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Outpatient rehabilitation for a patient with low back pain
A 21-year-old female college student and receptionist with a 3-week history of left posterior LBP and left lateral buttock pain was seen for physical therapy treatment for 7 weekly sessions at a physical therapy outpatient pro-bono clinic. The signs and symptoms were mild to moderately irritable and musculoskeletal in nature. 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 subjective and objective examination. The Oswestry Disability Index was given as an outcome measure assessing functional disability due to low back pain, and a plan of care was established. The main goals for the patient were to improve range of motion, decrease pain, increase lumbosacral stability, decrease functional disability, and to improve the patient’s function as a full-time student and part-time office assistant. The main interventions used were lumbar spine stabilization exercises, lumbar joint mobilization, postural awareness, pain management, ergonomic training, stretching exercises, and patient education. The patient made clinically meaningful changes in pain severity, range of motion, lumbosacral stability, and functional disability outcome measure. The patient was able to return to being a student and a receptionist, and was discharged from physical therapy with a home exercise program.