Cervical radiculopathy & physical therapy
Physical therapy keeps Daniel in shape for medical practice, new baby
The tingling into his left thumb and discomfort in his neck and shoulders had bothered Daniel for a while. As a urologist who is in surgery several days a week, he often worked wearing a lead vest. In addition, he was carrying around a new baby at home, making him cautious about those conditions getting worse.
"I knew that if I didn't fix it, it might have affected my ability to practice," Daniel said. "If you have a surgeon who gets to the point where he can't feel his hands, that's not a good thing."
Daniel spoke to Dr. Randy Hlubek, a neurosurgeon at Mayfield Brain & Spine. Their conversation led to a magnetic resonance imaging scan and a recommendation of physical therapy for Daniel. After a couple of months, the numbness in his thumb and left arm had subsided.
Even now, months after starting his work with Mayfield physical therapist Peter Till, Daniel shows up for tissue massage, heat therapy, traction and other treatments. He also has internalized some of the stretches and exercises given to him by Till and physical therapist assistant Lindsey Marshall, especially before the weightlifting workouts he loves.
"I've learned various things where if I start to feel a certain way, there are stretches and things I can do to make it feel better," Daniel said.
Till said Daniel's knowledge as a physician has helped him target his most aggressive symptoms and use exercises to maintain function, plus his dedication to continuing exercises should strengthen his back and guard against future difficulty.
"Our first priority was to reduce some of the symptoms that were having an impact on Daniel's work and home life," he said. "Once those symptoms improved, we are trying to reduce stiffness and inflammation with treatments including soft tissue massage. Combined with his aggressive home exercise program, those strategies should improve his long-term outlook."
Daniel said he wanted to avoid surgery, and even forego pain treatments such as epidural steroid injections.
"My thought was, if I can get this fixed with conservative treatment, I wanted to do that," he said. "Physical therapy has helped with my initial problem, and it continues to help with ongoing issues like neck pain and stiffness."
~ Cliff Peale
Hope Story Disclaimer -"Daniel's Story" is about one patient's health-care experience. Please bear in mind that because every patient is unique, individual patients may respond to treatment in different ways. Results are influenced by many factors and may vary from patient to patient.