Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Human Movement Sciences


Athletic Training

Committee Director

Bonnie Van Lunen

Committee Member

Mike Tamburello

Committee Member

Martha L. Walker

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E44 H36 2003


The purpose of this study was to examine the short-term effects of Grades 1 and 2 posteroanterior joint mobilizations (JM) at the pathological lumbar spine on subject pain, range of motion (ROM), and muscle force. All subjects were determined to have sustained mechanical dysfunction of the lumbar spine of less than 48 hours as assessed through a standardized evaluation. Subjects were randomly assigned to a group; the control group received ice and stretching while the experimental group received JM in addition to ice and stretching. The JM's were performed at 3 consecutive lumbar segments surrounding the area of greatest discomfort. The oscillatory treatment was administered for 30 seconds with a 30 second resting period, and Grade 1 JM' s were utilized initially followed by Grade 2 JM's, for a total of six 30-second treatments. Data collection consisted of (1) pain assessment through the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), and a visual analog scale (VAS) in lumbar neutral, flexion, and extension, (2) ROM through the double inclinometer method at the LI and L5 spinous processes, and (3) muscle force with a hand-held dynamometer during maximal voluntary contraction. Data collection was undertaken immediately prior to and following the administration of JM's or no treatment, as well as 24 hours after the initial measurements. The MPQ was only completed initially and at 24 hours post-treatment. All subjects were intercollegiate athletes who continued participation during data collection. All JM treatment sessions were performed manually by a certified athletic trainer in the clinical setting. Various analyses were computed (2 x 2 ANOVA's, 2 x 3 ANOVA's and non parametric statistics) for all dependent measures. All subjects had decreased values for the MPQ over time, but no difference was found between treatment groups. However, when each subscale was evaluated, the experimental group had a significantly decreased sensory subscale following the treatment. Muscle force increased for both groups over time. A Tukey HSD Post Hoc comparison revealed significantly higher force values over time for those treated with the JM's. Friedman testing showed significant decreases in VAS scoring during lumbar neutral and flexion after JM. There were no significant differences between the groups for ROM. JM's for pain are a useful component in the treatment of acute mechanical dysfunctions in the lumbar spine. Further research should investigate other segments of the spine and the utilization of this technique.


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