University of Bath

Help us improve how we treat chronic pain

Take part in our latest study to help us improve treatments for people with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – a severe chronic pain condition.

Take part in our latest psychology study into the chronic pain condition CRPS.
Take part in our latest psychology study into the chronic pain condition CRPS.

What we're doing

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a debilitating condition of unclear origins that can follow a limb injury. People with CRPS experience pain that is disproportionate to the severity of the injury, and there is some evidence that changes in brain regions that signal for sensations and movement about the affected limb could contribute to the pain.

We are conducting a study to test the effectiveness of a new treatment for CRPS, called sensorimotor training. It targets these brain changes and has shown promise in reducing pain in preliminary studies.

Take part

To be eligible to take part in the study you must:

  • live in the UK
  • be 18-80 years of age
  • have CRPS that has predominantly affected one upper limb for at least three months

If you have suffered a stroke or other brain injury, you cannot take part in the study.

What's involved

We are conducting a double-blind, randomised, sham-controlled trial of sensorimotor training. This means that half of the people with CRPS will undergo real sensorimotor training, and half will undergo a control treatment.

Both the real and control treatment will take place in your own home and will involve performing simple movements with your affected arm while wearing glasses that distort vision.

You will be required to travel to one of our research centres in Bath, Oxford, or Exeter four times spread over an 11 week period. It might also be possible for us to come and see you at home. We will examine your symptoms in person and also through questionnaires that will be sent by post.

What you'll get

You might directly benefit from reduction in pain and other CRPS symptoms as a result of undergoing sensorimotor training, although it is also possible that you might not experience any symptom reduction.

Since there is some inconvenience in taking part, you will be financially compensated for your time and contribution.

In addition to testing a new potential treatment for CRPS, this study will help us to gain insights into the symptoms that people with CRPS experience.

Lead researcher, Dr Janet Bultitude, explained: "This is an exciting opportunity to help us test a brand new treatment option for CRPS. Sensorimotor training takes only a few minutes a day, is inexpensive, and can be performed in the home. Preliminary research on the treatment has had promising results, and we want people to come forward to help us test its effectiveness in a larger, more controlled study. We hope that the results will lead to the development of sensorimotor training for use in CRPS treatment."