Purpose: The purpose of this literature review is to investigate the following question based on available literature: In patients with MVA-associated LBP complicated by PTSD-like symptoms, does physical therapy (PT) intervention with concomitant therapy that targets psychological factors improve functional and psychological outcomes more than PT alone? Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) commonly accompanies the physical pain and limitations following motor vehicle accidents. This may limit progress towards PT goals. Current guidelines support addressing either psychological or physical symptoms to improve outcomes, but the necessity and effectiveness of interdisciplinary care is not well-outlined. Case: Patient is a 24-year-old female involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in low back pain and PTSD-related symptoms. Pt did not improve with PT alone and was referred to psychological counseling. Outcomes: Research supports psychologically-oriented PT over PT alone for improving psychological and physical impact of PTSD. Referral to a counseling specialist appears beneficial to patients experiencing more severe psychological impact after conservative treatment fails. Discussion: Patients with this profile should be considered individually with attention to psychological impact of their trauma. PT, psychologically-oriented PT, and referral to counseling may be best considered in this order for patients with increasing severity of psychological symptoms.

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Level of Degree


First Advisor

Fred J. Carey


PTSD, Motor Vehicle Accident, Psychological, Counseling, Kinesiophobia, Low Back Pain