Brian Illing

Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Meridee Danks


Back pain, smart-device use, sedentary lifestyles, postural deficits.


Background and Purpose: Back pain can occur for several reasons. With the increasing prevalence of smart-device use today coupled with sedentary lifestyles, there is an increasing incidence of back pain related to postural deficits associated with device use and extended periods of sitting or inactivity. The purpose of this case study is to investigate the effects of posture and ergonomics and their role in back pain for an office worker.

Case Description: This case study follows the treatment of a 45-year old male over his 4-week episode of care. The chief complaint of the patient was an acute exacerbation of back pain which began with an insidious onset.

Intervention: Therapeutic exercises, therapeutic activities, manual therapy and patient education were utilized throughout the course of treatment.

Outcomes: The patient reported significant relief and improvement in his symptoms (90%). Further significant clinical improvements were assessed via Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) and the Patient-Specific Functional Scales (PSFS).

Discussion: The limitations of this case study and its applicability to the general back pain cohort are discussed. Additionally, the benefits of minimal, conservative treatment used for the highly motivated patient in order to reduce the cost and burden of care placed on the patient are discussed.