Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Chronic Lower Back Pain Study

Clinical Trial Title

Study investigating whether aerobic exercise reduces chronic pain in individuals with chronic lower back pain.

Contact Information

Mary Kennedy

Clinical Trial Protocol Description:

This study is designed to determine whether exercise reduces chronic pain by increasing the body’s natural painkillers (endorphins) and what effect this has on responses to pain medications. We expect to enroll 53 participants are Rush University Medical Center. Participants with chronic pain will be randomly assigned to either exercise or to a control group. All participants will undergo 6 lab sessions during which they will receive morphine, naloxone and placebo and undergo a mild pain task.  In between the 3rd and 4th lab session, participants will undergo 18, 1 hour sessions of supervised aerobic exercise.

Clinical Trial Eligibility Criteria:

In order to participate you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have chronic lower back pain lasting at least 3 months.
  • Have a current low back pain diagnosis.
  • Are not taking opioid-based medication on a daily basis.

You will be excluded from the study if any of the following criteria apply to you:

  • Are not between 18 and 55 years of age.
  • Exercise on a daily basis.

This is a partial list of inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Study Details

Clinical Trial Investigator

John Burns, PhD

Contact Information

Mary Kennedy

(312) 942-5838


RUSH University Medical Center

1620 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60612

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