The lived-through experience of spinally referred leg pain: a descriptive phenomenological study

Johan Holte, Pirjo Vuoskoski

Research output: Other contribution


A phenomenological, qualitative enquiry was implemented to gain an in-depth understanding of the lived-through spinally referred leg pain experience, from a physiotherapy specific research perspective. The methodology of the study is drawing from the phenomenological philosophy of Edmund Husserl, and Giorgi’s (2009) modification of his phenomenological method. For Husserl, the central theme and purpose in phenomenology is to describe the essence of the phenomenon as a presence to consciousness; by the means of phenomenological attitude and reduction, including bracketing, and conscious acts. Descriptions of the phenomenon of interest were obtained from four participant volunteers through individual, face to face interviews. Participants were asked to describe concrete situations of spinally referred leg pain, in as much detail as possible. The phenomenological analysis showed that the most essential aspect of lived-through experience is the overriding presence of pain. The other key constituents, which are all interrelated, were: interference with life, emotional engagement, sense of resilience, sense of diagnostic uncertainty, treatment hope and expectation, trust in others and resignation. This study contributed to phenomenological insights into spinally referred leg pain experiences, and has significant implications to understanding the phenomenon from a physiotherapy disciplinary perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Publisher36th International Human Science Research Conference, Between Necessity and Choice: Existential Dilemmas in the Human Life-World, Jelenia Gora, Poland, July 11-14, 2017
Place of PublicationJelenia Gora, Poland
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017 the authors


  • spinally referred leg pain experience
  • descriptive phenomenology
  • physiotherapy


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