I saw the neurosurgeon finally. Ok so a little back story…I was in a car accident in May and ever since then I have been dizzy, headaches,neck pain, muscle weakness etc. I got an mri and it showed the 7mm herniation. The neurosurgeon believes that i would benefit from physical therapy before I jump into surgery. He has alsp ordered an mri of my spine and an MRA. I am just wondering if i should get a second opinion or if i should try physical therapy? I just desperately want to feel normal again. Thank you for any responses in advance…(oh also he isnt a specialist but has done the surgery 111 times) he explained he would make more money by performing surgery but he feels i would benefit from physical therapy.
I think that a bout of non-invasive physio before a big invasive surgery with complications is well advised. No need to dive into surgery. He seems to be investigating further, as well so seems premature to jump ship.
However, not just any old physical therapy is in order. They do not need to be specialists in Chiari, as few are, but they do need to be knowledgeable in a number of other areas for physical therapy to be effective and not just painful with little improvement.
1. Trained in neurodynamic exercises (David Butler courses) to address restrictions and irritability in the nervous system. This would be the whiplash forces that your spinal cord (neck on down) has endured.
2. Motor control exercises for your neck/upper back/shoulders to normalize muscle and joint movement in these areas and reduce pain.
3. Ruling out or treating vestibular problems would be great and knowledge on primitive reflexes to treat dizziness if it is cervicogenic in origin would be great too.
Researching individual physical therapist is vital as standard neck exercises can settle things down in terms of pain but do little for long term improvement. Also, run away if they just want to use machines that plug in to the wall to treat you. Passive treatments have little value other that the temporary "ohhh! someone is touching my neck and listening to me". This is expensive in terms of time and money for little benefit. Move on, or better yet, do not go there.
Good luck in finding a suitable physical therapist and in reducing your symptoms
Thank you so much gabby jazzypants…I really appreciate the information. I like that i can refer back to this when i go to pt…kind of like a guide. Thanks again.