Navigation Links
MSU researcher unveils new approach to treat lower back pain
Date:12/8/2009

EAST LANSING, Mich. Using a branch of science that crosses disciplines to study complex problems, a Michigan State University researcher is introducing a new way to understand and treat lower back pain, a condition affecting more than 40 million Americans and costing billions of dollars each year.

N. Peter Reeves, a researcher in Osteopathic Surgical Specialties in MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, is studying the spine using systems science, which became popular in the early 20th century. With a systems approach, it is possible to study complex systems in a way that not only includes their parts but also how the parts interact to affect the entire system.

"The attractiveness of the systems approach is that it allows the research community to share results and integrate data to provide a coherent picture of the spine system, which in turn can be used to better diagnose and treat back pain," Reeves said.

The problem with current clinical approaches is they focus on a reductionist method, in which a medical problem is broken down into smaller parts to isolate elements of the condition, Reeves said.

Reeves recently presented his research at an international back pain symposium in Brisbane, Australia. The meeting brought together about a dozen of the top spine researchers across the world to discuss differing opinions and models on managing back pain and understanding spinal control.

As part of the symposium, each attendee presented his research and models, with the hopes of reaching agreement among the clinical and research community.

"With this approach, it will be possible to address some long-standing research questions," Reeves said. "The first step is to present the concepts inherent to systems science so that a common understanding can be formed in the spinal research community."

Reeves attended the symposium with Jacek Cholewicki, a colleague in Osteopathic Surgical Specialties who helped coordinate the Australian meeting. In addition, Reeves is working closely with researchers in MSU's College of Engineering on developing equipment to test the approach.

Adopting the systems science approach is vital moving forward, he said.

"Back pain research is at a crossroads," said Reeves, who is establishing a Center for Spine System-Science at MSU, which will bring together top researchers from across the world. "There are a lot of questions that need to be addressed, and we need the right framework to answer them."

Currently, Reeves and colleagues are developing systems science methods to integrate data obtained from the testing of cadaver spines and muscular control of live subjects. The next step is to define the spine as a complete system, meaning researchers can predict the response of the system to any type of disturbance or evaluate the system to various forms of impairment (degenerative disc disease or muscle wasting common with low back pain).

"The spine is extremely complex; you cannot fully appreciate medical conditions without looking at the big picture," he said. "If you were building a new airplane, it would be impossible and dangerous to design the parts of the plane in isolation and not considering how these individuals parts would interact with one another. The spine is no different."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jason Cody
codyja@msu.edu
517-432-0924
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers finds hidden sensory system in the skin
2. Researchers demonstrate nanoscale X-ray imaging of bacterial cells
3. Texas AgriLife researchers helping
4. Stopping MRSA before it becomes dangerous is possible, Sandia/UNM researchers find
5. VAI researchers find long awaited key to creating drought resistant crops
6. UGA researchers lead team in discovery involving devastating freshwater fish parasite, Ich
7. Nervy research: Researchers take initial look at ion channels in a model system
8. Yerkes researchers create first transgenic prairie voles
9. North Pole wolf emails locations to researchers
10. Shape shifters: Researchers create new breed of antennas
11. Clemson researchers receive EPA grant to study carbon emission storage
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 The Department of Transport Management ... 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant and ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging industry.  As ... added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo - ... ... ... ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Elevay is currently ... expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking travel ... globally connected world, there is still no substitute for ... duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. This ... taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like those ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Peel Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute ... platform of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome ... has secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon ... ramp up automation and to advance its drug development ... its new facility. "SVB has been an ... beyond the services a traditional bank would provide," said ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new ... in Denmark detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast ... results could change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Andrew D Zelenetz , ... Published recently in Oncology & ... Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses the fact ... placing an increasing burden on healthcare systems worldwide, ... the patents on many biologics expiring, interest in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: