Low back pain volunteers needed for UWS study

Back Pain

If you suffer from lower back pain, you're not alone. At some point in their lives most people will experience some form of lower back pain. It is one of the most common complaints worldwide. Moreover, it's not limited to manual workers, those in nine -to- five office jobs or people who lead largely sedentary lives. Even highly-trained athletes can experience lower back pain.
A new long-term study funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) being led by the University of Western Sydney, seeks to understand why some people get better after hurting their back while others do not. This information will help design more effective treatments for people with lower back pain.
Despite the enormity of the problem, many current therapies target generic symptoms, rather than the biological mechanisms responsible for a person's pain. Unfortunately, these treatments are largely ineffective. A common misconception is that long-term back pain is related to tissue injury or damage. But we know that pain persists long after tissues have healed. Instead, long-term pain is thought to be related to changes within the brain, yet no study has attempted to determine whether brain plasticity (the ability of the brain to change its structure and function over time) can predict whether someone will develop persistent pain.
The UPWARD study will investigate the role of brain plasticity in the development of persistent lower back pain by identifying changes in how the brain controls the back muscles, along with changes occurring in the spinal cord, hormone levels and stress. UPWARD aims to provide evidence to determine how and when brain plasticity occurs, and whether people whose brains are 'more plastic' are more likely to develop persistent lower back pain.
The UPWARD study researchers are looking to recruit participants with recent onset lower back pain for the study. They also have a website and a blog which will, over the course of the project, offer the latest scientific facts and useful information to help people who suffer from lower back pain.

To find out more about the study click the UPWARD link or to enrol please phone: (02) 4620 3965 
29 May 2015
Media Contact: Lyn Danninger
Image By: Roy Peake

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