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Back pain and sleep – volunteers needed

By Timothy Cocks Science and the world 06 Nov 2015

To Sleep

A Flock of sheep that leisurely pass by

One after one; the sound of rain, and bees

Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas,

Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky;-


I’ve thought of all by turns, and still I lie

Sleepless; and soon the small birds’ melodies

Must hear, first utter’d from my orchard trees,

And the first cuckoo’s melancholy cry


Even thus last night, and two night more I lay,

And could not win thee, Sleep! by any stealth:

So do not let me wear to-night away;


Without Thee what is all the morning’s wealth?

Come, blessed barrier between day and day,

Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health

-William Wordsworth

Low back pain and sleep

Our friend Danny Camfferman over at BiM is running a study investigating the relationship between back pain and sleep and they are looking for volunteers in Australia to take part in their innovative work;

We need people who live in Australia and have had back pain that has persisted for more than 3 months. Our study is investigating the relationship between back pain and sleep, mood and beliefs about pain. Participants will complete a questionnaire about their general health, pain and sleep characteristics. They will be mailed a wristwatch type device that records activity levels. They wear it for a week, keep a pain and sleep diary and then mail it back. All volunteers will be given a report on their sleep quality. This research has been approved by the UniSA Ethics Committee Ref. 0000033839 “Chronic Back Pain and Sleep study”. 

If you could please alert any patients who satisfy the very broad inclusion criteria to the study and ask them to get in touch with Dr Danny Camfferman, on (08) 8302 1432 or email, we would be most grateful. We have attached a recruitment flyer you could put up in your waiting area too….. 

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.57.37 PM

Chronic Back Pain and Sleep Recruitment Flyer 


This is important research with the ultimate goal of helping people experiencing chronic pain regain morning’s wealth. If you are a therapist, you can get involved and help by letting your patients know about the study. If you have experienced low back pain for more than three months, and are interested in participating, you can contact Danny directly.

-Tim Cocks


  1. Good to see this initiative. I do hope they have the breath of vision to ask the simple question…’Do you feel any pain whilst asleep ?’ , and follow the responses to the logical conclusion that there may be no requirement for pain sensations in the sleep state. For me, that’s an essential key to unravelling the enigma of the pain experience, and its relationship with consciousness. Good luck with their efforts…..this is one study I’ll be watching with interest.

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