Management Strategies for Patients With Low Back Pain and Sciatica

Purpose and Objective

Low back pain and sciatica is a common condition resulting in high costs and disability for society and affected individuals. Presently there is a lack of evidence for what treatments may help this condition early in the course of care. Improved early management could reduce risks for persistent disability and high costs.
Older woman sitting in bed holding her low back The goal of this project is to examine the clinical outcomes and costs associated with adding a physical therapy program to early management of patients with low back pain and sciatica within primary care.

Clinical Trial Sponsor

This clinical trial is sponsored by University of Utah.

Recruiting Location (United States)

The University of Utah Healthcare System
Salt Lake City, UT, USA 84108
Contact: Jake Magel, PT, DSc    801-581-6861
Principal Investigator: Julie M Fritz, PT, PhD

Eligibility, Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Symptoms of pain and/or numbness between the 12th rib and buttocks, which, in the opinion of the primary care provider, are originating from tissues of the lumbar region.
  2. Symptoms of pain and/or numbness primarily into one leg that have extended below the knee in the last 72 hours, and correspond to a lower lumbar nerve root distribution (L4, L5, S1)
  3. Current symptoms present for 90 days or fewer
  4. Oswestry disability score > 20%
  5. One or more of the following symptoms:

    • Positive ipsilateral or contralateral straight leg raise test (reproduction of symptoms at <70 degrees)
    • Reflex, sensory, or strength deficits in a pattern consistent with lower lumbar nerve root

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Any prior spine fusion surgery, or any surgery to the lumbosacral spine in the past year
  2. Current pregnancy
  3. Currently receiving treatment for LBP from another healthcare provider (e.g., chiropractic, massage therapy, injections, etc.) or any treatment for LBP in prior 6 months.
  4. Judgment of primary care provider of "red flags" of a potentially serious condition including cauda equina, major or rapidly progressing neurologic deficit, fracture, cancer, infection or systemic disease

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


Updated on: 03/10/17