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Numbness/Pain getting worse from physical therapy?
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Numbness/Pain getting worse from physical therapy?

Hi, this forum seems to hold a great deal of info and I'm hopefully looking for things that can help me out.


My herniations initially started about 3 years ago.  I have herniations in my C4-C5 level, C5-C6 level, and herniations in my lower back (not sure what level).

It initially started as a slight numbness in my left pinkie.  3 years later, it has manifested into pain/numbness in my left hand/arm.  I also had slight numbness on the top of my right/left foot (this may be due to the herniations in my lower back).

I had been going to physical therapy about a year ago but, I had to stop due to my insurance not covering physical therapy anymore.

I recently switched jobs and also received new insurance.  I started going back to physical therapy (to a new physical therapist as well) about 2 weeks ago.

The thing is, this time, I think the physical therapy may be worsening my conditions.  I now have numbness pain in my right hand/arm and numbness/pain in my toes in both feet.  I've never had numbness/pain in my right hand/arm and toes before.

I don't know why it could possibly be getting worse?  I'm doing the same exact physical therapy as I did a year ago (mostly neck traction).  I've started doing traction in my lower back but, I don't think this could make it this worse?  A couple of days ago I sneezed very hard and I had this immense shooting pain running down the both of my arms/hands.

I was told that my nerves were inflamed and this was expected.  Perhaps beginning pains?  But when I started physical therapy a year ago, I never experienced this.

Apologies for the long post but, this whole herniation problem has really gotten me to the point of depression.  I'm 28 years old (I'm not young but, not old enough to be having all of these problems) and feel like my whole body is falling apart.  

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.   :S
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Neck and back pain can really degrade everyday life, and kind of scary when your still young. I was familiar with pain, but now i'm better and in my 40's. The hard part is finding what works for you and more importantly, what brought the pain on in the first place.

After a while if some treatment is not making things better or making it worse, it might be a time to change. I had one chiro that was all gung ho on his certain techich, but it made me worse. Went to another and he helped.

Depending how bad the herniations are, they can get better and even heal. If you still have weak and tight muscles pulling on the herniated areas then it just stays painfully inflamed.

Traction is the opposite treatment method of strengthening. Now, its hard to do straightening when your still in pain, but is this in the game plan after traction? Traction alone may not be a permanent fix, and unfortunately the short term isn't working so good either for you.

Was this from an accident? If not, do you have any medical disorders that contribute to muscle pain and tightening?  Common diseases like thyroid ism can even cause muscle tightening pain. Prolonged untreated tight muscles can cause the back to 'go out' and cause disc herniation's by them themselves.
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