Lumbar extension exercises in conjunction with mechanical traction for the management of a patient with a lumbar herniated disc

Allison R. Gagne, Scott Hasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Low back pain resulting from lumbar disc herniation is a common reason for referral for physical therapy. There is no evidence to support the management of lumbar disc herniation and derangement using mechanical traction combined with lumbar extension exercises. Therefore, the purpose of this case report was to describe and discuss the use of mechanical traction in conjunction with lumbar extension exercises for a patient with a lumbar herniated disc. The patient was a 49-year-old male referred to physical therapy with a medical diagnosis of a lumbar herniated disc at L5-S1 with compression of the L5 nerve root confirmed by MRI. The patient's chief complaint was pain over the left lumbosacral and central lumbar region with radiating pain into the left buttock accompanied by numbness and tingling in the left lower leg and foot. The patient was seen for a total of 14 visits. The first 5 days (2 weeks) of therapy consisted of lumbar extension exercises. For the following nine visits (over a 3-week period), mechanical traction was added as an adjunct to the extension exercises. Outcome measures included the Oswestry Disability Questionnaire, Back Pain Function Scale (BPFS), and the Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS). Results from initial evaluation to discharge (Oswestry: 36% to 0%; BPFS: 33/60 to 57/60; NPRS: 7/10 to 0/10) demonstrated that the patient no longer experienced low back pain and improved in terms of functional status and pain-related disability. The patient no longer complained of numbness and tingling in the left lower extremity and the goals for the patient had been attained. The data from this case report suggests lumbar extension exercises in conjunction with mechanical traction facilitated the patient's improvement in pain and return to prior level of function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-266
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 29 2010

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Intervertebral Disc Displacement
Traction
Exercise
Pain
Hypesthesia
Back Pain
Low Back Pain
Lumbosacral Region
Buttocks
Radiculopathy
Foot
Lower Extremity
Leg
Therapeutics
Referral and Consultation
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Lumbar extension exercises in conjunction with mechanical traction for the management of a patient with a lumbar herniated disc. / Gagne, Allison R.; Hasson, Scott.

In: Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, Vol. 26, No. 4, 29.04.2010, p. 256-266.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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