A 50 year old, mildly overweight baggage handler strained his back while lifting a large piece of luggage onto the airport conveyer belt. He felt back pain immediately and soon developed shooting sensations into his right leg.
An x-ray of the lower back was normal. He was placed on a course of muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medications and analgesics. He was authorized to remain home from work for a period of two weeks. He was prescribed a protective back brace.
He also initiated a course of physical therapy which included traction, heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and massage.
He was trained in a series of strengthening exercises for his abdominal muscles and stretching exercises for his lower back.
He was able to resume work and avoid surgical intervention.