Date of Award


Document Type



Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Merilee Danks


Low back pain (LBP, Spondylosis, Degenerative disc disease, Physical Therapy


Background and Purpose: In the United States low back pain (LBP) is one of the leading causes for individuals to reach out to health care professionals. LBP is often associated with a diagnosis of spondylosis. Spondylosis is present in about 80% of peoples in the United States. The prevalence of spondylosis continues to increase without a definite cure or form of treatment. Overall, exercise and intervention have proven to decrease symptoms of pain of those with spondylosis. However, success of treatment may see large variables in success. Further research into specific treatment interventions may be warranted to decrease chronic spondylosis in the United States.

Case Description: This case involves a 72-year-old male diagnosed with spondylosis. The patient is a retired Top Gun Pilot for the United States Airforce and he participates in regular golf tournaments for recreation. He lives in a home with his wife. He began to feel pain in his low back when playing golf, walking up an incline, and bending over to carry groceries inside his home. He received imaging and was given the diagnosis of spondylosis and degenerative disc disease. Shortly after, he was referred to physical therapy for treatment of his symptoms.

Intervention: Following evaluation and examination, directional preference was identified as well as mobility and strength deficits. Interventions and treatment were designed and implemented to compliment directional preferences and address strength DocuSign Envelope ID: 5958519C-66F8-46B0-8B47-200288084252 x and mobility deficits. Interventions included, but were not limited to, increasing thoracic and lumbar mobility, posterior chain strengthening, core stability interventions, manual therapy techniques and modalities.

Outcomes: The patient felt significantly better following the eight weeks of treatment. Following the plan of care, the patient expressed he felt equipped to continue with his home exercise program to eliminate or decrease a return of symptoms. He expressed noticeable differences in his symptoms as well as noticeable increases in his strength and abilities within his normal daily activities following his treatment plan of care.

Discussion: While interventions and manual therapy techniques were appropriate and delivered results for this patient, some research does not support or suggest just one approach being successful for all patients diagnosed with spondylosis. Further research should be done specifically on lumbar spondylosis as well as specific interventions to treat symptoms.