Chiropractic and Self-Care for Back Related Leg Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Can common non-surgical treatments help patients with “sciatica”?

Back-related leg pain (BRLP) is a common variation of low back pain (LBP) with up to 40% of people experiencing it at some time in their lives. Also known as “sciatica”, BRLP accounts for greater work loss, higher costs and more surgeries than uncomplicated LBP. In the United States, half of those with back-related conditions seek complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments, the most common of which is chiropractic care. While preliminary studies suggest chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy is beneficial for patients with BRLP, high quality research is necessary to confirm these findings.

Working in collaboration with researchers from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, we performed a randomized clinical study with a total of 192 study patients. 122 were recruited from the Twin Cities, MN and 70 from the Quad Cities area in Iowa and Illinois (n = 70). Patients received either chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy plus a home exercise program or home exercise alone. The primary outcome measure was patient rated patient pain.

Project Status: Recruitment complete

Study Name: Chiropractic and Self-Care for Back Related Leg Pain

Principal Investigator: Gert Bronfort, DC, PhD

Funding Agency: US Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) identifier: NCT00494065

Related Publications:

Schulz CA, Hondras MA, Evans RL, Gudavalli MR, Long CR, Owens EF, Wilder DG, Bronfort G. Chiropractic and self-care for back-related leg pain: design of a randomized clinical trial. Chiropr Man.Therap. 2011;19:8.