Experts in Back Pain Medicine

Experts in back pain medicine are those that have been trained to diagnose or treat injuries, disease, and degenerative changes to the body that has caused back pain. People who are experts in back pain medicine have the education, credentials, and experience in their fields of medicine, chiropractic, or holistic science to help patient discover why they are experiencing pain and what they can do to get better. These experts may help back pain patients through education, diagnostic tests, and hands on manipulations. These experts may come from a variety of different backgrounds and educational institutions. Despite the differences among the healthcare backgrounds that these experts have, though, all of these have the singular goal of helping patients to get better. Some of these experts are board certified physicians who are licensed to diagnose the cause of the back pain, or to find the underlying condition causing the symptom of pain. Some of these experts are trained to read the medical images and interpret the results of other types of diagnostic tests. Some of these experts are trained to work one on one with patients in customized physical rehabilitative programs to make their backs stronger and fluid. Some of these experts are trained in the arts of pain management, which involves injections and the insertion of implantable devices near the spine to block the transmission of pain from that injured section of the spine. When conservative and minimally invasive treatments don't work, experts in spine surgery may be called in the treat serious back problems that threaten to permanently injure the spinal nerve roots. Some of these experts are not doctors themselves, but assist the doctors in the fields of diagnostics, physiotherapy, and surgery. Other experts in back medicine include chiropractors who work in the field of chiropractic medicine. Doctors of chiropractic are specially trained to manipulate the spine to eliminate any minor dislocations of the vertebra which was causing pressure on the spinal nerves.

In this website, we define experts in back pain medicine as those who are productive in this field of orthopedic medicine through innovations in research, education, published works, and the care of patients who seek treatment. Let's take a look at some of the people who have recently made their mark in the field of back medicine through investigation, research, and science.

Professor Christopher Maher: Even within the confines of hospitals and clinics, there are a variety of different treatment options available to patients towards the diagnosis and treatment of their back condition. Ideally, there would be a simple equation or formula that doctors could use to plug numbers and symptoms into, giving them guidelines on how to proceed with treating patients. For example, it would be great if doctors had a formula to work with to plug in the cause of the patient's pain, along with their medical history, that would be able to output a treatment program to proceed with. The problem is that the cause of the patient's pain is often difficult to determine. So doctors often take the information that they have with them and make their best guess as how to proceed with a treatment program.

When you factor in all the alternative therapies out there, along with the offered traditional medical treatments, there are hundreds of possible options for patients on how to proceed with their treatment program. Are there any charts out there where patients can know complication and success rates for each? Unfortunately, the current answer is no, though professors such as Christopher Maher have spent a lot of time trying to separate the treatments that work from the treatments that are wasting people's time. These research results were compiled by Maher's team at the University of Sydney. The results indicate 10 treatments that provide at least some benefit and 10 treatments that are of doubtful benefit. Here are the some treatments that were found to be the most effective among the many studied.
  1. Heat wrap therapy: Devices that safely deliver hot therapy to injured muscles may reduce muscle tension, reduce inflammation, and provide pain relief. A Johns Hopkins Study presented the findings that hot therapy, when applied for three days or longer, was able to reduce pain levels in more than half of all patients.
  2. TENS Machine: TENS therapy is also a therapy that is designed to break up muscle tightness and to reduce muscle related pain. This therapy involves the use of commercial and home use machines that deliver electrical stimulation to the muscles and nerves to reduce pain. A TENS unit involves a box which generated the electric current, a wire running from the generator, and pads with adhesives which attach to the skin. The energy is transmitted through the skin pads and is able to penetrate into the muscles and nerves to block pain.
Some of the treatments that were found by Christopher Maher to be ineffective towards the goal of back pain relief included aspirin/ibuprofen, acupuncture, magnets, spinal manipulative therapy, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP).