In the future, priority will be placed on the delivery of conservative methods of treatment which promote favorable tissue repair and neuromuscular performance. Physical rehabilitation will focus on improving stability and function using techniques such as unstable base training, core muscle strengthening, enhanced coordination methods, and approaches which improve reaction time. Surgery will prioritize the use of motion preserving implants while moving toward the application of biological solutions to promote functional tissue regeneration and repair. Spine surgery will be used to set the stage for functional restoration includes novel approaches for providing biological scaffolds for tissue repair and adaptation.
Non-operative spinecare will require a more diverse team of individuals than invasive or operative care. Future spinecare settings which provide the full spectrum of care will have to have an integrated multidisciplinary team. Non-operative spinecare of the future will incorporate physical performance testing. This may be done in human performance labs developed as part of centers of excellence. They will likely include a gait lab as well as methods for objectively evaluating neuromuscular performance. The later will be used to help identify and monitor performance (fatique) induced muscle weakness (paresis) secondary to spinal cord and/or spinal nerve compromise. Protocols will be incorporated to stress the neuromuscular system so that neurological deficits associated with a spine disorders can be identified early. Physical performance testing facilities and/or protocols will become an important part of conservative treatment approaches. It will help serve as an important part of the foundation for evidence-based non-operative spinecare.
Future non-operative treatment approaches will place greater emphasis on weight management and clinical nutrition. Nutritional and nutraceutical approaches will be used to reduce inflammation and to promote favorable tissue anabolism. In some cases these approaches will be used with conservative pharmaceutical measures. Greater emphasis will be placed on the evaluation and treatment of spinal segment mobility. The approach will not be limited to looking for gross spinal instability which requires surgical stabilization.
In the future greater emphasis will be placed on soft tissue subsequently exercise/fitness specialists and massage therapists will become an important extension of the spinecare team. A healthy spine is dependent upon adequate muscular strength, muscular endurance, optimum body composition, cardiovascular endurance, segmental stability and overall flexibility. It is well accepted that the tissues of the spine repair and remodel based upon the stresses placed upon them. Proper posture and exercise facilitates a favorable tissue remodeling process. In the future healthcare professionals will develop a growing appreciation for the effect of exercise on tissue remodeling and neuroplasticity both of which will influence on the outcome of spinecare.
Invasive intervertebral disc treatment will incorporate various methods to help repair and seal the annulus while preserving segmental motion. Future approaches will incorporate advances in molecular therapy, gene therapy, as well as various cell-based therapies. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) will be used to assess water movement and the integrity microarchitecture within the intervertebral disc. Advanced imaging such as MRS and DTI will help direct minimally invasive approaches.
Welcome to the Inform a Colleague area of the Academy Website. The American Academy of Spine Physicians (AASP) strives to implement new and more efficient methods for members to communicate with other healthcare professionals. One of the most effective tools is the online "Inform a Colleague" function. This function can be used to expand and educate your spinecare referral network. It also represents a resource to conveniently inform others about trends in spinecare and about offers of organizations such as the American Academy of Spine Physicians (AASP), the International Spine Association (ISA). The link library also contains an application for membership with the AASP.
The online "Inform a Colleague" feature provides an invaluable time-saving service for keeping spinecare professionalsup-to-date, expanding the spinecare network, stimulating interdisciplinary referrals and for inviting colleagues to join the AASP. The library of links is always being updated with useful information and resources. The linked messages can be used to
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This level of membership is for physicians (MD, DC, DO) whose practice/interest includes patients with spinal disorders. ($250)
This level of membership is for allied healthcare professionals involved in spinecare and/or spine research. This includes physical therapists, massage therapists, exercise physiologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, physician's assistants, diagnostic technicians, surgical technicians, exercise instructors, personal trainers and individuals who hold a PhD and work in the field of spinecare. ($150)
This level of membership is for residents, fellows and students who have an interest in spinecare. ($35)
Membership will automatically renew each calendar year starting from the date of membership renewal or membership acceptance unless the AASP is specifically notified in writing by the member at least 30 days prior to their renewal date. Please address all correspondence to the AASP Office of Member Services.
Review the accuracy of your contact information and practice profile information including your email address. To update your profile online go to spinephysicians.org and login using your unique member ID and PIN as noted below.
Please notify the AASP if you no longer meet membership criteria. This includes maintaining an active license to practice.