Patient Highlight / Chris: Pain Distraction
Chris: Pain Distraction
PT with the REAL® System has been great! It doesn’t feel like a tedious and boring exercise. I can tell my core is getting stronger and my pain is getting better.
A 32-year-old IT employee, Chris sits at a desk for more than eight hours a day, five days a week — a spectacular feat considering he’s undergone two lumbar discectomies. His first discectomy at L5-S1 was performed in 2016. A second at both L4-L5 and a revision at L5-S1 bilaterally followed soon thereafter.
For the longest time, Chris was unable to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bending, lifting, and twisting due to pain. He even struggled to put on his socks and shoes due to pain caused by lumbar flexion activities. Eventually, Chris avoided lumbar flexion ADLs altogether. Instead, he relied on compensatory strategies for activities that involved bending over (e.g., getting cookware from bottom drawers, retrieving his briefcase from the floor, and putting a leash on his English bulldog). As a result, his core grew weaker and his left-side range of motion decreased significantly.
When I first started treating Chris with conventional exercises, he demonstrated fear-avoidance behavior with all lumbar flexion due to radicular LE pain bilaterally. We recently started using the REAL System and Chris was able to perform seated LS flexion without any apprehension or pain!
— Chris’s PT
Chris’s PT decided to explore adjunct therapy modalities she could use to motivate Chris to engage in therapy for the purpose of strengthening his core and left-side ROM. Once she introduced Chris to REAL Immersive System, he made quick progress, performing all the core-focused activities like Bumper Band, Summit Rescue, and Flying Fish with a renewed interest in therapy.
Recently, Chris reported no pain with REAL Activities, despite performing lumbar flexion, and demonstrated no fear-avoidance behavior with seated left-side flexion activities for the first time in months!
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Procedural and operative techniques and considerations are illustrative examples from healthcare provider experience. Healthcare providers’ treatment and technique decisions will vary based on their medical judgment. The opinions and clinical experiences presented herein are for informational purposes only. The results may not be predictive for all patients. Individual results may vary depending on patient-specific attributes and other factors.
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