Brad injured his back while shoveling dirt in his backyard, and it was determined that he had a herniated disc in his lower back. After having two epidural injections for the pain, he began to develop significant weakness in his right foot due to nerve impingement from the herniated disc. It eventually became clear that he needed to have a surgical procedure called lumbar microdiscectomy. (For more information on herniated discs and lumbar microdiscectomy, click here.) Four weeks after surgery, Brad was referred to Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City for treatment.
Upon evaluation, he presented with significant limitations in forward bending with pain radiating down his right leg into his foot. Brad also had a great deal of weakness in various muscles of his right foot, as well as core instability and poor balance. On top of this, he displayed decreased range of motion in his right hip and positive neural tension during a straight leg raise and slump test. Brad stated that his goals were to return to working out independently and golfing after physical therapy.
To improve his ability to bend forward and decrease the nerve pain he was experiencing, therapists focused on improving soft tissue extensibility at specific sites where his nerves were entrapped, and performed nerve glides to normalize nerve tension under a load. They also used exercises to improve his core stability in various positions and intensities to decrease the demand placed on his lower spine overall. Finally, therapeutic exercises were used that focused on improving foot and ankle strength and balance in unstable environments
Brad slowly regained his range of motion in his lower back and hip, core stability, and foot and ankle strength. These changes eventually allowed him to return to golfing and working out with a personal trainer at a gym.
One of the keys to Brad’s story is that he realized how important exercise and a healthy lifestyle was going to be in order to keep him in good shape moving forward. To help this process, our therapists set him up with a personal trainer that we communicated with and set appropriate limitations and goals. Brad realizes that his rehab is not “over” just because he has left Dynamic Sports PT, and if he stays on the path we have set, he will continue to progress in a positive direction.
After 12 weeks of physical therapy, Brad was discharged from physical therapy with full lumbar spine motion in all planes. Upon his discharge, he reported no complaints of any nerve pain in his right leg while performing physical activities.
“Coming out of back surgery, it was really important for me to have the right team to support my rehabilitation efforts,” Brad said. “Jon, Pete and the team at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy were exactly what I needed to get me to the next level, plus they are fun to be around! Their expert advice for what was necessary in and out of their facility enabled my speedy recovery. Six months post-operation, I feel like myself again. I can’t thank them enough.”
At Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City, we’re thrilled to see Brad back into his routine of golfing and working out just six months after surgery, and he represents another example of how hard work in your physical therapy program can pay off. If you’re experiencing any pain or have a pending surgery that may require rehabilitation, find out how we can help you recover. Call us at 212-317-8303 for more information or to schedule an appointment.