Low Back Pain Study Examines Exercise for Spinal Control

Spinal Control During Functional Activities to Improve Low Back Pain Outcomes (LBP)

Purpose and Objective

Woman with Low Back PainThe purpose of this study is to examine if the short- and long-term effects are different between 1) commonly prescribed strength and flexibility exercises for the trunk and limbs, and 2) individualized practice in daily functional activities that are difficult or painful to perform.

Exercise is one of the primary interventions used with people with chronic, mechanical low back pain. It is unknown, however, which exercise is best for which person, which exercises a person will adhere to and for how long, and the effect of adhering to a specific type of exercise on how the person functions, particularly in the long run.

Adherence to the different interventions, the relationship between adherence and outcomes,as well as the effect of a booster intervention also will be examined.For many people, mechanical low back pain (LBP) is a long-term, function-limiting condition rather than a short-term, self-limiting condition. Exercise is one of the primary non-surgical approaches used worldwide for managing LBP.

Specifically in people with chronic LBP, exercise has been found to be as efficacious, if not more efficacious than 1) no treatment, 2) usual care, and 3) many other treatments, such as massage or laser therapy.

Despite the growing body of evidence for the beneficial effects of exercise, however, there is limited evidence about 1) which exercise is best for which person, 2) how long the effects of different exercises last, 3) which types of exercise people will adhere to, and for how long, and 4) the mechanisms underlying the effects of different types of exercise.

Clinical Trial Sponsor

This clinical trial is sponsored by Washington University School of Medicine.

Recruiting Location (United States)

Washington University School of Medicine
Saint Louis, Missouri, United States, 63018-2212
Contact: Linda R Van Dillen, P.T., Ph.D.
Principal Investigator: Linda R Van Dillen, P.T., Ph.D.

Eligibility, Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

 Inclusion Criteria:

  • chronic low back pain for a minimum of 12 months
  • currently experiencing low back pain symptoms but not in a recurrence or an acute flare-up
  • Modified Oswestry Disability Index score of ≥ 20%
  • 3 or more functional activities limited due to low back pain
  • able to stand and walk without assistance
  • able to understand and sign a consent form

Exclusion Criteria:

  • any structural spinal deformity including scoliosis, kyphosis, or stenosis
  • spinal fracture or dislocation
  • low back pain due to trauma
  • osteoporosis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • fibromyalgia
  • symptomatic disc herniation
  • spondylolisthesis
  • serious spinal complications such as tumor or infection
  • previous spinal surgery
  • frank neurological loss, i.e., weakness and sensory loss
  • pain or paresthesia below the knee
  • etiology of low back pain other than the lumbar spine, e.g., hip joint
  • history of neurologic disease which required hospitalization
  • active treatment for cancer
  • history of unresolved cancer
  • pregnancy
  • worker's compensation, disability, or litigation case


* Additional inclusion/exclusion criteria apply. Please consult with your physician to review the complete eligibility criteria.


Updated on: 01/12/16