Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Low Back Pain -- diagnosis


The heightened level of autonomy currently experienced by the profession of physical therapy demands that, in addition to identifying and managing movement dysfunctions of the musculoskeletal system, physical therapists be knowledgeable of signs and symptoms which may indicate medical disease. Individuals who present with low back pain (LBP) are commonly seen in the physical therapy clinic. While most often the source of a patient's LBP is of mechanical musculoskeletal origin, a great number of differential diagnoses classified as medical diseases also exist that are capable of precipitating low back pain. The purpose of this independent study is to: (a) outline general considerations that should be taken during the physical therapy evaluation of patients experiencing low back pain and (b) review three commonly occurring medical diseases which characteristically cause low back pain: endometriosis, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and prostatitis.