Improving Function in Elders With Chronic Lower Back Pain

This study will determine the effectiveness of a 12 week program to alleviate chronic low back pain in community-dwelling elders. Chronic low back pain is the most reported musculoskeletal problem and the third most reported problem in general among people age 65 and up. One-fourth of people over the age of 70 demonstrate limitations in their daily function (Bressler et al 1999). With low back pain, there is an even greater risk for functional decline, disability, and placement in living situations with increased help for the occupant, i.e. assistive living communities and nursing homes (Leveille et al. 1999). Surprisingly, little research has targeted treatment of chronic pain in this age group. To learn more or to determine if you are a candidate, click here.

Team Members

Gregory E. Hicks, PT, PhD
Lynn Snyder-Mackler, PT, ScD
Tara J. Manal, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS
Megan Sions, PT, MPT, OCS
Dr. James Moran, DO
Dr. Debra K. Weiner, MD
Dr. Phillip Chao, MD

Principal Investigator
PhD Student
Physiatrist with Spine Care Expertise
Geriatrician and Rheumatologist
Diagnostic Radiologist


Bressler HB, Keyes WJ, Rochon PA, Badley E. The prevalence of low back pain in the elderly. A systematic review of the literature. Spine. Sep 1 1999; 24(217): 1813-1819

Leveille SG, Guralnik JM, Hochberg M, et al. Low back pain and disability in older women: independent association with difficulty but not inability to perform daily activities. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. Oct 1999; 54(10): M487-493
University of Delaware Research Projects