The BACk Study

Why Are We Doing This Research? 

The Biomarkers to Advance Clinical Phenotypes of Low Back Pain (BACk) study looks at how acute back pain may transition to chronic back pain. This research will help us search for a deeper understanding of pain.  

We want to see if we can predict who will progress to chronic pain by studying biological factors (things like how people function physically, and inflammation measured in the blood) and psychosocial factors (things like how well people sleep). Ultimately, we hope this research will increase knowledge about pain, help healthcare providers take care of their patients, and improve pain treatments.  

Who Can Join This Study? 

To qualify for this research study, participants must be: 

  • Age 18 or older 
  • Experiencing sudden low back pain with no specific cause in the past four weeks  

We have a questionnaire to help determine who may qualify. To complete the questionnaire or learn more, call 704-273-5456 or email

About the Study  

This study is a collaboration between the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and Duke Orthopaedics. Participation lasts about 12 months. Participants can enroll in either Kannapolis or Durham. 

Participants are asked to:  

  • Complete three study visits  
  • Provide blood and urine samples 
  • Complete a pain assessment 
  • Complete a physical assessment 
  • Answer questionnaires about their physical, mental, and emotional well-being  
  • Complete online surveys 

Duke Principal Investigator  

Adam Goode, PT, DPT, PhD

Adam Goode headshot


Compensation is provided for completed study activities. 

In the News 

Duke Ortho, CTSI Launch Five-Year Pain Study