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Craig (@wcf)

Spinal CSF leaks

Spine Health | Last Active: 1 hour ago | Replies (25)

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I think it is a result of the surgery because the pain started a couple of months after surgery. I really need to go back to Mayo for a check up and to talk to my doctors about it but my insurance is a pain to get to approve anything there.
Thanks for your reply.

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Replies to "I think it is a result of the surgery because the pain started a couple of..."

@kygirl58 That is a very important clue that your pain started a couple months after your spine surgery. If the pain started with the surgery and was continuous since then, I would think it was a side effect of the surgery. At 6 to 8 weeks post surgery, the incision has healed and formed scar tissue, not just on the skin, but internally in the connective tissue known as fascia. It tends to tighten up and create tension in the body and it can cause pressure on something else like a nerve.

There is a physical therapy technique called myofascial release that can stretch out and "release" the tight fascia. My suggestion is to contact your surgeon on the patient portal and ask for a physical therapy script for treatment of the pain. Insurance doesn't always cover it if it is stated as being myofascial release, but the PT's know how to code this as manual therapy units and other physical "re-education". You wouldn't need to make a return trip for an exam. You may want to call your insurance and find out how much PT they would cover.

Here is our discussion on myofascial release or "MFR". The beginning pages have lots of links to information. I have done this MFR for years for thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) , and after my cervical spine surgery. It helps me a lot, and you may want to try it. There is a provider search at http://mfrtherapists.com/

Here is the discussion:
Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR) for treating compression and pain: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

It's likely that at this early stage, your surgeon would put limits on what a physical therapist could do. Did you have a fusion or artificial disc replacement? Because a fusion takes a long time to heal and begin to fuse (perhaps 3 months or more), you may need to wait to do PT until after that time has passed. My PT would not touch any part of my neck until I was fused, and the pain from the tightness was driving me crazy. I did use my hands to gently pull on the skin downward with out moving anything in my neck which helped relieve the pressure. You probably have orders for no twisting, bending, lifting, etc. If a PT can just stretch on the skin surface without any force put on your spine, your doctor may accept that. I recommend reading through the MFR discussion and watching videos there of John Barnes treating a patient and explaining the process. If you have questions about it, please ask. I would be happy to answer. Once you understand this, you can discuss it with your surgeon. Some doctors are familiar with this, and some are not. My spine surgeon at Mayo has been very gracious in approving scripts for my PT for treatment of my TOS, and after spine surgery. (Mayo did evaluate my TOS when I had my spine consult.)

Have you heard of myofascial release before?