Faculty Advisor(s)

Michael Fillyaw

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2017 Macey Berube


Background and Purpose: Low back pain (LBP) is a common diagnosis seen in physical therapy (PT). It is thought to affect 80% of the population over their lifespan, and it keeps them out of work, affects daily activity, and decreases quality of life. PT is a noninvasive form of treatment that may include manual therapy, physical exercise, deep heat modalities, or a combination. The purpose of this case report is to review the McKenzie method combined with a conventional PT program for a patient with a recurring episode of chronic LBP. Case Description: The patient was a 72-year-old male referred to PT by his primary care physician with a diagnosis of acute LBP without sciatica. He received PT once a week for five weeks for education on McKenzie method stretching, general stretching and strengthening, soft tissue massage, modalities, and a home exercise program. Outcomes: Pain levels decreased from 8/10 average to 6/10 on Numeric Pain Rating Scale. The patient was able to complete full lumbar motion without pain, and had 5/5 strength of the lower extremity bilaterally. Not all objective measures were obtained due to patient self-discharge. Discussion: LBP is a widespread diagnosis that often affects patient’s quality of life. This case report demonstrated a combination of McKenzie method and conventional PT program. Results showed improvements in pain and activity levels, motion, strength, and tenderness. However, compliance with treatment may lead to increased improvements. More research into optimal McKenzie repetitions as well as compliance with this protocol would benefit future patients.


The case report poster for this paper can be found here:




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