Background: Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) causing neurogenic claudication is a leading cause of pain, disability and loss of independence in older adults. The prevalence of lumbar spinal stenosis is growing rapidly due to an aging population. The dominant limitation in LSS is walking ability. Postural, physical and psychosocial factors can impact symptoms and functional ability. LSS is the most common reason for spine surgery in older adults yet the vast majority of people with LSS receive non-surgical treatment. What constitutes effective non-surgical treatment is unknown. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a multi-modal and self-management training program, known as the Boot Camp Program for LSS aimed at improving walking ability and other relevant patient-centred outcomes.
Methods: We will use a pragmatic two-arm randomized controlled single blinded (assessor) study design. Eligible and consenting participants will be randomized to receive from licensed chiropractors either a 6-week (twice weekly) self-management training program (manual therapy, education, home exercises) with an instructional workbook and video and a pedometer or a single instructional session with an instructional workbook and video and pedometer. The main outcome measure will be the self-paced walking test measured at 6 months. We will also assess outcomes at 8 weeks and 3 and 12 months.
Discussion: Symptoms and functional limitations in LSS are variable and influenced by changes in spinal alignment. Physical and psychological factors result in chronic disability for patients with LSS. The Boot Camp Program is a 6-week self-management training program aimed at the multi-faceted aspects of LSS and trains individuals to use self-management strategies. The goal is to provide life-long self-management strategies that maximize walking and overall functional abilities and quality of life.
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