A randomized control trial to determine the effectiveness and physiological effects of spinal manipulation and spinal mobilization compared to each other and a sham condition in patients with chronic low back pain: Study protocol for The RELIEF Study

Brian C. Clark*, David W. Russ, Masato Nakazawa, Christopher R. France, Stevan Walkowski, Timothy D. Law, Megan Applegate, Niladri Mahato, Samuel Lietkam, James Odenthal, Daniel Corcos, Simeon Hain, Betty Sindelar, Robert J. Ploutz-Snyder, James S. Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical care. Manipulative therapies are a common treatment for LBP. Few studies have compared the effectiveness of different types of manipulative therapies. Moreover, the physiologic mechanisms underlying these treatments are not fully understood. Herein, we present the study protocol for The Researching the Effectiveness of Lumbar Interventions for Enhancing Function Study (The RELIEF Study). Methods and study design: The RELIEF Study is a Phase II RCT with a nested mechanistic design. It is a single-blinded, sham-controlled study to test the mechanisms and effectiveness of two manual therapy techniques applied to individuals (n = 162; 18–45 years of age) with chronic LBP. The clinical outcome data from the mechanistic component will be pooled across experiments to permit an exploratory Phase II RCT investigating the effectiveness. Participants will be randomized into one of three separate experiments that constitute the mechanistic component to determine the muscular, spinal, and cortical effects of manual therapies. Within each of these experimental groups study participants will be randomly assigned to one of the three treatment arms: 1) spinal manipulation, 2) spinal mobilization, or 3) sham laser therapy. Treatments will be delivered twice per week for 3-weeks. Discussion: This data from this will shed light on the mechanisms underlying popular treatments for LBP. Additionally, the coupling of this basic science work in the context of a clinical trial will also permit examination of the clinical efficacy of two different types of manipulative therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Volume70
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Low back pain
  • Manual therapies
  • Mobilization
  • Muscle energy
  • Spinal manipulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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