University of Newcastle seeks local recruits for clinical trial to evaluate effectiveness of allied health treatments for back pain

EVALUATION: Doctorate candidate Sean Sadler of the University of Newcastle's Faculty of Health and Medicine is seeking local recruits for a clinical trial. Picture: Supplied
EVALUATION: Doctorate candidate Sean Sadler of the University of Newcastle's Faculty of Health and Medicine is seeking local recruits for a clinical trial. Picture: Supplied

LOCALS are invited to take part in a clinical trial to evaluate treatments for low back pain.

Researchers from the University of Newcastle are looking for volunteers with and without chronic low back pain to participate.

The clinical trial seeks to evaluate how effective some common allied health treatments for back pain really are, and how they may work.

PhD candidate Sean Sadler, of the University of Newcastle's Faculty of Health and Medicine, said more than 3.7 million Australians (15 per cent) experienced low back pain.

"On the Central Coast, approximately 20 per cent of presentations to GPs are for chronic back pain," Mr Sadler said. 

The actual number of people with the condition is likely to be much higher.

"Sufferers often report pain that reduces their quality of life and limits participation in activities of daily living, such as shopping, gardening, and self-care tasks," Mr Sadler said.

The reasons for the development of chronic low back are often complex and multi-factorial, he said.

This is the type of back pain we are researching in the hope that we can develop a better understanding of the condition and treatment options.

- Sean Sadler

In some cases, the exact reason for the back pain is not clearly identifiable (for example, not due to osteoarthritis, fracture, or some systemic inflammatory condition).

"This is the type of back pain we are researching in the hope that we can develop a better understanding of the condition and treatment options, therefore improving the management of suffers," Mr Sadler said.

Volunteers will be asked to attend the University of Newcastle, Ourimbah campus or Wyong Hospital, for one to two hours, on two or three occasions, he said.

"Participants will complete a few short surveys which will be followed by the researchers conducting a number of non-invasive clinical measurements," Mr Sadler said. 

Following this, participants will be assigned to a treatment group.

Adults aged 18 to 65 years, with or without chronic low back pain, can participate in the study.

To get involved, or to learn more, contact Sean Sadler at sean.sadler@newcastle.edu.au or phone 4349 4655.

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