Clinical Trial FAQ

Back Pain Clinical Trials FAQ Part I

If you’re considering a clinical trial, or have been told you are a good candidate for a back pain clinical trial, then you probably have some questions about the process and how it works. Clinical trials are a way for the medical community to learn more about certain conditions and what works and what doesn’t.

What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a medical research study that uses human volunteers in order to answer a specific health question. It is often used to study different treatments or medicines. For example, the study might ask “Does this new treatment for back pain offer more relief than a previous treatment method?”

Why should I participate in a clinical trial?

If you are eligible for a clinical trial, there are several reasons why you might want to consider participating. It could give you access to new treatments before they are available commercially to everyone, and you may also gain access to leading health care facilities and staff during the experimental treatment. In addition, it may also help you to assist others who suffer from the same back pain issues.

Are clinical trials dangerous?

Clinical trials research is not without some risk. The risks can range from ineffective treatment to side effects that may range from mild to severe.

Am I a candidate for a clinical trial?

Not everyone with back pain is eligible for research clinical trials. Each trial will have its own listed specifics for inclusion. For example, some studies will be only for a certain age range or for those with certain types of back pain or back pain caused by certain types of injuries; always review the basic requirements of the clinical trials before participating in a particular trial.

How much does it cost?

There should be no fees to you if you participate in a clinical trial. In some studies, patients receive pay for their time spent as a participant in the study. The prices range according to the study, the risk involved and the time period that you are participating; however, you should not do a clinical trial just for the money that is involved and higher paying trials often carry more risk.

What questions should I ask before my clinical trial?

As part of your preparation for a clinical study for back pain, you should ask some questions about the study such as:

  • Who will be participating?
  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Who is conducting the study?
  • Has the drug or treatment method been used before?
  • Do you have to pay for the procedure?
  • Will you be paid for your participation?
  • Will this study affect your daily life?
  • Will the study require hospitalization? And for how long?
  • How do you find out the results of the study?

How does the procedure work?

While each study is unique, here are the basics of most clinical studies include:

You will first be seen by researchers in the trial to get your health history and ensure that you are healthy enough to participate in the trial. You will then be given the study protocol (instructions on how to participate). You will be monitored during the length of the trial. This could be during an in-patient hospital stay or it could involve numerous doctor visits.

Once your clinical trial is complete, you will be told how you can stay in touch with the team for follow-ups and treatment information.

Back Pain Clinical Trials FAQ Part II

If you are participating in a back pain clinical trial, you may have a lot of questions about how the process works, including the more technical side of clinical testing.

What are the different types of clinical trials?

There are actually several different types of clinical trials, including:

  • Treatment trials – these trials test new treatments.
  • Prevention trials – these trials find new ways to keep people healthy or keep a disease from returning.
  • Diagnostic trials – look for better ways to diagnose your back pain or cause.
  • Screening trials – look for better ways to detect your back pain or cause.
  • Quality of life trials – look for better ways to improve the quality of life of people with back pain.

What are the phases of a clinical trial?

Each clinical trial has four phases. You may be asked to participate in only one phase or in multiple phases of the study.

Phase I:

In this phase, a new drug or treatment for back pain is tested on a small group of healthy people. The overall safety of the drug or treatment is not known at this time. The test is to see if it has an side effects, how it works in the body and what the safe dosage will be.

Phase II:

The drug or treatment is now tested on a group of people with back pain to see if it is effective and to further test its overall safety. This is the phase in which they will create rating scales to help record the data gathered in the study.

Phase III:

Now the drug or treatment is ready for testing on a larger group of people with back pain and in multiple geographic sites.. It will look more closely at the effectiveness of this treatment, the side effects and overall safety. It will be rated on its ability to improve the quality of life of the patient. By Phase III, drugs will usually be considered for FDA approval.

Phase IV:

This is the final phase of testing and happens only after FDA approval. This will involve monitoring the drug or treatment after it’s been released to the public. Doctors will likely be prescribing it at this point. This phase of the study will look for risks, benefits and other possible uses for the drug.

What risks and safety measures are involved in a clinical trial?

A clinical study will always have some risks involved which is why they are conducted in a medical environment. Make sure you are aware of the risks before consenting and that you are aware of what safety measures will be involved in your study.

When you want relief from back pain after you’ve exhausted all of your options, a clinical trial could be the ideal opportunity to find something new that works for your needs. There are many causes of back pain and it is still somewhat misunderstood as to exactly what causes it and how to treat it in many cases, which is why research clinical trials are done regularly to find new methods of treatment for back relief.