Date of Award

Spring 5-26-2018

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Karen A. Macauley, PhD, DNP, FNP-BC, GNP-BC

Second Advisor

Robert Topp, PhD, RN


Background & Purpose:Low back pain is the second leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting 17% of Americans. Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is particularly debilitating among professions such as active duty military personnel (ADMP) who are required to maintain military readiness without the assistance of opioids. This scenario can result in individuals enduring untreated pain or resigning from participation in their unit. The purpose of this project is to determine the effect of providing a nonpharmacological pain management kit (NPMK) on pain and functional ability among ADMP who report CLBP.

Study Design:ADMP who suffer from CLBP were enrolled in an evidence-based practice project examining their pain and functioning measured at baseline and after one and four weeks of using the NPMK.

Methods:The participants were recruited from Naval Special Warfare. Eligible individuals with CLBP were given the NPMK and instructed how to utilize the five components including BioFreeze, Kinesiology tape, thermal therapy, low back strength and flexibility exercises, and behavioral approaches to complement their pain management routines. Following instruction and then return demonstration of the NPMK components, participants were instructed to use the components of the toolkit each day for the next four weeks. A daily level of pain and compliance with the NPMK was assessed by each subject completing a daily log. Pain was also assessed while each subject completed three functional ability assessments including timed plank, standard dead lift, and sit and reach. Finally, subjects also completed the Patient Specific Functional Scale prior to and at one and four weeks following administration of the NPMK.

Results:Eleven subjects were enrolled in the project and maintained a high level of compliance with the NPMK. Findings indicated that participants experienced a reduction in pain and an increase in functional ability over the course of four weeks.

Implications for Practice:These findings suggest that use of the NPMK by ADMP can have a beneficial impact on reducing CLBP and increasing functioning. This offers a non-opioid treatment option to manage CLBP.