We are the world leaders in developing the pain treatments of the future. We conduct next-generation clinical trials and engage in research that has the potential to produce dramatic improvements in patient outcomes.
Our research department pushes our clinics to the forefront of a rapidly advancing field by adhering to the high standards and vigor of the scientific method. We are continually studying and identifying new and better treatment options for our patients’ pain. We not only employ the latest clinically-proven pain management techniques, but also actively define the discipline’s future. Through research and publication, our physicians not only benefit from these research studies, but also share their knowledge in major medical journals. Those journals often aid in medical advancement and are consistently used for the benefit of other physicians and specialists.
APS Research Core Values
Innovative. Leading. Life-changing. We are working to identify treatments that not only more effectively reduce pain, but also improve functioning so that patients can lead active and healthy lives. We place the highest value on ensuring that our research studies are both moral and ethical.
Current Studies and Trials
Arizona Pain is taking part in a Phase 3 FDA-regulated clinical trial investigating the safety and effectiveness of the Evoke SCS System with feedback, for the treatment of chronic pain of the lower back and legs.
The Evoke System is the first closed-loop SCS system being evaluated in clinical trials that is designed to measure the body’s response to stimulation and automatically adjust the stimulation dose to control pain. Evoke is an intelligent system designed to communicate and understand when and how much to stimulate the spinal cord. In contrast, currently marketed SCS devices rely on patients to manually adjust stimulation dose to treat their chronic pain. Clinical data have shown that about half of patients achieve a 50 percent or greater reduction in pain with currently available SCS devices.
To qualify for the Evoke Study, candidates must have struggled with both leg and back pain for at least six months and have not had lasting success with other pain treatments. Many study candidates may have had back surgery, including disc surgery or spinal fusion procedures, but still experience pain even after the surgery has fixed the anatomical problem. Participants must be willing to undergo a surgical procedure and come in for follow-up visits.
The study is being sponsored by Saluda Medical. To learn more about the Evoke Study and determine if you may be eligible to participate, visit: www.EvokeStudy.com or call 480-563-6400.
Neuros Medical Study of High Frequency Stimulation for Amputation Pain
Arizona Pain is enrolling patients who have chronic pain due to the amputation of a single lower limb (foot or leg). This study is testing the Neuros Medical AltiusTM system – an implanted neurostimulation device that delivers high frequency to the nerves in the affected limb thereby alleviating pain. This is a new form of stimulation that does not produce the sensations from traditional neurostimulation devices that some patients find to be uncomfortable.
Mesoblast Stem Cell Disc Repair Study (Phase 3)
Arizona Pain is taking part in a Phase 3 FDA regulated clinical trial investigating injections of adult stem cells for chronic pain caused by degenerative disc disease. Qualifying patients, who have a single painful degenerated disc in their lower back, receive a single injection into the disc that may contain stem cells. These patients are then followed for up to three years to assess the efficacy of the treatment in alleviating pain, restoring function, and regenerating the disc.
Grunenthal Drug Infusion Study for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Arizona Pain is taking part in a study sponsored by Grunenthal of a non-narcotic drug for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Qualifying patients receive up to four intravenous infusions of this drug over a two or three week period. Patients will then be assessed for up to a year after these infusions to assess the efficacy of this treatment in providing lasting relief of CRPS pain.
Spinal Stenosis Study
Arizona Pain is accepting new participants for the STEPS Clinical Trial. If you are 55 or older and think you may have spinal stenosis – but are not yet ready for major spine surgery – this study may be right for you. The study is for the Totalis™ System, a minimally-invasive alternative to traditional spine surgery that does not require general anesthesia and allows most patents to return home the same day.
St. Jude Instincts Study
Arizona Pain took part in a study of a new type of spinal cord stimulator trial system developed by St. Jude Medical. Patients who are candidates for an implanted spinal cord stimulator to relieve their chronic pain will typically undergo a three to seven day trial with a temporary system. Traditionally, this required the leads running into the back to be connected to an external controller unit. St. Jude Medical recently developed the Invisible trial system which connects to the controller via Bluetooth. We took part in this study, which found that the Invisible system improved patient convenience compared to the previous systems.
