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ISSN : 2092-8475(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
Journal of International Academy of Physical Therapy Research Vol.9 No.4 pp.1683-1689

Effects of Low Grade Axial Loading on Discogenic Low Back Pain: A Case Report

Duncan Chang,Arantxa Boby,James Madonna
Oakland University, Michigan USA
Address for correspondence
Duncan Chang, MPT, OMPT Department of Physical Therapy, Oakland University,USA, Human Health Building 433 Meadow Brook Road Rochester, MI 48309-4452 Tel : 01-213-700-5788


Low back pain (LBP) is the most common reason for seeking physical therapy (PT) care. Recent studies suggest that axial loading can have a positive impact on the intervertebral disc by improving its tensile strength. Further, whole body vibration (WBV) appears to improve spinal muscle relaxation. Therefore, this case study describes the use of axial loading using a minitrampoline in a female with chronic LBP. This case report is a single subject design. This patient is a 29-year-old female with a six-month history of low back pain following a motor vehicle accident. MRI found herniated discs at L4 and L5, clinical tests were positive for pain in the L4 and L5 dermatome and myotome the slump test was positive for neural tension, and LBP was constant at 4-6/10 over the past four months. She received axial loading exercises using a mini-trampoline and performed six sessions that were, scheduled twice a week for three weeks. Her Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score improved from 40% at the time of her first visit to 22% at her final visit. Pain measure on the Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) after the first treatment was 7/10, and her pain after the final treatment was 0/10. These changes in the pain scores are clinically significant and exceed the minimal clinically important difference (MCID). This patient had a significant improvement in her pain using the NPRS and the ODI. This case study suggests that axial loading may be an effective treatment for some individuals with discogenic chronic low back pain.