Shoe Orthotics for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Ground Breaking Original Research: Published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Objectives: To investigate the efficacy of shoe orthotics with and without chiropractic treatment for chronic low back pain compared with no treatment.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Integrative medicine teaching clinic at a university.

Participants: 225 adult subjects with symptomatic low back pain of 3 months

Interventions: Subjects were randomized into 1 of 3 treatment groups (shoe orthotic, plus, and waitlist groups). 

  1. The shoe orthotic group received custom-made shoe orthotics. 
  2. The plus group received custom-made orthotics plus chiropractic manipulation, hot or cold packs, and manual soft tissue massage. 
  3. The waitlist group received no care.

Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measures were change in perceived back pain (numerical pain rating scale) and functional health status (Oswestry Disability Index) after 6 weeks of study participation. Outcomes were also assessed after 12 weeks and then after an additional 3, 6, and 12 months.

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Sponsored by: Foot Levelers Inc., Roanoke VA
© 2017 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine

Proven 34.5% improvement in low back pain with orthotics