Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Low Back Pain -- diagnosis


The purpose of this experimental study was twofold: 1) to determine if there was a significant increase in performance, or learning effect, between the first and second test sessions on the Isostation B-200 for normal subjects, and 2) if so, was there a specific percentage of increase that can be attributed as a learning effect for each age, gender, or activity level.

Twenty-two subjects (8 men, 14 women) with no prior history or treatment for low back pain were utilized in this study. All subjects were tested in two positions. First, in an upright standing position and second, in twenty degrees of trunk flexion. The subjects were asked to perform maximal isometric contractions in each direction of the sagittal, coronal, and transverse planes for both test positions. Subjects were retested between forty-eight and ninety-six hours post-initial testing.

Several research articles have indicated the presence of a learning effect, but very few have shown a statistically significant increase in performance. The results of this research have shown significant increases for all trunk motions between first and second test sessions with the trunk in twenty degrees of flexion, with an average increase of 16.10%. A significant increase for trunk flexion and extension was also found in the upright position, with an average increase in performance of 9.03% for all motions. This study also indicates that there is a greater amount of learning displayed in females as compared to males.

Based upon this study, clinicians should realize that increases in torque production ranging from zero to fifteen percent, between the first and second test trials on the Isostation B-200, may be due to a learning effect.