The Pulse

Improving Functional Mobility and Decreasing Pain with Thermal Diathermy, Electrical Stimulation and Exercise

Posted by ACP on Feb 14, 2019 12:23:51 PM

Patient Information: Female, Age 85

Diagnosis: Fractured ribs / CHF / Generalized weakness

History: This woman was hospitalized after falling and fracturing seven ribs. During her
hospitalization, she began having complications from chronic heart failure which resulted in an
extended stay of almost a month. By the time she was discharged from the hospital, her function had declined as a result of generalized weakness and pain in her low back and upper shoulders. She was referred to therapy to recover her function, treat her pain, and improve her activities of daily living.

Pre-Therapy Status:
• Low Back and Shoulder Pain: Severe (9/10).
• Bed Mobility: Maximum (75%) assistance to move to sit at the side of the bed.
• Transfers: Total (100%) assistance from two therapists to move from the bed to the wheelchair.
• Gait: Unable.
• Sitting Tolerance: 15 minutes; limited by pain.
• General Muscle Strength: Fair (2/5).

Therapy Information:
• Modality: Megapulse® II Shortwave Diathermy, Omnistim® FX2 Pro Patterned Electrical
Neuromuscular Stimulation (PENS), Omnicycle® Elite Motorized Therapeutic Exercise System.
• Frequency: 3-5x per week.
• Protocol: Lower extremity triphasic PENS to the lower trunk and both quadriceps/hamstrings to improve neuromuscular re-education and strength. Progressed to thermal diathermy to both shoulders and the low back to increase circulation and reduce pain. Omnicycle® upper and lower extremity neuro mode with resistance progression to improve strength, coordination, and aerobic capacity.
• Duration: 12 weeks.
• Other Therapy Services Provided: Bed mobility, balance training, gait training,
therapeutic exercise.

• Low Back and Shoulder Pain: Mild (1/10).
• Bed Mobility: Independent to move to sit at the edge of the bed.
• Transfers: Independent.
• Gait: Walks 300 feet independently with a rolling walker.
• Sitting Tolerance: 1 hour.
• General Muscle Strength: Normal (5/5).

This woman is thrilled to be back at home and the rehab director reports, “The use of e-stim when the patient was too weak to tolerate sitting up for traditional therapy in the gym prevented her from weakening and allowed for her to progress at a faster rate.”

Topics: Pain Management, Patient Success Story, Cardiopulmonary