Send to

Choose Destination
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1997 Sep;26(3):155-67.

A three-paradigm treatment model using soft tissue mobilization and guided movement-awareness techniques for a patient with chronic low back pain: a case study.

Author information

Christie Clinic Association, Department of Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy, Rantoul, IL 61866, USA.


It is not uncommon for physical therapists to report difficulty in treating certain subjects with chronic idiopathic low back pain. The purpose of this case study is to present a three-paradigm model of intervention that may be adapted to the treatment of such cases. The model consists of: 1) relaxation paradigm, consisting of pain modulation procedures; 2) corrective paradigm, involving manual techniques and exercise to correct specific faulty biomechanical alignment(s) eg., pelvic asymmetry); and 3) integrative paradigm, utilizing guided movement/mobilization techniques for improving the subject's overall pattern of posture and movement. The case study of a young adult with chronic low back pain correlated with unilateral innominate bone rotation is presented to illustrate the three-paradigm approach. Over six sessions, the subject received a corrective (sessions 1-3) and an integrative treatment protocol (sessions 4-6) consisting of Rolf's method of soft tissue mobilization and Alexander's system of guided movement-awareness techniques. Before and after each session and after a 4-week follow-up, the subject was assessed for sacroiliac joint pain using a compression technique, anterior rotation of the innominate bones, pelvic angle in the standing position, and vagal tone as determined from heart rate variability. The therapist's visual analysis of sit-to-stand movement and the subject's self-reports of pain were noted. A corrective paradigm protocol of soft tissue mobilization and exercise was unsuccessful in eliminating the subject's assessed anterior rotation of the innominate bone and associated low back pain for more than 1-2 days posttreatment. Only after the implementation of a third paradigm movement/mobilization protocol did the subject begin to exhibit sustained improvement through a 4-week follow-up. Interpretations of the results, appropriate selection of corrective and integrative protocols, and physiological mechanisms are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center