Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Chronic Lower Back Pain: The Neurological Impacts of a Comorbid diagnosis and Integrative Treatment


  • Nakieta Lankster One Heartt, Inc.
  • Nomthandazo Dube One Heartt, Inc.
  • Jessica Williams One Heartt, Inc.


Previous research has indicated a prevalent co-occurrence of chronic lower back pain (CLBP) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Though it is known that the dual diagnosis of these disorders is prevalent and the cyclical nature of their symptomology; with trauma symptoms igniting chronic pain symptoms and bouts of pain engaging trauma symptoms, there continues to be a lack of understanding as to the neurological underpinnings of this phenomena. Further, there has been little exploration into the treatment of said co-occurring disorders. An investigation by Lankster and Williams (2018) recommends to use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for individuals triply diagnosed with PTSD, CLBP, and alexithymia. However, the previous study excluded the neurological effects of these disorders, as well as their behavioral and physiological manifestations, which are considered in the current study to develop an intervention with increased efficacy.


The purpose of this systemic review with meta-analysis is to investigate the neurological effects of these conditions, the manner in which they overlap, and the cognitive and behavioral manifestation of dual neurological deficits. It is hypothesized that a structured psychological treatment which includes various aspects of neurological, behavioral, and somatic interventions with concurrent pharmacological treatment will be efficacious in addressing these neurological effects.

Author Biographies

Nakieta Lankster, One Heartt, Inc.

Dr. Lankster is a licensed clinical psychologist providing assessment, group therapy, and individual therapy in Maryland and Alabama. Her offices are in Baltimore, MD and Demopolis, AL. Current clients include children with various learning developmental diagnoses and adults coping with trauma and substance abuse. Her previous practice experiences have included families, couples, children and adults in San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and South Africa. Dr. Lankster graduated from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area campus and has undergraduate degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of West Alabama. Through her research and work with a diverse base of families and children, she has gained both practical and research-based knowledge on various topics related to psychological issues and emotional disturbance. Currently, she specializes in and researches issues surrounding community and mass trauma, rural mental health, culture related issues, and child therapy. She has published several works on psychological research and treatment. When she isn't  in her practice, she is  working as the Founder/ CEO of One HEARTT, Inc. and conducting workshops and classes on various psychological topics.

Nomthandazo Dube, One Heartt, Inc.

Dr Nomthandazo Dube. Neurosurgeon currently working at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital. I was the first black female neurosurgeon to graduate from Sefako Makgato Health Sciences University. I have a BSC degree from Medunsa, MBCHB from University of Limpopo and a fellowship in neurosurgery from the Colleges of Medicine South Africa.She specializes in Neurotrauma, and is currently surviving COVID-19. She is the Medical Director at One Heartt, Inc.

Jessica Williams, One Heartt, Inc.

Dr. Jessica Williams specializes in bio-pharmalogical treatment for a variety of disorders and mental health. She is the Vice-President at One Heartt, Inc.