Physical therapist management of acute and chronic low back pain using the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health.

Rundell SD, Davenport TE, Wagner T

The purpose of this case report series is to demonstrate the application of the WHO-ICF model in clinical reasoning and physical therapist management of acute and chronic low back pain. Two patients, 1 with acute low back pain and 1 with chronic low back pain, were treated pragmatically using the WHO-ICF model and other applicable models of clinical reasoning. Manual therapy, exercise, and education interventions were directed toward relevant body structure and function impairments, activity limitations, and contextual factors based on their hypothesized contribution to functioning and disability.

The study concludes by saying that the WHO-ICF model appears to provide an effective framework for physical therapists to better understand each person's experience with his or her disablement and assists in prioritizing treatment selection. The explicit acknowledgement of personal and environmental factors aids in addressing potential barriers.

Physical Therapy, 2009, 89(1), 82-90

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