Through a record-setting funding agreement, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) division is supporting a study to evaluate low back pain.
The $13.5 million grant was awarded to the Dartmouth Spine Center for the study proposal "Low Back Pain: A Multicenter Randomized Trial."
Back pain treatment and its indirect costs, including disability and litigation, top $100 billion annually in the United States.
Back-related conditions account for approximately one-third of the cost of workers' compensation care.
The five-year clinical trial named SPORT (Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial) recently started to evaluate and compare patient outcomes for non-operative and surgical spine treatments for the most common spine diagnoses, such as herniated disc and stenosis.
The 10 participating spine center, in addition to the Dartmouth Spine Center, are members of the National Spine Network (NSN), a consortium of hospitals and physicians dedicated to improving the quality and consistency of spine care.