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  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis (UC)
  • Regional enteritis

  • 555 Regional enteritis
  • 555.0 Regional enteritis of small intestine
  • 555.1 Regional enteritis of large intestine
  • 555.2 Regional enteritis of small intestine with large intestine
  • 555.9 Regional enteritis of unspecified site

  • 315.4 Developmental coordination disorder
  • 718.45 Contracture of joint, pelvic region and thigh
  • 719.70 Difficulty in walking involving joint site unspecified
  • 728.2 Muscular wasting and disuse atrophy, not elsewhere classified
  • 728.89 Other disorders of muscle, ligament, and fascia
  • 729.9 Other and unspecified disorders of soft tissue
  • 780.7 Malaise and fatigue
  • 782.3 Edema
  • 786.0 Dyspnea and respiratory abnormalities

  • K50.00 Crohn’s disease of small intestine without complications
  • K50.10 Crohn’s disease of large intestine without complications
  • K50.80 Crohn’s disease of both small and large intestine without complications
  • K50.90 Crohn’s disease, unspecified, without complications

  • As of February 2013, the APTA Guide to Physical Therapist Practice does not include practice patterns for organ system pathology; therefore, the associated or secondary musculoskeletal, cardiovascular/pulmonary, or potential neuromuscular patterns would be indicated


  • Chronic inflammation of the GI track
  • Crohn’s can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, all or part of the GI system, from the mouth to anus
  • Ulcerative colitis affects somewhere from the colon to the rectum
  • Complaints often include changes in bowel habits such as constipation, diarrhea, bowel urgency, incontinence, and cramping
  • Pain is frequently referred to the lower back
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) describes disorders with chronic or recurring immune response and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract
  • A common inflammatory bowel disease
  • There is a broad array of GI disorders that may be encountered by physical therapists
  • Many clients with GI pathology may be receiving physical therapy as a result of secondary problems such as weakness, gait abnormalities, and limited aerobic endurance

Essentials of Diagnosis

  • Normal healthy bowel between patches of diseased bowel
  • Abdominal pain; constant or intermittent
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Bloating
  • Possible rectal bleeding
  • Rectal/anal irritation
  • Acute drops in blood pressure, which may result in decreased blood flow to intestines

General Considerations

  • Crohn’s disease commonly involves the terminal ileum
  • May result in secondary problems such as aerobic capacity and muscle endurance impairment, sarcopenia, weakness/impaired muscle performance, musculoskeletal problems, neuromuscular problems, weight loss, or weight gain, indicating the need for physical therapy intervention depending on severity
  • Because GI disorders frequently refer pain to other body areas, individuals may get referred to PT inappropriately (i.e., referred for low back pain)
  • Chronic diarrhea, episodic diarrhea, loss of bowel control (incontinence or urgency), and blood in stool may be symptomatic of inflammatory disease, pre-cancerous conditions, or cancer


  • Higher incidence in Jews of European descent
  • Women may have slightly higher incidence than males
  • Familial: Occurring or tending to occur among members of a family, usually ...

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