Stitch

Chronic Back Pain & Postural Problems Resolved with Physical Therapy and Dry Needling

What is your story about?
For many years I struggled with chronic back pain and postural problems. I tried 5 months of physical therapy and, along with dry needling, saw dramatic reductions in pain and significant improvements to my posture.
What symptoms did you experience and how did they progress over time?
My pain was on both sides but most severe on the right side, felt extremely constricted and tight. Pain worsened after standing or sitting for long periods. My back would also "go out" at least once a year to where I would be couch ridden for a week. It was like a deep burning ache that never subsided. It started out 11 years ago after rupturing my l4, l5 and became unbearable within the last 4 years. I also had a lot of pain in my SI joints and hip and down my leg.
What was the diagnosis process like?
I went to a pain management doctor, actually he was the 3rd one because the first 2 didn't want to do anything but give me more meds. He referred me to physical therapy. I have heard physiotherapists are a great option too. I was told I had very tight low back muscles and stretched out abdominals. My QLs were and still kind of are in bad shape but getting better with addition of dry needling. My pelvis is tilted and sometimes my right sacrum will move backwards and left will move forward. I have rounded shoulders, forward head and some kyphosis. My lower body is getting better and I need a lo ...(more)
What did your physical therapy plan involve?
I go to physical therapy 2 times a week and the gym 3 times a week. It involved a lot of core strengthening and glute, hamstring, hip and leg strengthening. I do planks, side planks, monster walks, walking planks, clams, using a yoga ball to "stir the pot", holding yourself up like a plank but with knees on yoga ball and roll the ball to the left, to the right then center while keeping core stabilized. Push ups, and squats with kettle bells while balancing on a half yoga ball. I went to PT for chronic back pain and my posture had a lot to do with it. I've basically had to relearn how to stand ...(more)
Can you elaborate on how you relearned to stand sit and walk properly?
The change in muscles helped as did activating my glutes which my PT described as being dead! They weren't activating and my back was working overtime compensating. Other than that I just had to constantly remind myself to pull my core tight and tuck my pelvis when standing and to not slouch or sit on one leg, sit cross legged etc. It becomes a habit even though I catch myself slipping sometimes
What were your results?
Here is the before and after for my posture: https://imgur.com/guahVTS My back pain had improved but not completely gone away until I had the dry needling into my lower back, mainly the quadratus lumborum muscles. I still have some pain but I would say its at a 2 or 3 instead of an 8 or 9.
How long did it take to see results?
I started 5 months ago and only began noticing a difference 3 months in!
How conscious do you have to be to maintain your new posture?
Its actually more uncomfortable now to stand the way I used to in the before picture so it's coming more natural to stand better I used to have to really think about it but now I don't really have to.
Overall, would you recommend physical therapy to others?
Hasn't been easy but I recommend it to anyone!