Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Henry C. Wessman


Intervertebral Disc; Low Back Pain


Low back pain has an enormous socioeconomic impact in this country. Even with advancement in diagnostic technology, the incidence and severity of low back pain continues to increase. The intervertebral disc plays an important causative role in the production of low back pain. The intervertebral disc may cause direct discogenic pain by mechanical and/or chemical irritation of the nociceptor receptors found within the outer one-third of the annulus fibrosis, or cause back pain by an indirect method. The incidence of low back pain is first reported around the age of 25 and is most prevalent from ages 35-60. It is during this time that the intervertebral disc is in its semi-fluid state and possesses high intradiskal pressure.

The results of this research of the literature suggest that it is crucial to maintain the integrity of the intervertebral disc to prevent low back pain. This is done by avoiding the positions and activities that increase intradiskal pressure, and by an adequate exercise routine consisting of walking and isometric trunk strengthening.