Study Comparing 3 Different Treatments for Arthritis of the Lower Back (Lumbar Spinal Stenosis)
BACKGROUND: Lumbar spinal stenosis - known by patients as "arthritis of the spine" - is a condition that is very common; found in about 30% of older adults. It is the most common reason for people over the age of 65 to have back surgery. Some patients with stenosis do not need back surgery and can be treated with other methods, such as physical therapy, chiropractic, exercise, and medication. But we just don't have enough good research to tell us which treatment works best for which patient and under which circumstances. This research study hopes to provide more information about the effectiveness of the various non-surgical choices for managing stenosis.
OBJECTIVES: This study will directly compare the effectiveness of three common non-surgical treatment approaches for stenosis:
- Usual medical care that involves prescription medications and/or spinal injections (epidurals)
- Group exercise in supervised classes given in a community center setting
- Hands-on (manual) therapy and rehabilitative exercises given in a clinic setting by physical therapists and chiropractors
METHODS: This research study will involve 180 adults who are at least 60 years old and have been diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis. The research volunteers will be divided into three groups, each group receiving one of the 3 types of treatments listed above under "Objectives". The determination of which type of treatment each person receives will be determined by chance, using a computerized version of flipping a coin. This is a process known as randomization, which scientists think reduces the bias in research studies. A series of tests and questionnaires will be given to the patients before and after they get treatment and comparisons will be made to see how much improvement they made with each of the types of treatments. Finally, the researchers will compare the differences between the 3 treatment groups to see if certain types of treatment produced better results than others, and if there were any examination findings that could be used to predict which type of patient would do better with which type of treatment.
|Lumbar Spinal Stenosis||Drug: NSAIDs; adjunctive analgesics; adjunctive anti-depressants Procedure: Lumbar epidural injection Other: Joint Mobilizations (spine, sacroiliac, hip) Other: Individualized exercises: clinical setting Other: Group Exercise: community setting|
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Investigator, Outcomes Assessor
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||A Comparison of Non-Surgical Treatment Methods for Patients With Lumbar Spinal Stenosis|
- Swiss Spinal Stenosis (SSS) Questionnaire Score (Symptom Severity Subscore) [ Time Frame: Primary End-Point was analysis of between-group changes at 8 weeks ( 2 weeks after completion of 6-week intervention). ]Our primary aim included a primary outcome measure of self-reported pain/function, which was the change in SSS symptom severity subscore between baseline and 8 weeks. The Swiss Spinal Stenosis Questionnaire (SSS) is a validated 12-item condition-specific instrument for patients with lumbar spinal stenosis. It provides a patient self-report measure of pain and physical function. Higher scores represent worse symptoms and less physical function. The 12-item SSS consists of two subscores: 1) the 7-item symptom severity subscore (range 7-35) and 2) the 5-item physical function subscore (range 5-20). For our analysis, we compared the change in the 7-item symptom severity subscore from baseline to 8 weeks.
- Self Paced Walking Test (SPWT) [ Time Frame: Primary end-point was analysis of between-group changes at 8 weeks ( 2 weeks after 6 week intervention is completed). ]Our primary aim also included a performance-based outcome measure, which was the distance walked during the SPWT. The analysis was a comparison of between-group changes in SPWT between baseline and 8 weeks. The Self-Paced Walking Test (SPWT) is a validated objective measure of a patient's walking capacity, which is performed on a level walking surface. The patient is instructed to walk at their own pace and to stop when the symptoms are troublesome enough that s/he needs to sit down to rest. The total time and total distance walked are measured by the research assistant. Our unit of measure was the total distance walked, expressed in meters.
- Sense Wear Armband [ Time Frame: Primary End-Point was analysis of between-group changes at 8 weeks ( 2 weeks after completion of 6-week intervention). ]Our secondary aim was to measure the change in physical activity between baseline and 8 weeks using the Sense Wear armband (SWA). The outcome measure was the average number of minutes spent daily performing physical activities >1.5 metabolic equivalents (METs).The SWA is a small device that collects information from multiple sensors: a triaxial accelerometer, heat flux, skin temperature, and galvanic signal. The information is integrated and processed by software using proprietary algorithms utilizing subjects' demographic characteristics (gender, age, height, and weight) to provide minute-by-minute estimates of physical activity. The SWA has shown good reliability and validity. The research participants in our study will wear the SWA for a week before and after they complete the treatment interventions.
|Study Start Date:||October 2013|
|Study Completion Date:||July 2016|
|Primary Completion Date:||July 2016 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Active Comparator: Usual Medical Care
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); adjunctive analgesics; adjunctive anti-depressants. Participants assigned to this group will see a board certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician for a history and examination, after which a determination will be made about a course of treatment that involve medications that are individualized to the needs of each patient.
