About the Somatosensory Back Pain Study

About the Somatosensory Back Pain Study

About the Somatosensory Back Pain Study

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This research study employs cutting-edge techniques to investigate the function of the sensory system after an episode of back pain. The sensory system is our body's way of detecting sensations such as warmth, cold, touch, pressure and pain. We are looking at how people perceive such sensations, and how they change over time. This will help us to better understand mechanisms that are involved in the recovery process. We will do these tests on people with a recent episode of low back pain and people without back pain, for comparison. 

Who is eligible to participate?

  1. People with a recent onset of back pain

    We are looking for people who:
    • Have been experiencing low back pain for less than 3 weeks; AND
    • The average severity of your back pain in the last few days is at least 3/10 (on a scale of 0-10 where 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain imaginable).
  2. People who do not currently have any pain conditions  

All participants need to be at least 18 years old.

What does participation in this research involve?

If you participate in this study, you will have three assessments at the Physiotherapy Research Lab in the Centre for Physical Health at Macquarie University.

Each assessment will take approximately 2 hours and it will involve completing some questionnaires about your demographics, your back pain (if you are in the back pain group) and some general health related factors. Then we will conduct a series of sensory tests by applying non-invasive stimuli such as pressure, heat, cold to the skin on your back and hand.

You will receive a reimbursement of $30 at each assessment to compensate you for your travel to Macquarie University and the time involved in participating in this research. You will also receive a booklet that has helpful information about back pain, and how to best manage your condition to optimise recovery.

Please note that treatment for back pain is not offered in this study.

This study has been reviewed and given ethical approval by the Macquarie University Human Research Ethics Committee (Medical Sciences).

If you are interested and want to know if you are eligible to participate please click on the "Apply Now" button below. Your involvement in our research would be very valuable to us.

Apply now »

Latest News and Events

February 2015

We have now started to recruit people with and without back pain for this study. If you would like to know more about the study, go to the apply now page.

March 2016

Update: we have enrolled 60 people since the study has started. We want to thank all of them who gave their time and engaged with our research so far. Recruitment for the study will be continuing until the end of  April 2016.

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