Clinical Trials for Sciatica

Clinical trials are research studies that help doctors and allied health professionals provide better care for patients with sciatica.  A common misconception is that sciatica is a disorder.  Instead, sciatica is a symptom of a low back (lumbar spine) disorder that causes moderate to severe leg pain.  Doctors sometimes refer to sciatica as a lumbar radiculopathy—pain that radiates from the low back into the buttock area and down into one or both legs.
older woman holding her hipIf you have sciatica, perhaps you have thought about volunteering to participate in a research study.  To learn more about clinical trials, please continue reading.

Sciatica Clinical Trial Protocol: What Does that Mean?

Each clinical trial for sciatica follows a protocol (plan), which are specific guidelines covering every aspect of the trial and how it is conducted.  The protocol helps safeguard the health and well-being of the participants.  It includes detailed guidelines about prospective participant evaluation and selection, how data are gathered and compiled, and study duration. 

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria: Can You Participate?

The sciatica clinical trial’s Principal Investigator(s) and clinical and research coordinators utilize inclusion and exclusion criteria during the patient selection process.  

Inclusion criteria describe the type of patient who is ideal for study enrollment.

Exclusion criteria are a list of things that excludes a prospective candidate from participating in the clinical trial for sciatica.  These criteria may include gender, age, co-existing medical problems (eg, diabetes or high blood pressure), and pregnancy.

Safety Considerations

Safeguarding patients begins with the evaluation and selection process for a clinical trial.  Patient safety is always the first concern.  To make sure a prospective participant understands the potential risks and benefits, as well as their role in the sciatica study, an Informed Consent form is provided.  Make sure you understand what is involved in the clinical trial.

The Informed Consent is a written document that details information about the study, and what the prospective participant may experience.  It is not a contract and participants can exit the clinical trial for sciatica at any time.