Lumbar epidural injection: these will be prescribed by the physician if warranted due to severity of symptoms or lack of adequate response to oral medications.
Drug: NSAIDs; adjunctive analgesics; adjunctive anti-depressants
Physician will administer these medications based upon the individual needs of each patient.
Other Names:Procedure: Lumbar epidural injection
The attending physician may refer subjects for epidural injections at a pain clinic that is affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. All epidural injections will be provided by licensed physicians who are board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation or anesthesiology.
Active Comparator: Group Exercise
Group Exercise: community setting. This arm will involve attendance at community based group exercise classes that are taught by senior physical fitness instructors. These classes are designed specifically for older adults. Exercise frequency will be 2 times per week, for a total of 12 visits over the 6-week research period. These exercise classes will be attended at local community senior centers which cater to the needs of older adults. The subjects can self-select which particular exercise class they prefer to attend, based upon their level of fitness and physical function.
Other: Group Exercise: community setting
The group exercise will take place at community centers that provide exercise classes for older adult. The exercises are taught by certified fitness instructors in a group setting at these community centers.
Active Comparator: Manual therapy and exercise
This group of subjects will be treated with a combination of manual therapy and rehabilitative exercise procedures that are commonly used in the physical therapy and chiropractic professions. Subjects will be treated at a frequency of 2 times per week, for a total of 12 visits over the 6-week research period. Treatments will be provided by licensed physical therapists and chiropractors using a combination of joint mobilizations, muscle stretching and strengthening exercises.
Individualized exercises: clinical setting. These exercises will be tailored to the individual needs of each research participant by the treating physical therapist or chiropractor.
Other: Joint Mobilizations (spine, sacroiliac, hip)
These joint mobilizations will be applied manually to the lumbar facet joints, sacroiliac joints, and/or hip joints by licensed physical therapists and chiropractors.Other: Individualized exercises: clinical setting
The treating physical therapist or chiropractor will work with each subject to develop a set of individualized exercises in the clinic setting. The goal is to have the subjects continue these exercises at home.
BACKGROUND: Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a condition that is highly prevalent in the senior citizen population. LSS is the most frequent indication for spinal surgery in patients over the age of 65 years. The fastest growth in lumbar surgery in the U.S. this past decade has occurred in older adults with LSS and the rate of complex fusion procedures has increased 15-fold. These surgical procedures are associated with significant health care costs, risks, complications, and re-hospitalization rates. Yet, evidence is lacking for the effectiveness of the various non-surgical treatments offered to patients with LSS. This knowledge gap has greatly hindered the development of clinical practice guidelines relevant to the non-surgical treatment approaches for LSS.
OBJECTIVES: This study will perform a comparison of three common approaches to the non-surgical management and treatment of patients with LSS. The specific research questions associated with this study are: (1) How do group exercise and manual therapy with rehabilitative exercise compare with usual medical care? (2) How do group exercise and manual therapy with rehabilitative exercise compare with each other? (3) Are there any baseline predictors associated with clinical improvement in any of these non-surgical treatment approaches? The long term objective of this study is to produce research evidence relevant to community stakeholders and to inform better decision making about non-surgical treatment options available to LSS patients.
METHODS: This will be a comparative effectiveness study utilizing the research design of a randomized controlled clinical trial (RCT). It will be a 3-group RCT that allows for pragmatic treatment approaches in each of the three study arms. The study sample will consist of 240 older adults (>60 years) who have symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of LSS, which will be confirmed by clinical examination and diagnostic imaging. Eligible subjects will be randomized into one of three pragmatic treatment approaches: 1) usual medical care; 2) group exercise; or 3) manual therapy with rehabilitative exercise.
All subjects will be treated for a 6-week course of care. Primary outcome measures are two validated research measurement tools; the Swiss Spinal Stenosis Questionnaire (self-reported pain/function) and the Self Paced Walking Test (performance-based measure). We will also employ a novel secondary outcome measure; the Sense Wear Armband which provides a real-time measure of physical activity during normal daily living.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01943435
|United States, Pennsylvania|
|UPMC Shadyside Center for Integrative Medicine|
|Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15232|
|Principal Investigator:||Michael J Schneider, PhD, DC||University of Pittsburgh|