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Low back pain with or without radiculopathy symptoms is increasingly becoming a common complaint for patients. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the most effective treatment for patients experiencing low back pain with or without radiculopathy symptoms with the goal of pain reduction/elimination and positive long term results. The review of literature explores studies that discuss treatment options of surgical intervention or conventional treatment such as physical therapy. This information supplies health care providers with the tools to educate patients on treatment options and possible outcomes in hopes to offer the best treatment for the individual. Results show that patients can have pain reduction or relief and return to normal activity level in a shorter time frame with treatment of conventional methods versus surgical interventions. The findings indicate treatment alternatives that may not have been considered as beneficial before. In addition, the findings may provide guidance to when a patient should be referred to a surgeon for treatment versus starting with physical therapy or other non-surgical treatment options. This information should help health care providers reduce a patient’s low back pain and improve their quality of life.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

First Advisor

Susan Kuntz

Publication Date



Conservative Treatment; Low Back Pain -- rehabilitation; Low Back Pain -- surgery; Low Back Pain -- therapy; Pain Management; Spinal Fusion; Treatment Outcome; Comparative Study


Other Rehabilitation and Therapy | Surgery

Effectiveness of Treatments for Low Back Pain