Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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July 16, 2013

Indiana Spine Group looks for answers to back pain

INDIANAPOLIS — In an effort to provide relief to patients suffering from chronic back pain, officials with the Indiana Spine Group recently announced that they’ve been participating in the Surgical Multi-center Assessment of RF Ablation for the Treatment of Vertebrogenic Back Pain (SMART) Trial.

According to a press release from the Indiana Spine Group, the Institute of Medicine tabbed low back pain as the most prevalent and expensive non-lethal medical condition in the United States, which affects about 100 million adults. Those affected by back pain is more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined.

Per the same press release, about 12 million new patients look for treatment for back pain and nearly 2 million of those patients fail to respond to conservative therapies.

According to Dr. Kevin Macadaeg, vice president and founder of the Indiana Spine Group, the SMART trial may provide relief and remove the need for escalating use of pain medications, invasive surgery, or continued suffering.

“The holy grail of treating back pain, or treating disk related pain, is to come up with a way to get rid of the pain that is minimally invasive if a person has failed all the efforts of conservative measures,” Macadaeg said. “It doesn’t matter whether a person has been to physical therapy, or exercise, or medications, a chiropractor, acupuncture, or even epidural steroid injections. All those things are meant to make the back feel better, but none of those things actually touch the disk. The only other traditional method of trying to get rid of the pain is to take the disk out and fuse the spine. This is the holy grail of trying to treat a disk, which is a directed treatment to the disk, yet not changing the structure to the spine.”

Macadaeg likened the trial to a root canal.

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