Chiropractic and Exercise for Low Back Pain in Adolescents

Chiropractic care and exercise for teens with low back pain

Until recently, low back pain was thought to be something only adults experienced. But research shows that over 70% of children and teens have been affected by back pain and 50% will experience it in the next year.  Teenagers with back pain have trouble sleeping and participating in school and social activities. They have a higher incidence of eating disorders and trouble meeting friends.

Northwestern is conducting the first full-scale randomized clinical trial assessing chiropractic care for adolescents with low back pain. We will evaluate the effect of chiropractic care and exercise on low back pain. We will also measure teens’ disability, quality of life, improvement, satisfaction, activity levels, motion and strength. To better understand what it is like to be a teenager with back pain, we will also do qualitative interviews with study participants.

We enrolled a total of 184 teens, 12-18 years of age with sub-acute and chronic low back pain. We recruited research patients at two sites – Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies and the University of Western States in Portland, Oregon.

Project Status: Recruitment complete

Study Name: Chiropractic and Exercise for Low Back Pain in Adolescents

Principal Investigators: Gert Bronfort, DC, PhD, Mitchell Haas, DC, MA

Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Grant number: R18HP15124 identifier: NCT01096628