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Physical therapy patient case analysis in an individual with lower cervical and upper thoracic mechanical neck pain
A patient with intermittent and variable lower cervical and upper thoracic pain along with intermittent and variable right upper trapezius pain was seen for seven physical therapy treatment sessions over a seven-week period at a university’s orthopedic pro bono clinic. Treatment was provided by a student physical therapist under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. The patient was evaluated at the initial encounter with a postural assessment, Neck Disability Index, fear avoidance beliefs questionnaire, deep neck flexor endurance test, range of motion measurements, manual muscle testing, and spinal and rib mobility testing, after which a plan of care was established. Main goals for the patient were to improve posture, range of motion, strength, endurance, mobility, pain, activity tolerance and function during work related activities. Main interventions used were manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and patient education. The patient improved in posture, range of motion, strength, endurance, first rib mobility, pain, activity tolerance, and function. The patient was discharged with a home exercise program.