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

or debilitating.

For more information on the study, or to volunteer, contact Dr. Jones at

(909) 469-5287.