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Vol. 22. Issue 5.
Pages 424-430 (01 September 2018)
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Vol. 22. Issue 5.
Pages 424-430 (01 September 2018)
Clinical Trial Protocol
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.08.014
Effectiveness of physical therapy interventions for low back pain targeting the low back only or low back plus hips: a randomized controlled trial protocol
Scott A. Burnsa,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author at: 1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave, Ritter Annex, 6th floor, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA.
, Joshua A. Clelandb, Darren A. Rivettc, Suzanne J. Snodgrassc
a Department of Physical Therapy, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
b Physical Therapy Department, Franklin-Pierce University, Manchester, NH, USA
c Discipline of Physiotherapy, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia

  • Physical therapists routinely provide interventions for individuals with low back pain that may or may not include treatment directed at the hips.

  • This study will provide more information as to the role of hip impairments in individuals with a primary complain of low back pain.

  • This study will provide additional information for optimal management of individuals with low back pain.

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Table 1. Summary of outcome measure collection time points.

Recent evidence suggests that physical therapy interventions targeting the hips may improve outcomes, including pain and disability, for patients with low back pain (LBP). Currently, there is conflicting data in regard to whether an individual with LBP needs to have a concurrent hip impairment in order to respond to this approach. The purpose of this clinical trial will be to determine the short and long-term effectiveness of physical therapy interventions directed at the lumbar spine only, versus lumbar spine and hip(s), in individuals with a primary complaint of LBP with a concurrent hip impairment.


A multi-center, randomized controlled trial of 76 adult individuals with a primary complaint of LBP, who also have at least one concurrent hip impairment. Participants will be randomized into the ‘LBP only’ or ‘LBP+Hip’ group. Treatment to the low back in both groups will be a pragmatic approach consisting of interventions targeting the low back without targeting the hip(s). Participants randomized to the LBP+Hip group will also receive a semi-prescriptive set of manual therapy and exercise techniques that target the hips. The primary outcome measures will be the modified Oswestry Disability Index and the Numeric Pain Rating Scale at discharge.


These two treatment strategies are commonly utilized in physical therapy practice, but there is uncertainty which is superior. This trial will also help to provide a better understanding of the role of concurrent hip impairments in LBP.

Trial registration

This trial has been prospectively registered at (ID# NCT03550014, on June 7, 2018.

Low back
Physical therapy


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