As a pain warrior, you are resilient and courageous. You are ready to face adversity in identifying pain management solutions and treatments for debilitating headaches. You are open to revolutionary and innovative ways to manage pain while protecting future generations from headache pain. A viable option for you is to participate in a clinical trial. If you are interested in becoming a part of medical research to advance the treatment of headache pain, here is everything you need to know to get started.
What are Clinical Trials
A clinical trial is a user-focused form of medical research. According to the National Institutes of Health, clinical trials are only one form of clinical research. Other types of clinical research include the study of disease with epidemiology and behavioral research, as well as health care services.
Through clinical trials, you can help medical teams identify new techniques for headache pain. These trials are used to find innovative ways to prevent and treat existing headaches. Clinical trials can involve the testing of new drugs, surgery, medical devices, and behavioral changes. You can also be a part of a clinical trial that explores existing treatments in order to improve the current modalities.
Finding Headache Clinical Trials
To sign up for a clinical trial, you need to know where to look. The US National Library of Medicine points out that clinical studies are conducted at universities, community health clinics, physicians’ offices, and medical hospitals. Research teams leading these trials are most likely funded or sponsored in order to have the financial resources they need. These teams are part of larger organizations and businesses, such as federal agencies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical colleges, and healthcare providers.
A good place to start when looking for clinical trials involving headaches is CenterWatch. Search for trials based on your medical condition, such as migraine headaches, cluster headaches, or headaches. From there, you are required to provide a location for clinical studies, but you can set the parameters to include the entire world as well.
This way you are able to find studies well outside of your geographic location if desired. If you look at the trial filters on CenterWatch, you will also notice you can filter according to gender, study type, and trial phase. This will help you find trials that best suit your needs. Not all studies posted on CenterWatch will be clinical trials, for example some may be epidemiological studies, so you should read about each study and see if you are interested. Other online resources for finding headache clinical trials include:
- National Headache Foundation
- NIH US National Library of Medicine ClinicalTrials.gov
- The Migraine Trust
- Research Match
Volunteering for a Clinical Trial
Individuals who join clinical trials vary in their backgrounds. For example, people involved with clinical trials for headache pain may suffer from debilitating headaches or never have headache pain. Why would healthy people be a part of clinical research studies? Research teams need to have a control group to determine what the normal level or reaction is to a treatment.
If you are suffering from headache pain, there are two main reasons why you would want to join a clinical trial. First and foremost, these trials will most likely offer novel approaches to preventing and treating headache pain. By joining a clinical trial, ideally, you will be advancing research that prevents, minimizes, or otherwise treats your type of pain.
Another reason to join a trial is to provide invaluable data to medical researchers trying to learn more about headaches. Whatever your reason for joining in a clinical study, you will need to volunteer and provide informed consent. This consent covers the procedures, tests, risks, and other factors that will affect you via the clinical research trial.
Who Can Participate
While clinical studies need volunteers, not just anyone can join any clinical trial. Each trial has a specific study size along with parameters that must be met. This eligibility criterion is included with the protocol of clinical studies. For example, a clinical trial might require all participants to be over 65, male, and nonsmokers for the last 25 years.
Eligibility requirements include everything from a person’s health history to whether they eat a vegetarian diet. When you research various clinical trials that interest you, this eligibility criterion will be noted by the research teams. This way you can determine if a trial is suitable for you without wasting your energy.
Headache Pain Research and Support
To learn more about how to find resources to help manage your debilitating headache pain, contact The Will Erwin Headache Research Foundation. We are a nonprofit organization ready to assist you and the rest of the pain warriors who battle debilitating headache pain.