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Tarcisio de Campos is a physiotherapist and currently a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University. His research topic investigates prevention of spinal pain. As part of his PhD, Tarcisio is leading a randomised controlled trial investigating secondary prevention of a recurrence of low back pain (SAFE Trial). He joined NeuRA in 2018 and is currently working as a research officer on the UPwaRD project.
Persistent musculoskeletal pain is one of the most significant health issues in the developed world. Termed a ‘Western epidemic’, low back pain is the most common form of persistent musculoskeletal pain and a leading cause of suffering and disability. Despite the enormity of the problem, many current therapies target generic symptoms, not underlying mechanisms, with limited effect. In 2010, the Australian National Pain Summit concluded ‘the management of pain is shockingly inadequate’. This assessment is not surprising given that critical information on the biological changes that underpin persistent low back pain is lacking. The UPWaRD study is a 5-year NHMRC-funded trial that investigates the role of brain plasticity, along with biological changes in the spinal cord, hormonal changes, genetics and stress, in the development of persistent low back pain.