Health Topic Archives

North American Spine Society Annual Meeting

By David Kartzman, DC

Recently I attended the NASS (North American Spine Society) annual meeting in Boston.  NASS is an organization of spine providers including surgeons, pain management doctors, physical medicine, PT, and chiropractic.  Membership is by application and acceptance.

My particular committee section is the Section on Rehabilitation, Intervention, and Medical Spine (RIMS).  Our focus is the non-surgical approach to spine care - utilizing an interdisciplinary approach combining multiple types of spine providers.  Our section presented on the sacroiliac joint (a joint famous for its role in lower back pain).  I will highlight my talk in another post.

There were interesting presentations with some great ideas and perspectives.  I would like to share some with you here.

Women's Health, Pregnancy, and Back Pain

For women who are now pregnant or who have been, you must really be aware how little attention there is to your muscle/joint (musculo-skeletal) health.  There are, of course, the structural changes which occur and these cause stresses on our joints and muscles.  Then, after delivery, how do we (men also) wrestle with those car carriers, cribs where the sides don't move, and feeding positions?  In our office we are working on ways to better address these problems.  In the spirit of interdisciplinary care, I am going to try to reach out to try to create a process for addressing these problems through the community (wish me luck !!!).

Neck and Shoulder Region Pain 

For any of you who have seen me in our practice, you know how much we talk about this relationship.  Working at desks, computers, and prolonged neck-bending are risk factors.  Among the locations for pain we discussed, one was the upper neck/base of the skull.  If you don't mind, I have borrowed some their phrasing and now call this region the "horizon joints" with my patients.  This is because our necks are forward and we have to extend the upper neck to see level (the horizon) - picture the stresses.  It was nice to see independent confirmation of our observations.

Lower Back Degenerative Disc Disease and Lower Back Pain

This was a nice presentation offered by chiropractic and spine surgery.  It was important to see the collegial balance between these professions discussing a common problem.  I would like to go into more detail in a separate post. Hint... maybe we need to get rid of the term "degenerative disc disease!!!"

What I took away from this was a confirmation that care for the spine is best when the approach is with continued knowledge and discussion between the multiple professions who treat people with spine pain.  For those of you who have known our practice, this was a nice confirmation regarding what we commonly do. 


"It takes more energy to be reactive than it does to be proactive."