Date on Honors Thesis

Spring 5-19-2021


Exercise Science/Pre-health professional

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Amelia Dodd, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Mr. Jeremy Erdmann, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Jessica Naber, Committee Member


Background & objective: Low back pain is a frequent problem that the majority of people will face at some point in their lifetime. Exercise has been advocated as an effective treatment for chronic nonspecific low back pain; however, there is a lack of consensus on the best form of exercise treatment. This review was designed to compare the effectiveness of the McKenzie Method against stabilization/strengthening exercises in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain.

Methods: A literature review examining McKenzie and stabilization exercises for chronic nonspecific low back pain were identified from three databases.

Results: A total of nine articles were selected to be included in this review. Included in this review was one systematic review, one literature review with meta-analysis, two reviews, four randomized controlled trials (RCT), and one test-retest design. Each study included McKenzie Method and/or stabilization exercises. Pain and functional disability were reported as outcome measures.

Conclusion: Each of the studies reported improvements in the form of decreased pain and/or functional disability with the use of the McKenzie Method and/or stabilization/strengthening techniques. The selection of the treatment intervention should be individualized based on patient presentation and examination findings.

Key Words: McKenzie Method, MDT, Chronic Nonspecific Low back pain, Stabilization exercises