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Water Therapy for L4 Stress Fracture Made All the Difference

Water Therapy for L4 Stress Fracture Made All the Difference

Recently we were able to visit with the physical therapists and one particular patient over at The Rehab Center Physical Therapy in New Holland, PA. Lower back pain is extremely common and can be hard to identify its severity without routine doctors visits and/or MRI’s.

Hannah Fisher came to The Rehab Center in January after experiencing lower back pain for quite a while. She is an active 15 year old high school athlete, who frequently plays basketball and started noticing the pain back in December of 2012.  After undergoing an MRI, the results showed that she had a stress fracture to the L4 vertebrae.

Brent Dudurich, PTA says the back pain initially was caused by the hyper extension of her back while running and jumping during basketball, and then the continued pressure on her spine during practices and games created the stress fracture. With no time for recovery, the repetitive pounding on a basketball court on top of the initial hyper-extension culminated to a stress fracture.

Hannah started out just doing land-base therapy at The Rehab Center, but did not experience any success with just land therapy. Shortly thereafter, Dudurich has Hannah in the HydroWorx 500 Series pool for aquatic therapy sessions. Dudurich tells us that the main focus in the pool was maintaining her cardiovascular levels, increasing core strength and working on balance. The key was to work on having proper posture during all of her sport specific movements (running, jumping, squatting, turning etc) to prevent future hyper-extensions and future injury.

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What advantages did they see from using the pool?

Both Hannah and Dudurich said the biggest advantage of rehabbing in the pool was the low impact which eliminates any pain felt on land. Hannah was able to do way more in the pool than she was in her land therapy sessions. Dudurich was also able to increase her repetitions in the pool too because there is no impact on her back or joints when rehabbing underwater.

Watch the full case history and protocols below:

Page Updated on: August 7th, 2020


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