From the Research Department

New Clinical Trial for Neuropathic Pain

By Ted Swing, Ph.D.

Physical trauma often produces immediate pain, but for many injuries this pain recedes as the body heals over time. Some types of trauma can cause damage or irritation of the nerves responsible for sensing pain. This can lead to chronic nerve pain. For example, a person who injures their shoulder might continue to experience pain in that shoulder for months or years after the damage has healed. Some medications have promise for treating such peripheral nerve pain.

Pfizer Pregabalin Trial

A new clinical trial is testing the efficacy of pregabalin (also known as Lyrica®) for treating chronic peripheral nerve pain that was caused by trauma.

Who can take part in this study?

This study will include adults (age 18 or older) who have experienced chronic pain in peripheral nerves for at least six months. Peripheral nerves are those outside of the spine, neck, or head. This pain may be the result of some type of physical trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident, a fall, a sports injury or burn. Patients whose pain resulted from a surgical event, such as a knee/hip replacement or mastectomy, may also be eligible. Patients who suffer from some other medical conditions diabetic peripheral neuropathy or complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) may not be eligible to take part.

What will this study involve?

Patients who are interested in this study and meet some of the basic criteria, including diagnosed peripheral nerve pain caused by trauma or surgery, may complete a screening visit for the study in the clinic. Patients who qualify based on a physical examination, medical history and other relevant criteria may choose to enroll in the study. Patients would return to the clinic and begin taking the study medication. Patients are randomly assigned to receive either pregabalin or placebo with the dosage adjusted to meet the patient’s needs. Patients continue to report their pain level and return to the clinic for follow up assessments several times over the next 16 weeks.

What are the costs and benefits of participating in this study?

Individuals taking part in this study may receive a medication that will alleviate their pain. This medication will be provided by the study’s sponsor at no cost. Additionally, assessments of their health are included as part of the study and may provide useful information. All study visits are provided at no cost and participants will be reimbursed $50 for each study visit for travel and related expenses. In addition, this study may benefit other patients by providing information about effective treatments for chronic nerve pain.


If you are interested in learning more about this trial, you can speak with your pain management providers or contact me directly at [email protected].

Ted Swing has more than nine years of research experience and four years of teaching experience in psychology, has published in top psychology and medical journals, and has presented his research at major conferences. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Iowa State University and has been the Research Director at Arizona Pain since May 2012.