$1.2 Million for Logan to Study LBP and Balance in the Elderly

By Editorial Staff

Logan College of Chiropractic is using a $1.2 million grant from the Health and Human Resources Administration - the largest grant the college has ever received - for a three-year investigation into how chiropractic care impacts low back pain and balance in the elderly. Researchers from Logan and Saint Louis University will assess LBP and balance in a study population of more than 400 older adults and then compare the effectiveness of manual therapy, stabilization exercises and conventional therapy.

Dennis Enix, DC, MBA, assistant professor in Logan's research division and lead investigator for the study, says that the goal of the research project is to establish "a new standard of care for this critical patient population that includes research-based non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical options to help older adults enjoy an improved quality of life. We will be examining the use of manual therapies and stabilization exercises to advance an integrated approach for wellness and treatment."

The randomized, controlled clinical trial will be conducted in two collaborative outpatient facilities: at the Saint Louis University Hospital, and the VA Medical Center Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center at Jefferson Barracks, according to Dr. Enix, who says the study is designed to test the efficacy of a multimodal treatment program for LBP-related balance disorders consisting of manual therapy, exercise and standard therapy. Enix hopes the study will help determine the most effective methods for treating older adults suffering from low back pain and balance or postural-control problems, and also provide insight that could lead to the establishment of clinical prediction rules for the treatment of LBP and balance problems.

Joining Dr. Enix as study co-investigators are Joseph Flaherty, MD, associate professor in the division of geriatrics at Saint Louis University's School of Medicine and Veteran's Administration Hospital; and Theodore Malmstrom, PhD, assistant professor and statistician in the Saint Louis University Department of Neurology and Psychiatry.

"We're excited about Dr. Enix' seminal research project because we hope that it will better define treatment protocols and create new options for patients with these conditions that include chiropractic in the standard of care," said Dr. George Goodman, Logan College president, commenting on the investigation.

Federal funding of chiropractic-related research projects seems to be on the rise, evidenced not only by the Logan study, but also by recent projects involving Palmer College, among others. Read "Palmer Recruiting for Blood Pressure Study" in the Jan. 15 issue to learn more.

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