Enginuity Podcast: Engineering solutions to back pain

Posted: November 17, 2021
Engineering solutions to back pain (29 mins)

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Dr. Marras and Dr. Howard podcast

Lower back pain is the second most common reason people visit their physicians. It’s also the world’s leading cause of disability. Millions of people suffer from back pain. Many of them lose time at work. Many will be prescribed opioid painkillers, and some will become dependent on them. In the U.S. alone, back pain accounts for more than 100 million annual lost workdays and $100 billion in treatment costs. That is as much as we spend fighting cancer.

From diagnosis to treatment, back pain remains a vexing problem for physicians. In this episode Dean Ayanna Howard speaks with Prof. Bill Marras, the executive director and scientific director of the Spine Research Institute (SRI) in Ohio State’s College of Engineering. He shares how at SRI researchers and practitioners from divergent fields apply their collective knowledge to solve what seems like an unsolvable problem. He tells Dean Howard how a systems engineer found himself researching back pain, why companies are interested in SRI’s expertise to prevent workplace injuries, and how his team is helping tackle the opioid addiction epidemic that impacts so many families.

Interesting solutions happen at the intersection of disciplines. The work being done at the Spine Research Institute is an excellent example of this.

Originally posted on the College of Engineering's Enginuity Podcast page.

Category: Faculty