Clinical Trials for Neck Pain
Elizabeth Shane Creighton University
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
About Clinical Research Studies
Clinical research has been, and continues to be, instrumental to the advancement of neck pain treatment and diagnosis. For example, the following advances have been made: contrast dyes that enhance CT and MR imaging of the cervical spine, pain-reducing medications, and sophisticated surgical devices, implants and biologics (eg, artificial discs and bone graft).
Besides these areas of healthcare, clinical trials actively recruit patients with neck pain for efficacy studies about chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, and acupuncture.
Possibly, you have considered enrolling in a clinical trial for neck pain. If so, the following information will be of interest to you.
Each Neck Pain Clinical Trial Has a Purpose
Each clinical trial for neck pain is designed with a purpose and includes one or more methods that measure results, start and end dates, description of how the study will be conducted, and inclusion and exclusion criteria.
Hypothetically, let’s say the purpose of a clinical trial is to compare 2 surgical treatments for cervical instability: traditional neck fusion vs artificial disc replacement. How the study is conducted may include the frequency of post-operative evaluation, such as every 6 months for 2 years.
How Do I Tell if I Am Candidate?
The candidates for aneck pain clinical study are qualified according to the trial’s inclusion and exclusion criteria. These criteria are part of the clinical trial’s rules—in other words, standards the clinical trial investigator applies to select qualified neck pain patients to participate in the study.
Examples of inclusion or exclusion criteria are the cause of neck pain, age, gender, pain type and severity, pregnancy, active infection, and/or cancer.
Safety First in Neck Pain Clinical Trials
Patient safety is a priority in all clinical trials for neck pain. The risks of being involved in a clinical trial are thoroughly explained in terms patients understand. Patients are not enrolled in a clinical trial without informed consent, and remember to ask all questions you need to in order to fully understand what will happen in the clinical trial on neck pain.