THE PAIN CHRONICLE – Chronic lower back pain is a condition shared by some 20 million (8%) adults and the sixth most costly condition in the U.S., according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Although many are affected, there is not widespread agreement about treatment efficacy among researchers and physicians, who worry that the most common treatment method, opioids, is highly addictive.
The announcement that an interdisciplinary team of U-M researchers from the Michigan Medicine Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center and other departments, received a grant of more than $12.6 million to fund the University of Michigan Mechanistic Research Center, may lead to better and less addictive treatment methods, according to the co-principal investigators Daniel Clauw of the departments of Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry and Afton Hassett of the Department of Anesthesiology.
Conducted as a part of the broader Back Pain Consortium Research Program (BACKPAC), the research team will utilize a patient-centric, SMART design study to examine the outcome of several treament protocols in research participants to determine which has the best outcome base on patient endotypes.
They hope the study will bring relief to the 80% of adults impacted by lower back pain issues at some point in their lives.
“We are looking for solutions outside of opioids,” Hassett says. “These funds are a dream come true because they give us the opportunity to, in a really objective manner, look at the most commonly recommended interventions for patients and truly understand who they work for and how they are working.”
The U-M Center will share data from their patient populations with other members of the consortium, using advanced data mining techniques to develop more personalized interventions for chronic pain, according to a published release.