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Are you currently experiencing low back pain? Did this episode of back pain start in the last three months? You may be eligible to participate in a research study comparing different therapies to treat low back pain and prevent it from reoccurring in the future. Participants will be compensated.

Pain in the lower back is a common problem and a leading cause of disability. In some cases, back pain can become a long-term health problem. Treatments for back pain may include medications, massage, cold and heat therapy, and physical therapy, but these do not work for everyone. The purpose of this study is to help researchers compare four types of treatments for people with low back pain. Researchers hope their findings will lead to safer, more effective treatments for people with low back pain in the future.
  • Ages 18 and up
  • Currently experiencing low back pain
  • Current episode of low back pain began within the past three months
  • Able to read and write in English
  • No serious health issues, such as uncontrolled hypertension, untreated psychiatric disorders, substance use disorder, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease
  • Have never undergone spinal fusion surgery for your low back (also called arthrodesis)
  • Not pregnant or breastfeeding, and not planning to become pregnant within the next year

Participation involves an initial 2-3 hour screening visit to find out if you are eligible for the study. If eligible after screening, participants will be randomly assigned (like rolling dice) to one of four treatment groups:
  • Spinal Manipulation Therapy (SMT), also known as chiropractic care, involves hands-on treatment to the joints and muscles in the low back (30 minutes per visit)
  • Supported Self-Management (SSM) focuses on things you can do on your own to manage your back pain (1 hour per visit)
  • SMT & SSM is combination of hands-on treatment to the joints in your lower back and things you can do on your own to manage your back pain (1-1.5 hours per visit)
  • Routine medical care includes over-the-counter and prescription medications (20-30 minutes per visit) Each treatment group lasts about 8 weeks, but the frequency and total number of treatment sessions can vary. Treatment is provided at no cost. At the end of the 8 week intervention, participants will return for a 90 minute visit. Throughout the study, participants will also be asked to complete emailed questionnaires.

  PRO18010414 - Spinal Manipulation and Patient Self-Management for Preventing Acute to Chronic Back Pain (PACBACK)

Age Range
AGE:   18 and up

Duration DURATION:  8 weeks of treatment + 10 months of follow up
VISITS:  Varies

Location LOCATION: 
Physical Therapy Clinical and Translational Research Center – Bridgeside Point
Compensation COMPENSATION: 

Up to $250 + free parking

Phone Number PHONE NUMBER:
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Michael Schneider

Michael Schneider, DC, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. Dr. Schneider has designed and implemented several federally funded clinical trials comparing conservative treatments for low back and neck pain. His primary areas of research interest are rehabilitation approaches for spine-related disorders, as well as dissemination and implementation science.

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