Mar 19, 2009
Tarlov Cyst Disease Foundation
10. Will physical therapy help my symptoms?
This is a very individualized question and one answer does not fit all. Generally, it depends on your specific situation, symptoms, and the knowledge of your therapist regarding Tarlov cysts. As is the case of there being a small number of physicians who are knowledgeable about Tarlov cysts, there is also a small number of physical therapists who have knowledge and training about Tarlov cysts. Several patients with Tarlov cysts have had their symptoms and pain levels increase due to physical therapy. So, the best answer is that it is important to discuss your situation with the physical therapist and determine their level of knowledge and proceed with caution before undergoing physical therapy. A rule of thumb in the case of physical therapy for symptoms of Tarlov cysts, is that if it increases your pain and symptoms, then you should stop. Listen to your body talk to you, and if any activity that you are doing increases your pain and symptoms, then you should stop doing those activities.
Light massage might prove effective for relaxation of muscles that tend to cramp and are painful; however, vigorous massage over the area of the cysts could prove to be more painful . Communication between the physician and the therapist is important as it relates to physical therapy/physiotherapy of the patient with Tarlov cysts. Assessment by the patient regarding what is effective and what is not is also important to be communicated to the physician and the physical therapist. These communications are important in determining whether physical therapy is beneficial or harmful. In some cases, physicians may order light physical therapy post-operative to strengthen weakened muscles that may have atrophied.
Again, each therapy has different benefits for each patient, as each medication might have different results for individual patients.