Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Low Back Pain -- rehabilitation


Low Back Pain is the most common condition that is seen by the outpatient Physical Therapist. The lives of those who suffer from low back pain are negatively impacted in a variety of ways, including monetary expenditures, lost time from work and difficulty performing everyday personal activities. Despite the fact that low back pain is a common malady seen by Physical Therapists, there is little agreement on the management of it's symptoms. Perhaps, no two treatments for low back pain could seem so varied as spinal flexion and spinal extension exercises, which seem to be diametrically opposed. This review of the literature discusses both spinal flexion and spinal extension exercises, examines their history, theories and compares the two. The importance of focusing on the impairments caused by low back pain instead of just the diagnosis are discussed and the reader is challenged to use available literature such as the Guide to Physical Therapy Practice to assist him/her when examining these impairments. It is likely that much literature will continue to be available concerning low back pain and it will be necessary to continue reviewing the upcoming research, looking for the most beneficial way to treat all patients with low back pain.