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Case Study - A lady with a disc protrusion in her lower back

SP is a 44 Lady who had a L4-5 disc protrusion. She had occasional low back pain on/off but nothing that stopped her from doing her normal activities. When on holiday last year and bending down, she had a sudden increase in low back pain which caused it to be very difficult to move. She had an MRI which showed a L4-5 disc protrusion. She had been given pain relief medication by her consultant which hadnt really helped. She then received a spinal injection. She initially had good pain relief from the injection but 4 weeks afterwards the pain returned. She had another MRI and was told the disc protrusion had progressed. She had a second epidural after this and was referred to Aquaphysio.

SP was examined by one of the aquatic physiotherapists which revealed she had a slow walking pattern and was cautious of bending. She was tender to palpate on her lumbar spine and surrounding musculature. She has a positive SLUMP test (a test to determine if a disc herniation is causing a pinched nerve, or not). Following on from the examination, an exercise program was created to incorporate spinal mobilisations in the water, stretching, core and glute strengthening and cardiovascular training. The BRRM (Bad Ragaz Ring Method) was also used with her to incorporate core strengthening with whole body movements as well as individual limb strengthening.

SP’s symptoms gradually improved during her time with us at Aqua physio and on discharge she no longer has any pain or symptoms. She  was walking normally, has returned to pilates on land and had returned to work with no problems .

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