Two faculty members from Western University of Health Sciences are seeking
volunteers to participate in testing a new and painless method for
evaluating lower chronic back pain.
Professors Richard Sugerman, PhD, Anatomy Department chairman, and James
Jones, DO, professor of neurology and osteopathic manipulative medicine
are looking to find out if the clinical diagnosis of back pain can be made
by monotoring the temperature of the skin near the affected area. Current
methods such as MRI and CT scans have proven ineffective in detecting
inflammation and infection of the tissues.
“”Currently, lower back pain evaluation and treatment costs the health care
industry nearly $40 billion every year,”” Dr. Sugerman said. “”This type of
an evaluation can be administered by a medical assistant, understood by
the general public and reduce a $400 dollar medical bill to $100.””
Study participants must be between the ages of 18 and 40 and should have
height, weight and body measurements within normal parameters.
Participants also should have short- or long- term back pain but should
not have had surgery. Muscle temperature will be taken of the back; no
invasive procedures will take place and no treatments for the alleviation
of back pain will be performed. The test takes about an hour and
participants will be paid $20.
“”Many people have lower back pain, but consider the aches just part of
their everyday lives, don’t think of it as a problem and don’t mention it
to their physician or advanced practice nurse during routine check ups,””
Dr. Sugerman added. “”If health care providers were to check lower back
muscle temperatures as a matter of course during a check up, patients
could be diagnosed and treated far in advance of the pain becoming acute
For more information on the study, or to volunteer, contact Dr. Jones at