Kim Chula-Maguire, DPT
A 34 year old female physical therapist was assisting a patient disembark from a treadmill on September 9, 2011. When her patient stumbled, the PT stepped in front of the patient to break his fall. The result was forced rapid extension of the PT’s lumbar region. The PT reported immediate shooting and burning sensations down the right lower extremity. The PT was then immobile for 4 hours, finding minimal relief only in the supine position with the hips and knees elevated in the 90-90 position. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital where a
diagnosis of L4-L5 and L5-S1 disc herniations was confirmed with CT scan. Three weeks later the patient presented to Foundation Performance for a physical therapy evaluation.
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GoalsThe function-oriented goals set for the patient were as follows:
Run 2 miles in 16 minutes to pass physical fitness test for
Pain free ADLs, sitting/standing, and twisting motions for
return to work and preparation for a fitness test for US
History / Progression
Progressive tissue loading on the AlterG was utilized as outlined in the chart which can be downloaded here.
Objective DataThe patient presented to Foundation Performance on September 29, 2011 for a physical therapy evaluation. Her Oswestry Back Index was scored at 50%. She presented with an antalgic gait pattern with decreased reciprocal arm swing, wide base of support, and guarded movements. Patient reported difficulty with driving (unable to twist to look over shoulder), ADLs, and running. The Plan of Care consisted of manual lumbar traction, deep tissue massage of the lumbar area, modalities as needed, stretching and strengthening, and use of the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill for progressive return to running.