Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Mark Romanick


Low Back Pain -- therapy; Case Reports


Background and Purpose: The McKenzie approach to the treatment of low back pain has been shown to be an effective tool in reducing disc derangements. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the effectiveness of stabilization exercises in conjunction with McKenzie techniques for the treatment and management of a patient with posterior lumbar disc derangement.

Case Description: A 25-year-old male suffered acute low back pain with intermittent leg pain radiating down to the dorsum of his right foot. After the assessment using McKenzie principles was performed, it was determined that the patient’s directional preference was with extension. The patient was seen a total of 13 visits which included repeated lumbar extension with hips shifted to the left, lumbar stabilization exercises, and patient education.

Outcomes: The patient showed increased range of motion with extension in prone with hips shifted to the left, decreased pain, he returned to prior level of function, and was able to meet all of his short-term and long-term goals within 4 weeks.

Discussion: The patient demonstrated how individuals with low back pain can decrease their symptoms rapidly if a directional preference can be determined and proper physical therapy exercises are given for the patient’s exercise program. This case study adds to the growing body of literature that supports the viii use of McKenzie principles and lumbar spinal stabilization exercises for the treatment and management of low back pain caused by lumbar disc herniations.