Radical relief for back pain
Radical relief for back pain

Melbourne is at the centre of a new, worldwide study into a radical new treatment for back pain.

Patients taking part in the study will be injected with an anti-body every eight weeks.

Doctors hope it will block the pain coming from the lower back, by inhibiting a chemical called 'nerve growth factor'.

A similar method has been successful in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis.

One of the most common treatments for severe back pain is morphine, but with side effects including stomach and heart problems, and effects on the brain function, it's a treatment doctors are keen to avoid.

The study, led by Emeritus Research, aims to find a better way to deal with the effects of back pain, and give patients a better quality of life.

To take part in the study, call 03 9509 6166.


  • Aged between 18-70
  • History of chronic Lower Back Pain below the 12th thoracic vertebrae and above the crease of the buttocks for six months.
  • Taking medication for the back pain on at least four days per week during the previous three months.
  • Females must not be able to get pregnant i.e. post-menopausal for at least two yrs or surgically sterile.
  • Weigh ≥ 48kg and/or BMI ≤39.

Not eligible if the following are present:

  • Lower back pain is the result of an injury in the past three months.
  • Back surgery within the past 12 months.
  • Past history of spinal cord tumour, infection, stenosis, spondylolisthesis, spondyloarthropathy.
  • Osteoarthritis of the knees, hips or shoulders.
  • Rapidly progressive Osteoarthritis of any joint.
  • History of heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, Osteoporosis, Vitamin D deficiency, major psychiatric disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, infectious arthritis, Paget’s disease, neuropathic pain, gastritis, stomach ulcer or bleeding from the stomach or bowel, multiple sclerosis, sciatica.
  • Steroid treatment in the previous year.
  • Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s.
  • Major surgery in the past three months or planned surgery in the next 12 months.
  • Cancer
  • HIV
  • Ongoing litigation or work cover claim.
  • Wholly incapacitated
  • Taking part in another study.

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