T Nation

Physical Therapy - How Long?


My fiance had neck surgy several years ago. The vertebrae has now fused fine with the cadaver material they placed according to her last Dr. She was given exercises to strengthen her neck/shoulder area and told to do 12-20 reps one set for each and every day.

There was no time frame for how long to do this and I'm thinking she can progress to a 5x5 scheme and start adding weight. She's currently only using 2-1/2 to 5lb dumbells, though going as slow as she can with the reps. Her biggest problems seem to be muscle binding and perhaps scarring from earlier injuries. Seems to me ART would be good for that.

She knows enough to question being told to do it every day but the Dr that did the surgery and set up the physical therapy discharged her long ago and she can't get back in to ask questions.

Any advice or suggestions? She's also struggling with fibromyalgia but we hope to see a Dr next year that's had success treating that.



       I'm a PT.  What exercises did they give her?  Yea, sometimes it is better to keep the reps high for the deep cervical flexors.  But at some point, yes she can progress to lower reps with more sets.  But it's also a matter of how many times does she want to interrupt her day to do the exercises?  I would find a good functional medicine doctor who will run the appropriate thyroid tests and prescribe Armour if need be.  Also, have heavy metals tested and an adrenal stress index(ASI).  A gut pathogen test is good investment as well.


She does lateral, front raises, shoulder shrugs and some neck exercises without weight. I’m not sure if she added the bicep curls and tricep kickbacks herself or not. She also is rather well endowed which causes problems for her back. If she had the equipment I think face pulls would be good along with some lat exercises.

She did have her last Dr check her thyroid. We feel the Dr just humored her though because the Dr did not test t3 as asked and didn’t bother to check thyroid antibodies. We plan on testing the adrenals as well. IMO she has low cortisol symptoms.

We’re pretty much resigned to the fact that she isnt going to get decent medical care until after we get married. She’s in Ky and not near a major city. I’m in Indiana and near Chicago and she can be on my insurance then.


definitly give ART a try


Also ask about this in the Eric Cressey locker room thread-he’s a real expert on this sort of thing