you well,


It's really difficult to say because fibro does get a little better with "graduated exercise" but not for CFS which a lot of us have on top.

Each person is different and responds differently to meds, exercise and food etc. You have to start off really easy with exercise and build up very slowly and be very consistent with it too. Otherwise it definitely will not work. Plus you can only get so far, not like a healthy person can get stronger and fitter.

Only you can really know the answer to your question because you know your body better than anyone. Sorry I can't be more helpful.