Saluda Medical Study
Arizona Pain took part in a study of a new type of spinal cord stimulator designed by Saluda Medical. One challenge for spinal cord stimulators is that when the patient changes the position of their body, this can produce insufficient or excessive stimulation. Saluda Medical developed a spinal cord stimulator that uses feedback from the leads about how much current is being delivered and automatically adjusts the stimulation so that a constant level is delivered to the patient, increasing their comfort.
Pfizer Lyrica Study
Arizona Pain took part in a study of Lyrica for patients with nerve pain. Lyrica is a widely used medication that has previously been found to be effective for treating diabetic nerve pain. This study investigated whether it would also prove effective for nerve pain caused by an injury or surgery.
Seikagaku Herniated Disc Study
Arizona Pain took part in a study of injections of a new drug for treating back and leg pain caused by a herniated disc in the low back. Herniated discs in the low back can cause chronic pain that radiates down into one or both legs. These patients are often treated with conservative care, such as chiropractic care and medications as well as steroid injections. Patients who do not respond to these treatments sometimes require surgery. Seikagaku developed a drug that has the potential to permanently shrink a herniated disc, thereby alleviating the chronic pain without requiring surgery.
St. Jude PAIN Registry Study
Arizona Pain took part in a study testing the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation at relieving chronic pain. This study followed hundreds of patients implanted with one of these devices over a two year period. The study found that these patients experienced an average of more than 50% pain relief, greater ability to engage in daily tasks, and improved quality of life.
Mesoblast Stem Cell Disc Repair Study
Arizona Pain Specialists is one of a few select sites in the USA participating in a novel investigational stem cell study using adult stem cells for chronic back pain.
Degenerative discs are often the source of chronic back pain. Currently, the only option for people with degenerative discs who are unresponsive to conventional therapies is major surgery. This FDA-cleared study may offer an alternative to surgery. In a simple procedure, patients enrolled in this trial will have a single injection of either an adult stem cell product or placebo administered into the discs within their spine, and will be monitored for safety and efficacy for the reduction of chronic back pain.
Bioness StimRouterTM Peripheral Nerve Stimulator Study
Arizona Pain Specialists is investigating a new type of peripheral nerve stimulator for the treatment of peripheral neuralgia. This device consists of a small lead implanted under the skin as well as an external pulse transmitter and battery, which are attached to the skin.
The Bioness® StimRouterTM relies on the same principle as a spinal cord stimulator. Spinal cord stimulators are used for individuals experiencing pain from multiple nerves, as the spine is a central route for pain. The StimRouterTM is designed for individuals experiencing pain originating in a single nerve of the arms, legs, or trunk.
Pfizer Arthritis Medication Study
Arizona Pain Specialists is part of a large clinical trial comparing three arthritis medications: celecoxib (Celebrex®), naproxen (e.g., Aleve®), and ibuprofen (e.g., Advil ®). Patients suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis who are also at high risk of heart disease will take one of these medications for four years as heart and digestive problems are recorded.
Individuals who qualify for this study will be randomly assigned to receive one of three widely used arthritis medications celecoxib (Celebrex®), naproxen (e.g., Aleve®), or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil ®) for four years as their heart and digestive health is monitored in periodic clinic visits.
Shoulder Pain Study
The study lasts for two weeks and requires three visits to our clinic. If you meet eligibility criteria and are enrolled in the study, all study-related costs will be provided free of charge and you will be compensated for time and travel.
Published Studies and Articles
St. Jude PAIN Registry Study
In Neurostimulation: Technology at the Neural Interface
The St. Jude PAIN Registry study followed 579 patients implanted with spinal cord stimulators (SCS) across 40 sites around the US. Arizona Pain was one of these sites, and Dr. Tory McJunkin was a co-author of the journal article. An interim analysis of all SCS patients followed for 12 months found that these patients experienced an average of 57% less pain and 33.1% less disability. Forty-seven percent of patients were able to reduce their use of narcotic pain killers or stop taking them entirely. Over 79% of patients reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the therapy.
