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The RELIEF Study

Are you one of the 90%? Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical care and accounts for over 3.7 million physician visits/year in the U.S. alone. Ninety percent of adults will experience low back pain in their lifetime, 50% will experience recurrent LBP, and 10% will develop chronic pain and related disability.

Your involvement helps scientists better understand low back pain. Your participation in the study will last approximately 2 months and require a total of 9 visits to Ohio University. Some of these visits will involve you undergoing laboratory tests (testing sessions), and during some visits you will receive an intervention for your low back pain (intervention session). The interventions will occur over a 3-week period (two visits/week). Before and after each intervention session, you will be asked to complete some brief surveys about your low back pain. Each laboratory testing session will require approximately 1-2 hours of your time. Each intervention session will require about 15-30 minutes of your time.

You will be randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups. Random assignment means that your assignment is determined by chance, like flipping a coin. In addition to the intervention group that you are assigned to you will be assigned to one of three groups that differ based on the types of laboratory measurements that are assessed before, during and after the intervention. The assignment to the laboratory measurement group is not random, but will rather depend on scheduling availability of different laboratories as well as your medical history. You will not be able to choose one intervention group or one laboratory measurement group over the other. There is a possibility you could could be randomly assigned to receive a placebo intervention. You have about a 67 percent chance of receiving an experimental intervention and about a 33 percent chance of receiving a placebo intervention. You will not know which of the interventions you have received until all participants in this study have completed their interventions.

Are you healthy with no back pain? The RELIEF Study is seeking healthy men and women between the ages of 18-45 years old to participate in a research study investigating treatment for low back pain. Participation requires completing several surveys and attending a testing session. Financial compensation is provided for participating in this study.

Your involvement helps scientists better understand low back pain. Your participation as a healthy control subject will last approximately 3-hours and require a total of 1 visit to Ohio University. This visit will involve screening tests and a physical exam to ensure you qualify for the research, completion of a series of surveys, and undergoing laboratory testing.

Your laboratory testing will focus on core muscle testing. During this testing we will measure the electrical activity of your back muscles by placing sticky electrodes on the skin overlying your back muscles. Then, special light-weight sensors used to track movement will be attached to your arms, legs, and torso.

Next, you will be seated in an upright posture in a custom designed chair. A chest harness will be attached to your torso and cables will be attached from the harness to 4 puller devices located at the 4 corners of the lab. These pullers make up the core muscle activation tester. The cables that go to each puller will be tensioned to about 5 lbs. of force and then the lines will be tugged in pairs resulting in a pulling force that will cause your torso to be tugged 2-3 inches in about 1/10th of a second. The pulling force will result in your torso moving either forwards, backwards, twisting left, or twisting right.

The same procedure will be repeated in a standing posture. Finally, you will be asked to perform several shoulder movements while holding light weights.

Clinical trials are the final step in medical research on the path between discoveries and treatments improving the lives of people with low back pain. The RELIEF Study is a randomized clinical trial exploring the effectiveness of treatments for low back pain.

The RELIEF Study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov.

Clinical trials are the best way to determine exactly which treatments work best for people with low back pain. While there is growing evidence for the clinical effectiveness of alternative and complementary therapies to treat low back pain, little is known on the physiologic consequences and effects of these treatments. Further, additional data is needed to understand how these different treatment techniques effect clinical changes in pain and disability. The lack of empirical data hinders acceptance by the wider scientific and health-care communities, and it also limits the development of rational strategies for using alternative and complementary therapies.

Using cutting edge science to find better treatments for low back pain.This study is being done because we want to find out what types of interventions work best to treat low back pain, and we want to determine how these interventions work.

All appointments are held at The RELIEF Study research facilities located on Ohio University's West Green.

Help find answers to low back pain. The RELIEF Study is seeking men and women, with and without low back pain, between the ages of 18-45 years to participate in a research study investigating treatment for low back pain. Financial compensation is provided for participating in this study.

You can help researchers uncover better ways to treat low back pain. If you agree to participate in The RELIEF study, you will undergo screening tests to determine if you are eligible for the study. During this screening visit you will complete a series of surveys and undergo a physical exam where we will examine your health history and your back.

Call 740.566.7246 (PAIN) or email RELIEF@ohio.edu for more information.

There are thousands of clinical trials. Now there is finally one concerned with low back pain.



Ohio University   |   Athens, OH 45701   |   740.566.7246 (PAIN)   |   RELIEF@ohio.edu

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