Characteristics of patients with lower extremity symptoms treated with slump stretching: a case series.
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective case series. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this case series was to describe the criteria used to determine if patients were to receive slump stretch treatment within a treatment-based classification system and to describe selected symptom characteristics associated with these patients. BACKGROUND: Previous reports from the literature suggest that the slump test position may be a useful treatment and evaluation technique. However, little information has been presented regarding how to identify patients who are appropriate to treat with slump stretching and the symptom characteristics associated with these patients. METHODS AND MEASURES: Prior to recruitment, criteria were established to identify patients who would be considered appropriate to treat with slump stretching. Consecutive patients referred with low back diagnosis or low-back-related diagnoses were then evaluated using a treatment-based classification system. Selected symptom characteristics were collected from patients treated with slump stretching. RESULTS: Out of 88 consecutive patients with low back diagnoses or low-back-related diagnoses, 6 met the study's inclusion criteria and were treated with slump stretching. All pain diagrams were classified as "organic" or "possibly organic," and the most common symptom descriptor was "deep ache." At the discharge session of physical therapy, 5 of 6 patients had symptoms that were more proximally located and all patients reported a decrease in symptom intensity. CONCLUSION: Favorable changes in symptom intensity and location were observed for this case series, but definitive conclusions cannot be drawn from this study design. Additional research needs to be completed to determine if the slump test position is an effective evaluation and treatment technique.
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