Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science Rehabilitation Science (MSc)


Rehabilitation Science


Victoria Galea


Linda Woodhouse



Committee Member

Joy MacDermid, Anita Gross


Neurodynamics refers to the mechanical and physiological components of

the nervous system and the interconnections between them (Shacklock, 1995).

This is a phase 1 pilot trial investigating the immediate effect of a neurodynamic

treatment as compared to a sham treatment in eight participants with low back

pain. Primary outcome measures included: H-reflex latency and nerve

conduction velocity. Secondary outcome measures included: the sitting slump

test and visual analog scale for pain following a neurodynamic treatment

compared to a sham treatment on eight participants with low back pain. T-tests

were used to analyze any differences between the groups at baseline and post-

intervention. No statistically significant differences were observed between the

groups at baseline. Statistically significant differences were noted post-

intervention between the treatment groups for H-reflex latency (t(5)=4.323,

p=0.008) and the unaffected leg sitting slump test (t(5)=3.402, p=0.019). The H-

reflex latency increased for the group following the neurodynamic treatment and

decreased following the sham treatment. This was not expected and is of

interest due to the possible mechanisms that may be underlying these

phenomena. Despite the small sample size used in this study, differences were

observed and displayed trends that were unanticipated. These between-group

differences are of interest but require further investigation using a larger sample

population. Sample size calculations for future studies based on the primary

outcome measures yielded a sample of 2008 participants. This accounted for

both a 20% difference between the two groups and a 20% dropout rate. Future

studies need to investigate the most beneficial length of time, type and dosage of

neurodynamic treatments, as well as, the most appropriate times to assess the

outcome measures. Comparison to controls would be beneficial in subsequent


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