Peripheral Nerve Stimulation: New Advances in Miniaturizing the Device
In Atlas of Implantable Pain Therapies, 2nd edition
In this chapter, Dr. Tory McJunkin and Dr. Paul Lynch of Arizona Pain along with Dr. Timothy Deer review a number of recent devices designed to treat pain by stimulating peripheral nerves – that is, nerves outside of the spine. In particular, many of these devices incorporate smaller and more advanced designs. This includes the Boston Scientific Bion® device, the Bioness StimRouterTM device, and the Neuros AltiusTM device.
The Appropriate Use of Neurostimulation: Avoidance and Treatment of Complications of Neurostimulation Therapies for the Treatment of Chronic Pain
In Neurostimulation: Technology at the Neural Interface
In this journal article, many of the leading experts on neurostimulation devices, including Dr. Tory McJunkin, Dr. Paul Lynch, and Dr. Jack Anderson of Arizona Pain, discuss the possible risks of neurostimulation treatment. The incidence rate of different risks, such as infection and lead fracture, are discussed as are methods for minimizing risks. The authors provide 19 recommendations for the appropriate use of neurostimulation device treatments.
The Appropriate Use of Neurostimulation: New and Evolving Neurostimulation Therapies and Applicable Treatment for Chronic Pain and Selected Disease States
In Neurostimulation: Technology at the Neural Interface
In this journal article, leading experts on neurostimulation devices, including Dr. Paul Lynch, Dr. Tory McJunkin, Dr. Jack Anderson, and Dr. Ted Swing of Arizona Pain, describe both current treatments, such as spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain, and the newest advancements in neurostimulation treatments. This includes changes in stimulation waveforms such as closed loop stimulation, high frequency stimulation, and burst stimulation. Advancements in batteries, MRI compatibility, and miniaturization are also discussed.
Global Pain Scale
The Global Pain Scale is a brief but thorough screening tool for physicians to use when evaluating the basic functioning levels of their patients. This scale can be continually used to monitor changes in patients’ acute and chronic pain over time. A one-page, simple evaluation, the Global Pain Scale will assess not only the physical aspect of pain, but will also give physicians information regarding the effects pain has on their patients in four specific categories, including: a numeric rating scale, emotional well-being, clinical outcomes, and activities of daily living. – By Douglas A. Gentile, PhD, Jonathan Woodhouse, Paul Lynch, MD, Julia Maier, MS, and Tory McJunkin, MD. Download at Paindoctor.com
An extensive explanation article on the cause of vertebro compression fractures and the effective intervention treatment for vertebral compression fractures. This article also included helpful information on preventing compression fractures in osteoporosis patients. – By Paul J. Lynch, MD, Nicole Berardoni, MD
A in-depth explanation of neurostimulation such as spinal cord stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation for treating chronic pain, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, and ilionguinal pain. Published article also includes two case studies involving neurostimulation. – By Tory L. McJunkin, MD, Paul J. Lynch, MD, Nicole Berardoni, MD
This is a case study involving a 61-year-old female with a long-standing history of post-laminectomy syndrome and more recent onset of post-thoracotomy syndrome. The patient sustained a fall three years prior, which resulted in multiple rib and vertebral fractures requiring her initial lumbothoracic surgeries. One year following, the patient developed a spontaneous vertebral compression fracture with cord compression, lower extremity weakness, and severe pain requiring a thoracic corpectomy and revision of her previous fusion. – By Tory L. McJunkin, MD, Nicole Berardoni, MD, Paul J. Lynch, MD, and Jacob Amrani, MD
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive pain therapy that has proved successful in reducing or eliminating pain for many patients with back, neck, muscle, and even chronic headaches.