Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (to 2011)

First Advisor

Richard Oxhandler

Second Advisor

Nicholas Smith


My thesis project is focused on the concept of pain. It is a compilation of input from my intern advisor, a licensed physical therapist, and from my thesis advisor, a professor within the Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness department. It is an exploration of the origin, effects, development, types, perception, costliness and treatments of low back pain, through a holistic, anatomical, neurological and integrative approach. My research is expressed through a thorough power-point project with several diagrams, pictures and information, as well as a research paper containing significant detail.

This thesis project effectively defines what pain is in the body on an anatomical, neurological and physiological level. It shares a focus on the costs, effects, treatment and societal role of low back pain. It defines and describes physical therapy as a profession and a treatment, and compares it to more alternative methods such as yoga, meditation and Tai chi. One valuable component which these therapies have in common is their strong belief and support in the benefits of healthy breathing techniques in reducing symptoms of pain. This thesis project will explore and compare the aspects of each therapy and their role in treatment. In addition to treatment, this project discusses the implications of healthcare such as insurance, health literacy, health disparity and the Affordable Care Act, on low back pain.

This thesis project provides a better understanding of the origins, progression and treatments of low back pain in regards to the human body and to several components of society. It integrates both alternative and conventional approaches to therapy and their role within healthcare. This project has a strong focus on the costliness of low back pain and its significance in an individual’s life, as well as several approaches to, not only treating it, but also gaining a more intuitive understanding of it.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Presentation.pdf (8264 kB)
Powerpoint Presentation