Faculty Advisor(s)

Amy J. Litterini

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2015 Marc Asta


Background and Purpose: Within the confines of approved Physical Therapy (PT) visits from independent and national insurance companies, PTs are often challenged to improve a patient’s impairments and Quality Of Life (QOL) in a limited number of approved visits. The purpose of this case report is to document if six PT visits with aquatic intervention for a patient with chronic low back pain (CLBP) and radiculopathy improves a patient’s subjective and objective impairments in relation to his QOL. Case Description: The patient was a sixty-two year old male who presented to PT with CLBP for the previous forty years secondary to a work-related lifting incident. One month prior to the therapy examination, he began experiencing radicular symptoms in his left lower extremity more than his right. The patient visited the doctor and was referred to outpatient therapy for six treatments of aquatic PT intervention. Outcomes: Subjectively, post-treatment Numeric Pain Rating Scale measurements improved (6/10 from 9/10), Oswestry Disability Index measurements regressed (44% from 40%) and Quality of Life Scale for Chronic Pain measurements showed no change. Objectively, post-treatment active range of motion measurements revealed improvement in lumbar flexion and bilateral lumbar rotation, but regression in lumbar extension and bilateral lumbar side-bending. The gross strength assessment revealed improvement in left ankle dorsiflexion (4+/5 to 5/5) and plantarflexion (4+/5 to 5/5), regression in right and left hip flexion (5/5 to 4+/5 and 4+/5 to 4-/5) , and no change in bilateral hip extension. Discussion: Further investigation is warranted to analyze if a limited number of visits for aquatic PT intervention improves the impairments and QOL for patients with CLBP and radiculopathy.


The case report poster for this paper can be found here:




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