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Published online 2016 Feb 9. doi:  10.1186/s13063-016-1193-8

Table 1

Eligibility criteria

Inclusion criteriaRationale
Age ≥ 18 and ≤ 50Age range of most active duty U.S. military personnel

Acute, subacute, or chronic low back painLow back pain commonly treated by primary care and chiropractic providers

Ability to provide voluntary written informed consentAble to comprehend study details; able to make decisions without limitations or impairment

Active duty status at one of the three participating military treatment facilitiesChiropractic care available only to active duty personnel at U.S. military treatment facilities

Exclusion criteria

LBP from a non-musculoskeletal source (pain from a visceral condition[s])Care outside study scope needed; potential to confound health outcomes

Co-morbid pathology that may directly impact spinal painCare outside study scope needed; potential to confound health outcomes

Recent spinal fracture (within the last 8 weeks)May influence ability to measure pain-related health outcomes; safety concern

Recent spinal surgery (within the last 12 weeks)Potential to confound health outcomes due to natural history or from potential complications

Spinal or paraspinal tumor(s)Care outside study scope needed

Spinal or paraspinal infection(s)Care outside study scope needed

Spinal inflammatory arthropathy (rheumatoid arthritis, enteropathic spondyloarthropathy)Potential to confound health outcomes

Contraindication(s) for spinal manipulation of the lumbar spine and pelvis (unstable spinal segments, cauda equina syndrome)Care outside study scope needed

Pregnancy or plans to become pregnant within active treatment periodPotential to confound health outcomes

Diminished/altered mental capacityMay prohibit informed consent or compromise safety or compliance with study procedures

Use of spinal manipulative care for any reason within the past monthPrevent carryover effects from recent chiropractic care

Significant/severe osteoporosisPotential to confound health outcomes; care outside study scope may be needed

Unwilling to provide phone and electronic contact informationCompromises ability to adhere to study protocol

Unable to confirm availability during the active treatment period due to known deployment, orders for a distant duty assignment, or other absenceCompromises ability to adhere to study protocol

Does not agree to be enrolled regardless of group assignmentCompromises ability to adhere to study protocol

Post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosisPotential to confound health outcomes