Case Studies

1. Motor Vehicle Accident

A 48 year-old woman was involved in a motor vehicle accident. She suffered severe whiplash and neck pain, shoulder pain, dizziness, and fatigue. We implemented manual care to decrease the neck and shoulder pain. We also taught the patient sleeping positions and techniques she could use to relieve herself of pain and sleep through the night.

After the acute stage, we began exercises to work on balance issues and de-conditioning, utilizing balance board and fit ball exercises. This helped her to develop her confidence and regain pre-accident strength. From the exercise program, we transitioned into a fitness program, familiarizing her with gym equipment and developing a training program (which she had always wanted to do). The patient worked up to a cardio/gym program 5x/week


  • Patient immediately began to sleep through the night pain-free using proper sleeping posture which helped fatigue levels
  • After 5 weeks patient was able to start resistance exercise
  • Regained pre-accident strength within 2 1/2 months
  • Patient decided to continue with us for fitness training, lost 100 lbs and now exercises regularly in the gym which previously intimidated her

At Bodywise, we treat these problems in a cohesive, systematic, empowering manner by first identifying the true nature of the orthopedic problem. The patient immediately becomes part of the healing process through education on posture and body mechanics and on what to do to avoid injurious movements or positions.

2. Skiing Accident – Torn Left ACL

A 39 year-old woman tore her left ACL while skiing. She was a casual but consistent runner. We began treatment when she was 3 weeks post surgery. She had pain and weakness in her left knee and lower quadrant, which is typical post-ACL surgery.

We began with non-resistance, post-surgery treatment. Our evaluation indicated that she had a significant lack of strength and proprioception (balance/spatial body awareness) and that this ACL injury could have most likely been avoided.

We began an aggressive, fun, dynamic training program. This served to improve the patient’s strength, balance, agility and eventually endurance through a guided running program. The running program was developed in response to her telling us that she had not been able to get beyond a certain point with her running and that she had always wanted to do a 1/2 marathon but didn’t know how to begin.


  • Patient fully recovered from ACL surgery in 6 months
  • Ran her first sub 9 minute mile 1/2 marathon 9 months after surgery

3. Desk Worker

A 28 year-old desk work in a biotechnology company came to us with severe daily headaches that worsen throughout the day. As a result, he experienced a dramatic reduction in productivity toward end of day.

Our evaluation revealed that the patient had a problematic sitting posture, i.e., rounded shoulders, forward-positioned head, tight chest, poor back strength. He had very tight, tender muscles at the base of his head and top of his neck.

We began extensive sitting posture training, providing many options on how to sit properly throughout the day (e.g., ball, towel roll under buttock, sitting on edge of chair). We conducted an in-clinic ergonomic evaluation and provided instruction on how to adjust his work station to help avoid the forward head posturing. We also implemented specific deep tissue/soft tissue mobilization to the sub-occipital region at the base of the skull – the “headache muscles.” We recommended daily chest stretches and specific theraband exercises to strengthen the muscles that keep shoulder blades down and back. This exercise program took 5-7 minutes a day and he could do it at work or at home.

For more information on workplace injuries and treatment, click here.


  • Revised sitting posture and elimination of forward-head posture resulted in 75% decrease in headaches in just 2 days
  • After 2 weeks, patient had completely implemented changes in sitting posture and was discharged 100% pain-free

4. Repetitive Motion Problems for Materials Handler

A 35 year-old male works in manufacturing/materials-handling position for a large corporation. He had pain in both forearms and shoulders as a result of repetitive lifting and overhead activities required by his job. We assessed his work site and the activities that he must perform and provided suggestions to his supervisors on changing equipment to improve ergonomics without decreasing efficiency. We also performed specific manual therapy to address the tendonitis in his forearms and shoulders and the resulting muscle spasms, pain and radiating symptoms. The patient was educated on the mechanics of shoulder and arms to teach him how to be aware of, and avoid, positions stressful to the arm/shoulder area. We also taught him job-specific stretches to perform throughout his workday to avoid re-injury.


  • Employer facilitated equipment-related ergonomic changes and allowed for more frequent short breaks to perform stretches
  • Patient returned to pain-free function at work
  • Able to work his full work day without pain after 3 weeks of treatment and education.

5. Woman With Low Back Pain

A 45 year-old woman came to us after hurting her lower back gardening. For some time, she had had intermittent low back pain/sciatica that would never completely go away. The symptoms she described were consistent with a slight disc bulge not severe enough to appear on an x-ray. Her gardening activities had caused her to go into a position that further bulged the disc. Previous physical and massage therapy treatments had not resolved the problem.

We provide a session of education on posture and body mechanics, reviewing all of her activities and showing her how to perform proper bending and lifting while observing a “neutral spine”. We also provided soft tissue mobilization to the low back region and correction of the pelvis imbalances, as well as neural glide techniques to “stretch” the sciatic nerve. We put her on a 3x/week stabilization program to strengthen her core, back and legs and ultimately transitioned her into an independent home exercise program.


  • After one week, the patient was 80% pain free and able to return to gardening and other normal activities
  • After one month, patient was discharged 100% pain free in all activities
  • Patient expressed tremendous relief in finally understanding the problem and a sense of empowerment in knowing how to resolve it
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