Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not resistance training reduces low back pain.

STUDY DESIGN: Review of three English language primary studies published in 2011, 2014, and 2015.

DATA SOURCES: Randomized controlled and clinical trials comparing resistance training (kettlebell training, graded activity, TOTRX, LEXT) to physiotherapy exercise and no exercise intervention, found using PubMed.

OUTCOME MEASURED: Severity of pain in the low-back area, measured using Pain Numerical Rating Scale (NRSpain) and pain visual-analog scale.

RESULTS: Two out of three studies found that resistance training reduced low back pain in comparison to a control group without an exercise intervention. One RCT found that resistance training/graded activity had the same effects of reducing low back pain as physiotherapy exercises.

CONCLUSIONS: The result of the RCT and clinical trials demonstrated that resistance training reduces low back pain in comparison to no intervention. Resistance training compared to other forms of exercise intervention, specifically physiotherapy, is equally as effective in reducing low back pain.