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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

First Advisor

Laurie Lundy-Ekman, PhD, PT

Second Advisor

John Medeiros, PhD, PT


The purpose of this study was to compare the post-treatment effectiveness (6-18 months post-treatment) of two physical therapy treatment regimens for back pain. Potential participants were identified by a review of charts from two physical therapy clinics, according to diagnosis, inclusion/exclusion criteria, ending date of treatment, and type of treatment received. A total of 98 subjects were identified from the chart review, with 51 having received an intensive strengthening exercise program, referred to as a "work conditioning program" (WCP group),and 47 receiving a pelvic/spine stabilization program called the "Dynamic Lumbar Stabilization program" (DLSP group). A questionnaire addressing self-rated pain , number of visits to health care professionals, self-rated function, demographic information and patient perception of physical therapy treatment effectiveness (related to back pain) was mailed to each subject. A total of 38 questionnaires were completed and returned, which represented 39% participation: 41 % from the WCP group and 36% from the DLSP group. Of the seventeen survey questions analyzed, only three indicated statistically significant findings. However, all three significant findings, one pain related, one follow-up treatment related and one function related, supported the Dynamic Lumbar Stabilization Program, as the more effective treatment for back pain.


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