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Physiotherapeutic management of camptocormia: a clinical case report

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sam Stuart, Dr Susan Lord, Professor Lynn Rochester


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BackgroundCamptocormia involves abnormal flexion of the thoraco-lumbar spine, associated with Parkinson’s disease and multisystem atrophy (MSA). Physiotherapeutic management is often proposed for the primary postural issue and secondary problems (e.g. pain). However, currently little evidence exists for management and patient benefit remains unclear.Rationale/Purpose or Research Question This study explored the role of physiotherapy in the management of a patient with camptocormia.MethodDesignThis case report involved an initial assessment, 6 weeks of physiotherapy (one out-patient session per week and home exercises) and a post-intervention final assessment.ParticipantA 70 year old woman with MSA who developed camptocormia two years ago. InterventionsThe following therapy combinations were applied to address the main complaints of neck/back pain, fatigue and reduced activities of daily living (ADL) (i.e. housework and shopping). • Kinesiology tape was applied to the lower/upper back (4 weeks) to increase postural awareness. • Core stability exercises (including gym ball) were taught to increase muscle strength. • Active range-of-movement exercises were provided to increase flexibility and reduce neck/back pain.• Gait practice using trekking poles to provide postural correction and stability.Main outcome measuresVisual analogue scales (VAS) provided feedback on pain and fatigue levels. ADL change was self-reported upon questioning. Photographs were recorded of sitting and standing posture.Results Neck/back pain and fatigue improved (8/10 to 2/10, 10/10 to 7/10 VAS, respectively). ADL’s were also reportedly improved. Posture was not significantly different at final assessment.ConclusionPhysiotherapy may be of benefit in management of people with camptocormia.Implications for Practice/Trust/Role or ServiceFurther work is needed to ascertain the effectiveness of physiotherapy for camptocormia.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stuart S, Lord S, Rochester L

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Therapy Services Conference, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS foundation trust

Year of Conference: 2015

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900