Clinical trial available to people with lower back pain in the Piedmont

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Bruce Gordy has been dealing with back pain for 20 years.

“At its worst, you couldn't move hardly. You didn't want to move,” he said.

He has done his best to manage the pain taking four pills a day, but that has only been a temporary solution.

The pain eventually comes back.

“It just got to the point that I'm ready to get off the medications,” he said.

Gordy was accepted into the ReActiv8 clinical trial, which investigates how well an implantable device reduces chronic lower back pain.

“I would just like to go back to doing the things that I used to do and not have to worry about paying the consequences that night or later on that day,” Gordy said.

The Center for Clinical Research in Winston-Salem is leading the research for the ReActiv8 implantable stimulation system developed by Mainstay Medical.

“The purpose of this Reactiv8 clinical trial is to determine if this neurostimulation device can help strengthen a patient’s core muscles to get them out of their chronic debilitating back condition,” said Dr. James North, an attending physician at the Center for Clinical Research and an investigator on the ReActiv8 study. “The device is used twice a day for 30 minutes, it sends an electric signal to a specific nerve that controls the core muscles in our spine.”

If the data is favorable, the hope is that this device will be available on the market to give people another option for managing pain.

North often sees people dealing with intense back issues relying on opioids.

Researchers believe this study could have the underlying benefit of combating opioid abuse.

“It's not the primary outcome of the study, if it is efficacious, but it's certainly a secondary outcome. One can only assume if your back pain is better controlled, you're less likely to be relying on opiates or other medications to control your pain,” North said.

The Center for Clinical Research is actively seeking people to participate in the study.

Visit to take a quiz to determine if you may be eligible.

You can also visit to register.