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McKenzie Certified PT Uses Telemedicine to Treat Incapacitated Missionary in Japan

Rick Schurman, PT, Cert. MDT, TPI Level 2, received an email from a friend hoping for his help. The friend, a hospital system education administrator, had friends who had teenage grandchildren on a mission trip in Japan. The mission trip leader had developed an acute onset of lower back pain to the degree that he was totally incapacitated and no longer able to lead the group. The friend had been Rick's patient for his lower back and was wondering if anything could be done.

The patient, Joe, was 14 hours ahead of Rick, making Rick's evening his mid-morning. That allowed the two to connect twice per day. Right off the bat, Rick noticed that Joe was very motivated and compliant.

Rick made contact with Joe through the amazing technology of a communication social media video tool. Indeed, Joe could not walk or sit and had trouble doing anything functional, much less lead his group with the activities for the week.

Rick started Joe with flexion rotation and then gradually added in extension. Over the week, he showed excellent compliance and progress. He was able to centralize his pain and work toward end range press ups. Slowly but steadily Joe was able to stand, then walk and by the end of the week, he was able to lead his group with little or no pain, even standing to play his guitar during the worship time.

Rick knew that Joe wasn't out of the woods yet. His main concern was getting Joe prepared for his trip home to th USA. That trip would involve a six hour train ride followed by a 13 hour plane trip and another six hours in his car driving from Chicago to Cincinnati. Joe reported that the trip went well and he continued his program during this time with good pain control.

Rick was pleased to hear that Joe could finish his time in Japan strong and return home without a flare up. To date, Joe continues to perform his designated program and is doing well.

Read Rick's patient, Joe Isosaki's, testimonial here.

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