Man massages muscles of his sore back


We are developing new drug-free treatments to cure low back pain.
Please participate in our randomised controlled trial comparing new back pain treatments.

We are seeking volunteers aged 18 – 70 to participate in our RESOLVE study for Chronic Low Back Pain.

Contact the RESOLVE team to find out if you’re eligible to join the trial.
phone: 02 9399 1627

Researchers from the McAuley Research Group at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) Randwick, led by Associate Professor James McAuley and Dr Sylvia Gustin, are conducting research into how to prevent and treat back pain.

We are conducting a randomised clinical trial, funded by a Commonwealth Government NHMRC grant, to determine which of these treatment programs is most effective in reducing pain for people with long term or chronic low back pain.  The results of this project will fundamentally change how chronic low back pain is treated in Australia and across the world.

If you participate in the study, you will:

  • be randomly allocated into one of the two treatment groups
  • be required to attend 12 one-hour treatment sessions here at NeuRA:
  • the treatment programs include the following:
    • discussing your low back pain experience with a specially trained clinician
    • non-invasive brain stimulation
    • mental movement training
    • laser therapy to your lower back
    • physical movement training with mirrors
    • pulsed electromagnetic energy to your lower back
    • training to improve your sense of touch over your lower back
  • be required to do some home training in between the treatment sessions
  • be required to complete 7 questionnaires at different time points, up to 12 months post treatment.

Participation is completely FREE to you and you do not need to change anything you are currently doing for your low back pain.  We offer free parking to participants at NeuRA.

If you are interested in participating, you must:

  • have had low back pain for longer than 3 months
  • be between 18 – 70 years of age
  • live in the Sydney metropolitan area

If you fit this criteria, please leave your details below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Expressions of interest

More information

New research shows that there are changes in the brain when someone has pain for a long time. These changes include changes to the size and function of the brain, that can make recovery slower and more difficult.

Using this knowledge of the brain and how it changes with pain we have developed two new treatment programs for chronic low back pain.  These treatment programs, which target how the brain and central nervous system process sensory information to produce low back pain, are a whole new approach to treatment.

Listen or Watch A/Prof James McAuley discuss the trial and his research career in chronic pain and the brain:

A/Prof James McAuley was also featured on Ch9 News speaking on back pain, see it HERE