Document Type

Case Report


Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science

Degree Name

DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy)

Session and Year of Graduation

Fall 2018


Laura Frey Law


Background: Non-traumatic spinal cord injuries (NTSCI) occur commonly due to causes such as spinal cord degeneration, vascular disease, tumors or inflammation. These injuries can lead to loss of motor function and sensory impairments affecting patients’ abilities to complete Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and return to independence. Purpose: The purpose of this case report is to describe the use of a mirror for feedback with early strengthening in a NTSCI patient with impaired sensation and muscle weakness in bilateral lower extremities. Case Description: A 38-year-old female with a T7 hemangioma resection, T5-6 laminectomy, and T5-T9 posterior spinal fusion was seen in a sub-acute inpatient rehabilitation facility for three weeks for lower extremity strengthening, balance training, gait training, and endurance training. Outcomes: The patient improved Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores, specifically in areas of bed-to-chair transfers, locomotion, and stairs. Scores improved from total assistance to modified independence for transfers and ambulation and to max assistance for stairs. Discussion: Using a mirror for feedback to improve lower extremity strengthening and to decrease the co-activation of agonist and antagonist muscle groups can be an effective and low-cost solution in the inpatient rehabilitation setting for patients with a NTSCI.


Spinal cord injury; non-traumatic; mirror therapy; neurology; physical therapy; rehabilitation; NTSCI; level of assistance


9 pages


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