Chronic pain is a serious condition that affects many people and can be anywhere from inconvenient to totally incapacitating. With chronic pain, the pain signals in the nervous system remain active for many months and even years – which can take a serious toll on a person both emotionally and physically.
The common types of pain experienced include joint pain, headaches, back pain, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and pain affecting specific areas of the body including pelvis, neck and shoulders. Although chronic pain sometimes originates from an initial trauma or infection – sometimes people can suffer from it in the absence of any body damage or past injury.
Those who suffer from chronic pain are afflicted by burning, shooting or aching pains – or a sensation of tightness, stiffness, soreness and discomfort. The pain doesn’t go away, which is very difficult to deal with and can result in anger, depression, stress, anxiety and fatigue. Those afflicted find that they want to withdraw from activity and interaction and simply rest in a quiet, dark room. However, the constant pain can make it difficult to sleep – which is extremely frustrating. The long term unrelenting pain can also suppress the immune system and make the issue even worse.
Needless to say, this is a very difficult condition to live with. Researchers are working toward finding a cure for chronic pain and figuring out the best possible way to treat this issue. Scientists and doctors would not be able to test out new treatments for chronic pain if it wasn’t for medical trials. If you choose to take part in a clinical trial, you will be helping to discover better treatments for future patients who are affected by chronic pain so that you can ease their suffering.
Questions to Ask Before Beginning a Clinical Trial
Before you decide to participate in a clinical trial you should know as much as possible about the study so that you can make an informed decision. It is crucial for you to ask questions and make sure that the staff answers them in a way that you can easily understand.
Make an appointment with the doctors and researchers that will be carrying out the medical trial and make a list of your questions in advance. Bring along a notepad so that you can keep track of the answers that you receive.
Here are some of the questions that you should ask before deciding to commit to taking part in a clinical trial:
• What is the purpose of the clinical trial? What aim are the researchers trying to achieve?
• What do the researchers already know about this investigational treatment?
• Who is the sponsor of the clinical trial?
• How are the results of the study being monitored?
• How is the safety of the participants in the study protected?
• How long will the clinical trial last? What type of time commitment will you need to make?
• What benefits are possible from the treatment in the short-term and in the long term?
• Are there any possible risks from the trial? What would be the long term effects of these risks?
• Will the study researchers be working together with my doctor while I am on the clinical trial? Who will be in charge of coordinating my health care overall?
• Will I be able to opt out at any point during the trial?
• If these are paid medical trials, what type of compensation will you receive?
• Will the trial involve any painful treatments? What will they be and how long will they last?
• Who will be in charge of my care during the trial? Who should I report to if I have a problem?
• How will the treatments affect my daily life? Will I be able to exercise, work and perform all of the normal daily routines that I am used to?
These are just a few of the most important questions that you should consider when you decide to get involved in a clinical trial. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like – you should be as well informed as possible before you make the commitment to take on the trial. You might even also want to ask for the opportunity to speak to someone else who has already completed the medical trial, so that you can hear their perspective. There are many clinical trials for chronic pain available out there, so you can take your time to find the best option for your needs.